About Coed y Brenin Visitor Centre and Forest Park
ABOUT COED Y BRENIN VISITOR CENTRE
Coed y Brenin was Britain's first purpose-built mountain bike centre, and it is still one of the sport’s top destinations. The visitor centre is also the starting point for a range of waymarked trails for walkers and runners.
Purpose-built mountain bike trails of varying lengths and difficulty start from the visitor centre car park and range from easy trails for families and beginners up to technical routes for expert riders. Other facilities for mountain bikers include a skills area to develop riding techniques and a bike shop which offers bike hire, sales and repairs.
The visitor centre is the starting point for several waymarked walking trails, some of which are suitable for wheelchair users and off-road mobility scooters.
There are also trails for running, orienteering and geocaching, along with children’s play areas, a café and plenty of picnic tables.
Coed y Brenin Visitor Centre is managed by Natural Resources Wales. For full details of the visitor facilities here (including trail lengths and grades), information about any changes or temporary closures to trails or other facilities, and car parking charges please go to the Natural Resources Wales website.
The visitor centre is set within Coed y Brenin Forest Park and there are waymarked walking trails through the forest park from several other Natural Resources Wales car parks.
Three waymarked walking trails start from the visitor centre.
The Afon Eden Trail (accessible grade) goes down through woodlands to the riverside picnic site. Younger visitors can follow the animal discovery trail along the way – pick up a leaflet from the visitor centre and follow the clues.
The Cefndeuddwr Trail (easy grade) is a short trail to a viewpoint and picnic area.
The Gain Waterfall Trail (strenuous grade) climbs over a ridge before descending to the Afon Gain and Afon Mawddach rivers and two waterfalls.
Walking trails also start from several other Natural Resources Wales car parks within Coed y Brenin Forest Park. These include an accessible riverside route, a heritage trail through copper mine ruins, a challenging circular walk to the highest point of the forest park, and a short walk through a forest garden. Go to the Natural Resources Wales website for details of all the car parks and walking trails in Coed y Brenin Forest Park.
MOUNTAIN BIKE TRAILS
Eight mountain bike trails start from the visitor centre car park and are waymarked with a unique trail icon from start to finish. The trails in length from short loops of a few kilometres to over 30 kilometres. Each one is graded for difficulty (from easy up to severe) and these details, along with the length, climb and estimated time to ride, are given on the information boards in the car park.
Yr Afon is a forest road trail which goes alongside the river Mawddach and takes in two waterfalls.
MinorTaur (blue/moderate grade) offers a good introduction to mountain biking with its four loops which get progressively longer and more challenging.
Temtiwr (red/difficult grade) is a short but technical trail which gives a feel of what’s in store on some of the other trails here.
Cyflym Coch (red/difficult grade) strings together some of the best fast-flowing sections in the forest park with relatively short climbs.
Dragon's Back (red/difficult grade) includes a big climb to the highest point in the forest as well as sections of downhill fun.
MBR (black/severe grade) has a great mix of rocky gnarlyness, fast-flowing singletrack and new style features and sections.
Tarw Du (black/severe grade) is Coed y Brenin’s original trail and is widely regarded as the UK’s first purpose-built mountain bike trail.
Beast (black/severe grade) is the longest of the trails here and features loose rocky climbs, gnarly descents, stone fly-offs, berms, tabletops and hips.
Y Ffowndri skills area is next to the visitor centre car park. It has training areas for new riders to learn and develop riding techniques and examples of the features found on different levels of graded mountain bike trails. It can also be used by more experienced riders to warm up or to wind down after a ride.
For more information about the mountain bike trails go to the Natural Resources Wales website.
Five waymarked running trails leave from the visitor centre car park and go through some of the best scenery in Coed y Brenin Forest Park.
The trails vary in length and have been designed for novice to more experienced runners. They include a mixture of singletrack, forest roads, rough unmade public rights of way and occasional sections of tarmac road.
Trail shoes are recommended, and you should be prepared for roots, mud and rocks with steep ascents and descents.
Two geocaching trails for walkers start from the visitor centre and take you out into the forest park to hunt for the hidden geocaches.
Each geocache contains an information sheet about the history of the location and a logbook to record your visit. It may also contain small items left by other visitors that you can swap for something you have brought with you.
Both trails follow forest roads and footpaths with steep ascents and descents on unmade uneven surfaces - stout footwear is recommended.
You can hire a GPS from the visitor centre with preloaded co-ordinates for each geocache or you can download the co-ordinates onto your own GPS from www.geocaching.com. After your visit you can go to www.geocaching.com to log your visit and finds.
Four permanent orienteering courses start and finish at the visitor centre. They were designed by the Mid Wales Orienteers and are all graded to British Orienteering Federation standards.
You can download the maps from the Natural Resources Wales website or buy a waterproof map (1:7,500 scale) from the visitor centre when you arrive.
CHILDREN'S PLAY AREAS
The play areas are next to the visitor centre and are divided into areas for children of different ages.
The free play area uses natural features such as stepping stones, logs, branches for den building, fruit trees and a small stream.
The lower play area has a range of accessible play equipment and the ground is covered by a soft pore surface.
CAFE & SHOP
The café in the visitor centre has views over the valley and forest park, and there are tables indoors or outside on the large balcony. It serves hot and cold food, a choice of coffees, other drinks and cakes.
The shop sells local crafts, books, postcards and a range of gifts.
OTHER VISITOR FACILITIES
Other facilities at Coed y Brenin Visitor Centre include:
• bike wash
• charging points for electric bikes (locks available from the bike shop)
• Beics Brenin bike shop (bike hire, repairs and sales)
• conference and meeting facilities
Accessible trails start from these car parks in Coed y Brenin Forest Park:
• Coed y Brenin Visitor Centre
• Ty'n y Groes
• Forest Garden
Some of the walking trails are suitable for visitors using an off-road mobility scooter. You can hire a Tramper off-road mobility scooter from the visitor centre but please note that this must be booked in advance.
The MinorTaur mountain bike trail is suitable for people using adaptive equipment.
There is wheelchair access to the visitor centre, café and toilets, and parking for Blue Badge holders next to the visitor centre entrance.
The café has facilities for the hearing impaired.
The lower play area has a range of accessible play equipment.
Please check the Natural Resources Wales website for opening times and car park charges.