Mountain bike trails are graded to give you an idea of what to expect, and to help you choose which is right for you, based on conditions and your experience.

Author Dave Evans has graded the mountain bike trails below against the Standard Definition of UK MTB trail grades as detailed on the NRW website. All are green or blue trails and so are good options for beginners or families with inexperienced riders.

NorthWalesMinor Taur, Coed y Brenin Forest Park, North Wales

Grade: Blue – moderate singletrack

Distance: 3, 5, 9, 12km (2-8 miles) (1-3 hours)

Coed y Brenin, near Dolgellau, was one of the first dedicated mountain bike trail centres in the UK. The Blue Minor Taur route comprises four loops, making it perfect for those wanting to choose a route of multiple lengths (3, 5, 9 or 12km) to fit the ability of all in your group. The wider and rolling trails are ideal for those wanting to experience the thrill and flow of mountain biking, but avoids major climbs and technical sections. The first three loops are suitable for adaptive mountain bikes.

Coed y Brenin Visitor Centre has a selection of play areas to reward children and a café to provide well-earned cake or ice-cream! There is also Y Ffowndri, a fun practice area to build your skills.

The centre’s bike shop, Beics Brenin, provides hire of regular and ebikes. Book ahead to avoid disappointment at this popular venue.

Beddgelert Forest, Beddgelert, North Wales


Green – easy singletrack

Distance: 6km (3.75 miles) (1 hour)


Green – easy singletrack

Distance: 9.5km (6 miles) (1-2 hours)

Beddgelert Forest, situated between the villages of Rhyd Ddu and Beddgelert, is a small area with short routes ideally suited to families with off-road capable bikes. Suspension is not essential, but chunky tyres and good brakes will make for a safe and exciting adventure.

Rough and ready forest roads provide car-free cycling with mountain views in all directions, including over to Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) itself. These are linked into a choice of two smaller loops or a single longer one, heading up to the stunning Llyn Llywelyn - the perfect spot for a picnic.

A man and child on mountain bikes, riding along a gravelled woodland trails
Two people riding mountain bikes on a gravel path by a lake.

Bedwen and Derwen trails, Beddgelert Forest, Beddgelert, North Wales

Plug and Feathers, Antur Stiniog, Blaenau Ffestiniog, North Wales

Grade: Green – easy singletrack

Distance: 2km (1.25 miles) (0.25-0.5 hours – downhill only!)

Antur Stiniog Mountain Bike Centre is North Wales’ only dedicated Down Hill (DH) mountain bike centre to offer a Green grade, beginners’ trail, with the joy of vehicle uplift!

The Plug and Feathers trails offer a perfect introduction to ‘gravity biking’ with over 2km (1.25 miles) of flowing descent with plenty of fun features along the way. There are also Blue Trails (and more!) to test your skills as confidence grows through the day.

Due to the rocky terrain, we recommend modern mountain bikes with at least front suspension and disk brakes. The Centre has a shop and café with great hospitality, and they rent DH bikes if you don’t have your own.

Two mountain bikers going down a bendy trail at Antur Stiniog.

Trails at Antur Stiniog, Blaenau Ffestiniog, North Wales

Trawsfynydd Lake, Trawsfynydd, North Wales

Grade: Green – moderate singletrack

Distance: 15km (9.3 miles) (2-3 hours)

Well waymarked, well-surfaced paths that start at the northern end of Trawsfynydd Lake and loop lazily around it, with just one notable uphill section. This can be pushed and is worth it for the rewarding views over the surrounding mountains. This quiet route is ideal for kids but a good workout for all the family. Bike hire is available on site.

A lake at low light, with pillar sculptures on the shore.

Llyn Trawsfynydd, North Wales

Coed Llandegla, Wrexham, North Wales

Grade: Green - moderate singletrack

Distance: 5km (3 miles) (1-2 hours)

Oneplanet Adventure is a great place to start your MTB journey. The centre offers bike hire, a bike workshop and shop, plus award winning bacon butties to fuel your adventure.

The Green Trail is a waymarked route of approximately 5km (3 miles) developed specifically for family fun. The route meanders around the picturesque reservoir, then back through the forest before the final descent sweeps you back down to the visitor centre.

There are also Blue, Red and Black trails, making Llandegla a great day out for a family of multiple abilities.

MB Wales - overview of mountain biking at Coed Llandegla, North Wales

Brenig Trail, Llyn Brenig, Conwy, North Wales

Grade: Green/blue – moderate singletrack

Distance: 15km (9.3 miles) (2-3 hours)

The Brenig Blue Trail starts and finishes at the Llyn Brenig Visitor Centre (which offers bike hire) and is an ideal ride for families or those starting out and looking for somewhere wild to explore. Ambling around a huge expanse of water in landscape that feels far more remote than it really is. Just one noticeable climb, and a short section on a quiet road, making this route suitable for all bikes with off road tyres. Make sure you pack a picnic and take time to watch the abundant wildlife.

man and two children on bikes by lake with boats.
An adult and child using a flat cycle path by a wide lake.

Family cycling round Llyn Brenig, North Wales

Alwen Trail, Alwen Reservoir, Cerrigydrudion, North Wales

Grade: Green – moderate singletrack

Distance: 11km (6.8 miles) (1.5-2 hours)

The Alwen Trail is a lovely, purpose-built singletrack that links with forest roads and tracks to wind its way around the Alwen Reservoir and through Clocaenog Forest with one noticeable climb about halfway. The trail starts at the Alwen dam and climbs out of the trees and onto open moorland offering some great views over a little-known pocket of Wales. The trail can be combined with the Brenig Trail by starting and finishing at Llyn Brenig visitor centre to create a ride of about 24km (15 miles).

MidWalesMelindwr, Bwlch Nant yr Arian, near Aberystwyth, Mid Wales

Grade: Blue – moderate singletrack

Distance: 2/5km (1.25 - 3 miles) 274 (1-2 hours)

Melindwr is one of the best blue trails in the country for competent blue-grade riders to improve their skills before progressing to the next level up red trails running right alongside.

There are two loops, which combined make a wonderful 5km (3 miles) ride featuring twisting singletrack with big berms and rollers galore. Each loop has a forest-road climb, but there are plenty of benches to pause and enjoy stunning Cambrian views before you enjoy the wonderful descents.

Based at a wonderful remote trail centre, Bwlch Nant yr Arian has much more for the family to enjoy, with lakeside walks, play areas and the spectacular red kite feeding display. There’s also a pump track for those who want to keep riding while others relax at the café.

Red Kites flying over a lake.
Three people on mountain bikes on a gravel trail on a hillside.

Red kites and mountain bike trails at Nant yr Arian, Ponterwyd, Mid Wales

WestWalesDerwen Trail, Brechfa Forest, Carmarthen, West Wales

Derwen Trail

Green – easy singletrack

Distance: 5km (3 miles) (1 hour)

A real mountain bike trail despite the grade - and ideal for beginners.

The Derwen Trail (derwen is Welsh for oak) in Brechfa Forest winds its way through a magnificent deciduous canopy from which it takes its name, climbing easily up into one of the largest expanses of natural woodland in South Wales. To get the best from this trail, we recommend a modern mountain bike with disk brakes.

Derwen Green and Blue

Blue – easy singletrack

Distance: 10km (6.2miles) (2-3 hours)

More adventurous riders can extend their day by adding the steeper climb of the blue route to the green. The payback for this extra effort an extra 5km (3 miles) winding through the tight forest trails and zipping back down to rejoin the green trail on a thrilling switchback descent.

If you enjoy the blue route, it is a great stepping-stone to the steeper and more technical red Gorlech route just down the road.

MB Wales - overview of mountain biking at Brechfa Forest, West Wales

Llys-y-frân Lake and Visitor Centre, West Wales

Llys-y-frân Lake and Visitor Centre in Clarbeston Road is great place for an outdoor family day out on the trails. There’s a gentle family trail along the reservoir shore, then a Pump Track to hone your skills before having a go at some of the newest blue trails in Wales.

There are seven blue trails to choose from. Here are three of the best!

Grebe Glen

300m (0.3 hour)

Sinewy single track drops right to the waterside for rolling ups and downs. There’s an optional blue grade rock section for a greater challenge.

Woodstock Weave

750m (0.5 hour)

Immerse yourself in dense ancient woodland, with a slow gentle ascent through before snaking along a long rolling descent between the majestic trees.

Badger’s Bank

1000m (<1 hour)

The longest blue trail on site takes a meandering climb to the top of the quarry wall where great views await. There’s an optional red grade boulder feature to test your skills, before a fun descent flowing between the trees.

The Lakeside Café in the modern Visitor Centre makes a great post-ride cake and a cuppa. Bike hire is available and they also have a repair shop should you need assistance.

A group of four cyclists on a smooth, level path by a reservoir.

Cycling at Llys-y-frân Lake and Visitor Centre, Clarbeston Road, Pembrokeshire, West Wales

SouthWalesKermit, Bike Park Wales, Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales

BikePark Wales (BPW) truly embraces the ski resort model with its vehicle uplift service and bike rental service. New riders simply need to book the correct package and let BPW look after everything else. Once checked in, you have unlimited lifts back to the top to ride again!

Don’t just turn up! Advanced booking via the website is essential. BPW has a range of excellent equipment hire, induction packages and guided tours to help even a complete beginner get the most from their experience.

Those with their own equipment can book uplift passes and head straight into a choice of almost 40 trails, with 14 green and blue options ideal for beginners and families alike.


Green – easy singletrack

Distance: 5km (3 miles) (0.5 hours – downhill only!)

Kermit is the UK’s longest beginner downhill singletrack trail. Completely unique, starting at almost 500 metres above sea level with epic views of Pen y Fan and the Brecon Beacons, this smooth ribbon of singletrack flows downhill through mixed woodland for 5km (3 miles). The trail was designed to flatter riders’ skills and create a fun ride suitable for riders with good bike handling skills.

BikePark Wales | Trail video - Kermit

Rookie Green Trail, Afan Forest, Neath, South Wales

Grade: Green – easy singletrack

Distance: 6.1km (3.7miles) (1-2 hours)

The Rookie Green Trail in the Afan Forest Park has all the ingredients for a great family day out. Designed specifically for families and beginners, the wide and meandering trail has space for everyone, including adaptive bikes and wheelchairs. There are also picnic areas along the route to stop, eat and play. Those wanting to develop their technical riding can try the optional skills area for an extra challenge.

Those visiting the area on holiday can hire bikes locally. Check out the Afan Forest Park website for more info.

A child riding a mountain bike along a wooden boardwalk.

Rookie Trail, Afan Forest Park, Cynonville, Port Talbot, West Wales

Further information

Search for more mountain bike centres in Wales in our activity listings

For more detailed information about mountain biking in Wales, check out the Mountain Bike Wales website.

Two people riding mountain bikes on a lakeside trail.

Derwen Trail, Beddgelert Forest, North Wales

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