Difficulty: Moderate (For Experienced Riders)
Distance: 21 Miles or more
Maps: OS Explorer 265
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Starting from below Moel Famau this mountain bike route follows the rolling hills to Nercwys Forest before returning along the Southern end of the Clwydian Range. Not especially technical but it does contain some really nice descents. There is a bit of tarmac on this ride but it is mainly along quiet country lanes and is quite enjoyable. It makes the ride feel slightly less than its distance of 21 miles.
1. Leave the Moel Famau lower car park (GR172611) by the exit to the lane and turn left. Go straight on at the next junction and follow the lane over a rise then descend to Tafarn-y-Gelyn. At the village head straight on, past the lanes on the right and left. At the junction with the main road turn left towards Loggerheads and descend to the garage (GR196623).
2. Opposite the garage turn right on the signed bridleway and cross the bridge. Follow the track right then left, and go up a steep muddy climb. The climb isn’t too long and soon flattens off for a nice bit of singletrack. Where the singletrack comes out at the muddy double track go straight on. Keep going straight ahead when the mud gives way to tarmac. At the junction at the end of the lane turn right and descend to a junction by a steam crossing on the right (GR193611).
3. Turn left and follow the lane up an increasingly steep climb all the way to Meashafn at the top. Go straight through Meashafn to a junction on the far side of the village (GR203610). Continue straight on at the junction and follow the undulating lane to where it ends at a junction (GR213603). Turn left and descend to the next junction. Turn right at this crossroad and ride along the lane with the forest just high on the right. After two lanes on the left climb to the next junction (GR221593). It’s a crossroad with the left hand entrance being a dirt track and an inscribed stone on the right. Turn right and climb to a short way to the entrance into Nercwys Forest (GR218593).
4. Go through the gate on the left, into the forest, and climb the wide hardpack track. After passing a track on the left continue climbing to the next junction, on a left hand bend, marked by a direction post. Turn right and follow the thinner, rockier track gradually uphill to the next junction, with a track on the right. Go straight then follow the main trail through a 90deg left hand bend, ignoring the tracks on either side of the corner. Climb the trail straight up through the trees to the junction just after the crest. Turn right and follow the short stretch of trail past Llyn Ochin before rejoining the main trail. Turn right on the main trail and descend through a few bends. The trail straightens then drops through a long left hand bend before reaching another series bends. After these bends the trial straightens and flattens off. Just before the trail drops again take the track on the right for a short twisting climb to a view point. After the summit continue along the track for a short, rocky descent to a junction. Turn right and descend to a gate at the lane (GR217577).
5. Once through the gate turn left on the lane. A short distance later turn right onto the dirt track just before the house on the right (GR219577). Bear left around the back of the house then go straight on at the junction. Follow the muddy double track as it bears right. At the junction at the end of the track turn right and descend the lane to the next junction, where the lane flattens off (GR221566). Climb the wide dirt track on the right marked as a bridleway. Once over the crest descend to a junction with a lane. Turn right and climb the lane. Continue past the first marked bridleway on the left to go down a short descent. At the junction at the top of the following short climb turn left to follow the bridleway (GR210571). Climb a very short way up the wide track to a four-way junction. Take the exit ahead and slightly to the right and descend the double track. Follow this track to a junction with a lane at the far end (GR202573).
6. Turn right and climb the steep lane through a couple of bends. The lane soon flattens off at Eryrys. Descend to the junction directly after the Sun Inn on the left (GR204579). Turn left and ride past the houses on the left, then descend to a junction. Go straight on at the junction for a very short climb, then continue straight on to where the tarmac gives way to a dirt track. Go down this track for a fun, loose and muddy descent. Follow the tarmac at the bottom off to the left. This leads on to a junction at the end. Turn left and descend steeply though a tight right hand bend, over a bridge, then on to a crossroad (GR185589).
7. Turn left, then at the next junction on a little hump in the road go straight on. Drop off the hump then turn right at the next junction, with the lane that heads around the back of the row of houses (GR185581). Continue straight on along this road for roughly 1 mile to a three-way junction at a stone church (GR186565). Go straight on at the junction, past the right hand side of the building. Continue straight on along the lane, past a lane on the left, to a junction with two dead end lanes (GR184559).
8. Turn right and climb the lane all the way to the top, where it becomes a dirt track (GR168558). Go straight on and descend the double track through a tight right hand bend, then along some fast ruts on a long left hand bend that leads into the trees. Once in the trees go straight on past a track on the right. The track then becomes a lane and goes through a number of bends before finishing at a junction (GR145567).
9. Turn right and follow the lane through a left hand bend to the next junction. Turn right and follow the lane past a farm on the right. Not long after turn right up a small lane leading to a farm, marked as a bridleway (GR142573), directly before a junction with a lane on the left signed to Ruthin. Follow this trail through the farm. Climb towards the trees and at the first small junction follow the lane to the left. At the next junction, by a house on the right, go straight on and climb the dirt track into the woods (GR155576).
10. Follow the main track straight ahead through the trees ignoring the tracks on either side. At a junction at the top edge of the woods, where the right hand track leads to a house, take the left hand track that leads to a forked junction shortly after. Go through the gate on the right to exit the woods. Climb the track, keeping the trees on the left, then go through a left hand hairpin at the stone buildings and climb back into the trees. After the trees bear right through a field, then follow the track past some houses to a junction with the A494 by the Clwyd Gate Hotel (GR163581).
11. Turn right and descend the main road a short way then take the track climbing away on the left, just after bollards. At the houses follow the track right, then climb left across the side of the hill. At the junction at the end of the gorse hedge follow the left hand fork up a short, steep grassy climb to a gate (GR170589). After the gate follow the singletrack into the trees. On the other side of the trees continue straight ahead through a few gates and fields, following the line of trees on the right. The grassy trail descends through another gate to a junction at the bottom. Turn left and climb the steep grassy track along the edge of the field to a gate at a farm (GR172597).
12. Once through the gate turn right and go through two more gates close to each other. Continue climbing, on a gentler incline, along the double track as it follows the drystone wall. The track bears right and flattens off before bearing left to a gate. Go through the gate then a short distance later bear right and descend the wide track. Bear left down the track and go through the gate about 1/3 of the way down. Continue descending ahead, bearing left around the hill, on the increasingly rocky trail to a gate and a junction at the bottom (GR179611). Turn left on the lane then follow it around a right hand bend to a junction at the end. Turn left and follow the lane to the lower Moel Famau car park on the right to complete the ride.
Gallery Page: The Edge Cycleworks 'Social' Nercwys Shop Ride - 20 Dec 2011, a ride provided by Flattyres-MTB.