Trail Name: Llandegla Trail
Location: Llandegla Forest, North Wales
Distance (green): 5km – 3 miles
Distance (blue): 12km – 7.5 miles
Distance (red): 18km – 11 miles
Distance (black): 21km – 13 miles
Time: 1 hr – 4hrs, depending on route
Bike Trail Grade: – Something for everyone; green, blue red, black
Suitable For: Beginners to more experienced mountain bikers, black route is not too technical.
Surface Types: Forest paths with some more technical sections on the red and black routes.
Technical Features: Gentle climbs and descents. Expect boardwalks, medium rocks, medium steps, drop-offs, cambers.
Suggested Fitness Level: Entry level of fitness and stamina to medium to enjoy the more challenging routes.
The Llandegla mountain bike trail is a purpose built track in the Coed Llandegla Forest, North Wales. It is a wonderful trail and is one of the few that can be genuinely described as having something for everyone.
The trail has four routes, green for families, blue for beginners, red for the more experienced and black for the adventurous. Let’s start with the green route as this is a perfect example of Llandegla having something for everyone. This part of the forest is a gentle path, almost flat, and is a wonderful introduction to mountain biking for our younger MTB fans. It is mainly separate from the core route which serves two purposes. First, the children (and parents) can ride in a relaxed environment without the worry that some big hairy arsed rider is about to come screaming round the corner on his mountain bike. Second, that aforementioned hairy covered rider and his colleagues, can ride through the trail on their mountain bikes without fear of crashing into a child and putting them off mountain biking for good.
The core trail starts off on the blue route, with the red and then the black looping off it before coming back onto it further round. See the link above to download a PDF of the trail. The first 20 mins or so are uphill. Lets get that out in the open before we proceed. However, unless you’re new to mountain biking, this is a good warm up that will get the heart and lungs pumping and loosen up the legs. In fact, its probably the best start to any route in this area – nowhere near as painful as the Marin trail, but we’ll leave that review for another day!
Llandegla itself is a forest and as such, the trail cuts through the heart of it along purpose built mountain bike tracks. The trails are clearly marked with the various graded routes, just like when skiing. Each of the trails are kept within the forest, and with no main roads to cross, Llandegla is a great place to just get on with it and not worry about what’s coming in the opposite direction, as there isn’t anything!
By the time you’ve got to the top of this gentle climb, you’ll flatten out onto the top of the forest area and the trees open up to present a beautiful view of the surrounding North Wales countryside. Quick catch of breath before a quick decent to a fire path where you have the opportunity to pause and gather the group you started cycling with, unless you’re with me and its at this point I usually apologise for being too slow.
There is another reason to pause at this point. The next section is a lovely quick-ish downhill. However, make a group decision before you start it as the red & black route branches off to the left half-way down this downhill, so if you miss it, you’ll have to climb back to the turn-off.
The red and black trail seems to merge into one and there’s not much between them, with regard to difficulty. If you regularly ride red routes and have not done a black trail before, fear not this black section and just go for it. Yes, take it easy but you should be fine. This section tends to be muddier, slower and a bit more technical. Having said that, its not too difficult. There are rocks, a few drop-offs and one or two steps.
I should have said that if you do not want to take the red or black route, simply stay to the right on the downhill and continue back round on the blue route. Most of us take around one hour to complete the blue section and don’t be surprised if you get to the end of the blue route and find yourself wanting to do it again, I usually do!
Once you’ve done all this mountain biking stuff, there is a Cafe that boasts the best breakfasts in Wales, and they’re right!
Directions to Llandegla
Llandegla is located 7 miles from Wrexham and 14 miles from Chester. It is situated just off the Ruthin Road, A525, and is easily accessible from from both the M6 and the M56. The Coed Llandegla Forest is clearly sign-posted so there’s no excuse for missing the entrance.
The car park costs just a few quid for a full-day’s parking and there is plenty of space. The site is open 7 days a week, and bike hire is available for those wanting to see what all this mountain bike stuff is about.