Afan Forest Mountain Bike Trail Centre, Wales

Afan Forest Mountain Bike Trail Centre, Wales

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Location

Contact Number
Country
County/State
Trail, Centre or Base
Address
SA13 3HG
Directions
Afan Forest Park Visitors Centre (as per map) Situated on the A4107 - follow the road from the M4, Junction 40 for about 6 miles. Look out for the signs for Afan Forest Park Visitor Centre. Afan Forest Park Visitor Centre, Cynonville, Port Talbot, West Glamorgan, SA13 3HG.
Glyncorrwg Ponds Mountain Bike Centre is just a bit further on 1 Ynyscorrwg Park, Glyncorrwg, Port Talbot, SA13 3EA, Tel: 01639 851900
Afan Bike Park is situated above the village of Tonmawr, at the Bryn Bettws Lodge MTB Centre, there is parking at the centre car park. Post code: SA12 9SP
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The Afan Forest Mountain Bike Centre can be found in South Wales. Afan is made up three bases. The first is Afan Forest Visitors centre itself where the Y Wall, The Penhydd, Blue Scar and the Rookie start from. The second is the Glyncorrwg Ponds mountain bike trail centre a little down the road where The White's Level, Blade and Skyline start from. The third is new and is the Afan Bike Park with it's numerous short downhill progressive runs. Together these three bases offer mountain bike riders trails and lines for all abilities.

In total there are eight main trails covering one black, four reds, another blue with red sections, one green and a bike park. 

The all new Blue Scar and Penhydd re-opened on 30th November 2013. The new red graded Blade trail launched on February 14th 2014.

 

The Rookie (Green)

  • The Rookie is a family friendly 5.5km green trail with an optional blue 2.4km extension.

Blue Scar (Blue section) & Penhydd (Red Section) 

  • The Penhydd mountain bike trail re-opened in November 2013. Accompanying it was a new 8km Blue section called Blue Scar and 6km Red section (called Penhydd) leaving and returning to the Afan Visitor Centre.

The White's Level (Red with Black option)

  • The White's Level Red (with black option) is 15km long and has more than most trails all in one. A beautiful route up takes you to a black rocky section (you can take an alternative route) that has rocks, technical corners and is steep, steep, steep. Later in the ride there is a cheeky northshore section as well as some fun rock drops (chicken run options exist too).
  • Added in 2013 was a red grade descent trail Tyn y Pant situated 70 metres up the fire road from the old start (top) of ‘The Darkside’ that takes you swooping 1,700 metres down to the valley floor. Hence two there are choices of descents now, Darkside & Tyn y Pant.

The Skyline (Red)

  • The Skyline is 46km long and-has steep technical up's and down's, great scenery and best you are fit for this one. The first up-is shared with the White's where it then parts off. The descent is legendary. 
  • The Eastern section of the Skyline trail will be closed to riders until 2016/17 during the development of Pen y Cymoedd wind farm. Please follow the yellow diversion signs from post 32.  

The Y Wal Trail (Red)

  • The Y Wal trail is a swooping 24km mainly singletrack loop with epic views and breathtaking descents to keep your heart pumping all the way round. Watch out for The Graveyard section and hang on for the searingly fast final descent. Tough climb followed by fast descents. Jumps, rock slabs, skinnies, shore and rollers. There is also an extra section of trail that is a fun option on 373 of the Y-Wal.
  • There is now a new section of trail on Y Wal that will work as a loop (and can therefore be ridden as much as you want) and offers riders the opportunity to have a bit of a downhill singletrack adrenaline buzz. This new section can be accessed after the Graveyard section and before the Final Descent Zigzag.

Blade Trail - (Red)

  • The Blade Trail is a 24km red graded trail leaving and returning to the Glyncorrwg Visitors Centre. It is big on singletrack combined with ‘classics’ like ‘Peregrine Ridge’ and ‘Jetlag’. It shares the same sheep track climb out of Glyncorrwg with the ‘White’s Level’ trail but then the Blade takes you out to higher and more remote areas. There are tough technical climbs and fast flowing descents. Sections of note are the  ‘Groovy Gully’ and ‘The Rock’ & ‘Ghost Train’ sections that will test your climbing and descending skills. There is also the option to add in the 23km top loop of the classic ‘Skyline’ trail with some amazing views to extend your ride. 

W2 (Black)

  • W2 is the latest trail loop to be created at Afan, linking the Y Wal and White's Level trails with a high level linking route to make  44km epic. It can be started from either Afan Forest Park or Glyncorrwg visitor centres too, with the other centre providing a welcome halfway watering hole en route.

Afan Bike Park

  • Jumps, drops, berms, skinnies the lot and just built by Rowan Sorrell and the Back on Track team. 
  • The Bike Park is located near Bryn Bettws Lodge, Gyfylchi and can be accessed from Y Wal trail. The adult bike park has a range of different Orange dot graded runs each with different types of berms and jumps.
  • Afan Bike Park is situated above the village of Tonmawr, at the Bryn Bettws Lodge MTB Centre, there is parking at the centre car park. Post code: SA12 9SP

Clubs and Groups

Trail Conditions

Other Stuff

  • There is now a shuttle bus and trailer service to get you to Afan Bike Park, Afan Visitors Centre and Glyncorrwg Ponds. Full details can be found here.
  • Afan Forest MTB centre is just near Neath just off from Port Talbot in South Wales and comes under the regional Cognation organisation umbrella. 
  • In 2015 Afan took 3rd place in the iBikeRide Welsh Trail of the Year awards as well as 3rd in the XC Trail of the Year awards. 
  • In 2014 t took 3rd place in the iBikeRide UK Trail of the Year awards for 20142nd place for Welsh Trail of the Year and 2nd place for XC/ Trail Centre Trail of the Year.

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  • If you have already or do get to ride these mountain bike trails at Afan Forest then why not share your experiences with us and post a pic, vid, favourite the trail or write a short review.

Resources

Photos

image.jpg
Afans W2 Trail - Bit off more than I could chew that day
Blade (credit http://mbtom.co.uk)
Glyncorrwg Ponds & Mountain Bike Centre
Whites Level in the snow

Routes,GPS & Docs

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User reviews

58 reviews

 
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Overall rating 
 
4.61
 
4.76  (58)
 
4.57  (58)
 
4.50  (57)
 
4.62  (58)
 
4.61  (58)
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Ratings (the higher the better)
Grin Factor
Level of fun had, or to be had
Trail Variety
Variety of specific trail or overall trail centre. Mix of obstacles, berms, jumps, drops, shore etc.
Skills Development
Did it develop or push your skills and leave you with more to come back and learn
Trail Quality
Are the trails well built /maintained using sustainable techniques?
Facilities
From cafe post ride grub to bike wash. Did it meet your expectations?
User Review
Comments
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Overall rating 
 
4.85
Grin Factor 
 
5.00
Trail Variety 
 
5.00
Skills Development 
 
5.00
Trail Quality  
 
4.50
Facilities 
 
4.50

Something for everyone

Awesome. Get out there and ride.

User Review

Good Points
There is something for everyone at Afan. Trails for the kids and expert riders. There is a also a skills park for the little ones and one on the top of the wall for the older folks. You can spend an a couple of hour out, a day or a weekend. The area is beautiful with amazing views whilst on the trails.
I started out my Mtb adventures at Afan and have improved so much by riding the different trails.
There are two centre both with showers and a cafe for food. Staff are fab. There is also a bike shop and they are extremely friendly and helpful.
When ever I leave Afan after a days riding I am smiling. It's like therapy.
Also doesn't cost an arm and leg to ride there
Would you recommend?
Yes
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
4.06
Grin Factor 
 
5.00
Trail Variety 
 
4.00
Skills Development 
 
3.00
Trail Quality  
 
4.00
Facilities 
 
4.50

My first proper MTB trail ride was y wal, years ago. The final decent still makes me grin everytime I ride it.

User Review

Good Points
Good variety of trails and good facilities. Whilst not the steepest descents around (except the newish black off y Wal, that'll make you wet your pants), the speed you can keep up is unreal.
Bad Points
Damn Welsh weather.
Would you recommend?
Yes
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
4.83
Grin Factor 
 
5.00
Trail Variety 
 
4.50
Skills Development 
 
5.00
Trail Quality  
 
5.00
Facilities 
 
4.50

Great riding.

Get out and ride there.

User Review

Good Points
A variety of trails catering from kids first ride to one of the best final descents in Wales.
A kids skills park and a big kids skills park and a load of wilder riding nearby.
Bad Points
Skyline cycles has closed.
Would you recommend?
Yes
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
4.68
Grin Factor 
 
5.00
Trail Variety 
 
4.50
Skills Development 
 
4.50
Trail Quality  
 
4.50
Facilities 
 
5.00

Very rewarding trails

Always look forward to going back.
Trails are so varied with something to suit everyone. Stunning valley and bike shop, cafe, showers and toilet. £1 car park. I really cannot think of a proper negative. Afan has become a stern favourite. (Y wâl is the Favourite)
Roind the corner from Glyncorrwg so plenty of choices.

User Review

Good Points
Recent work on reducing puddles
Shrubs have been cut back.
Exceptionally designed trails that really reward those that want to push hard. (Y wâl)
Equally decent easy trails with great views.
Showers. Toilet. Bike shop. Cafe. Parking for only £1 all day.
Rideable in all weather.
Stunning views
Free bike wash

Bad Points
Its 4.5 hours away from me.
Some small puddles still remain after heavy downpours.
Would you recommend?
Yes
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
3.96
Grin Factor 
 
4.00
Trail Variety 
 
4.00
Skills Development 
 
3.00
Trail Quality  
 
5.00
Facilities 
 
4.00

Great centre good mix of trails for all abilities, Good views and more than one campsite dotted abou

Great trail centre good mix of trails to suit all

User Review

Good Points
Variety of trails, Great views,Campsites
Bad Points
None I can think of
Would you recommend?
Yes
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
4.89
Grin Factor 
 
5.00
Trail Variety 
 
5.00
Skills Development 
 
4.50
Trail Quality  
 
5.00
Facilities 
 
5.00

Afan trail center

It’s a must go place

User Review

Good Points
Love this place, ride it all the time and always find something different every time I go there
Bad Points
Trail markers are not as visible as I’d like
Would you recommend?
Yes
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
4.21
Grin Factor 
 
5.00
Trail Variety 
 
3.50
Skills Development 
 
4.00
Trail Quality  
 
4.50
Facilities 
 
4.00

Love this place, so much to be had even if you only have 30 minutes to fit blue scar it's worth it.

User Review

Good Points
Lots of good swooping sections with trails for a variety of skull levels. Great in all weather's, so much fun in the rain.
Bad Points
Preferred it when there were more trees, the trails are still great
Would you recommend?
Yes
Was this review helpful to you? 
(Updated: October 13, 2017)
Overall rating 
 
4.83
Grin Factor 
 
5.00
Trail Variety 
 
5.00
Skills Development 
 
4.50
Trail Quality  
 
5.00
Facilities 
 
4.50

Afan Forest 4 day visit Sept 29 to Oct 2nd 2017

Well my 2nd stay this year at Afan Forest and the excellent Afan Lodge with a 3 night stay and 4 days of Mountain Biking
Raven route at Brechfa on the Friday which i will put up a review separately not very impressed.
Saturday W2 - The Wall & Whites Level combined - 32 miles in total from Afan Lodge with 1000 metres of climbing excellent apart from the rain.
Sunday Penyhdd & Blue Scar both great trails 16 miles in total back to Afan Lodge - alot of Fireroad on Penyhdd but the singletrack on this route is great. Blue Scar great short bermy fast trail good fun.
Monday Whites Level and if you know the area i added a good chunk of the top part of the Blade route to make 24 miles in total back to Lodge.
Great long weekend and all completed on my new Scott 720 Carbon Hardtail although my arms ached a bit up front re the rocks and 100mm of travel.

Go you wont regret it!!

User Review

Good Points
Afan Lodge - Brill is all i can say, comfy rooms, secure bike store, bike wash and restaurant has great food including the brekkie
Right on the doorstep for all trails and plenty of parking

Great all weather trials and loads to choose from or combine such as Whites Level and some of the Blade
Has to be the best trail centre in the South if not Wales & England for variety of trails & Afan lodge to stay at.
Easy to get to off the M4 only 8-9 miles from there.
Long downhills with great variety
Very good singletrack
Bad Points
Bloody weather had 2 and half days of complete rain and 1 and half dry days
Cafe was shut at Glyncorrwg trail centre
Would you recommend?
Yes
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
4.89
Grin Factor 
 
5.00
Trail Variety 
 
5.00
Skills Development 
 
4.50
Trail Quality  
 
5.00
Facilities 
 
5.00

Best trail centre in South Wales

Been going here for over 5years and still love going, little bit for everyone and has the millage to tire even the fittest. Whites climb is the hardest I've ridden, and happy life is very steep rocky decent always leaves me happy and challenged lots of green, blue, and red trails a few blacks are worth the hike.. it's not dh but a briliant area for all round trail/enduro riders and a must visit
y wall is properly good fun for everyone and would recommend starting on there if the grading is ok for you

User Review

Good Points
3 starting points around forest with various facility's and accommodation,
Varied trails to please all skill levels,
Well signed,
Well maintained,
Wether resistant trails are rideable all year round..
4x track is the best in the country
Bad Points
The skills area could be improved to help beginners as only basic bridges and drops in the afan argoed visitor centre.
Bike park in Bryn bettws again could be a little more progressive with drops and gaps for the younger..
4x track does need maintenance
Would you recommend?
Yes
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
4.08
Grin Factor 
 
4.00
Trail Variety 
 
4.00
Skills Development 
 
3.00
Trail Quality  
 
5.00
Facilities 
 
5.00

Penhydd

A good trail but not the best Afan has to offer.

User Review

Good Points
A good introduction to the trails at Afan, the climb is pretty tough straight out of the car park but the views are stunning and the downhill sections are your reward! Definitely pushed me physically and felt great afterwards.
Bad Points
Long drawn out fireroad climbing which personably I find tiring. Not quite as flowing as other trails but still worth doing.
Would you recommend?
Yes
Was this review helpful to you? 
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