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.

Photos

Afan Forest Mountain Bike Trail Centre, Wales
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

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Overall rating 
 
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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 
 
4.9
Grin Factor 
 
5.0
Trail Variety 
 
5.0
Skills Development 
 
4.5
Trail Quality  
 
5.0
Facilities 
 
5.0

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 
 
4.1
Grin Factor 
 
4.0
Trail Variety 
 
4.0
Skills Development 
 
3.0
Trail Quality  
 
5.0
Facilities 
 
5.0

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? 
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Grin Factor 
 
5.0
Trail Variety 
 
5.0
Skills Development 
 
5.0
Trail Quality  
 
5.0
Facilities 
 
5.0

Whites Level

Give it a go, you won't be disappointed! :)

User Review

Good Points
I was a bit nervous about tackling Whites Level, I was riding alone and had done Penhydd the day before and found that to be at about my level and after reading the description of Whites Level I thought it might be a challenge for me but went for it anyway (you have to push it now and again!) I'm so glad I did! The initial climb was quite long but honestly didn't feel it as the rocky single track keeps you occupied and interested unlike the long fire road slogs of some trails. It was seriously foggy so I missed the long distance views but it was still stunningly beautiful. When I reached the forest the fun really started, the trail was flowing and fast, I particularly enjoyed the Energy section! The downhill sections were technical enough to be enjoyable and not overly scary (I did have one oh sh** moment where I caught a rock at the wrong angle and was very close to the edge of a steep drop but that's all part of the fun!) One feature I enjoyed was the boardwalks, fun to ride and covered with wire to prevent unwanted slipping! Over all this is an amazing trail, great fun and physically/technically challenging enough to make you feel very accomplished at the end. I hired a Santa Cruz Bronson for this and what a bike!! The guys in the shop were helpful and really nice and the cafe supplied me with a gorgeous flapjack the size of my forearm!! (Some saved for the next day!) After riding Whites Level I felt like I'd achieved something and improved my technical skills and confidence. Give it a go!!
Bad Points
None, this was honestly the best trail I've ridden.
Would you recommend?
Yes
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
4.8
Grin Factor 
 
5.0
Trail Variety 
 
5.0
Skills Development 
 
5.0
Trail Quality  
 
4.0
Facilities 
 
5.0

Awesome

Wouldn't want to spend my spare time anywhere else.... kick the tyres, and light the fires..... full steam ahead!!

User Review

Good Points
Awesome area that you thought you'd only see in photographs or in a picture. A large variety of tracks to choose from, that can challenge all levels.
Bad Points
Very unpredictable weather, but it is South Wales.... so what else would you expect?
Would you recommend?
Yes
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
4.4
Grin Factor 
 
4.5
Trail Variety 
 
4.5
Skills Development 
 
4.0
Trail Quality  
 
4.0
Facilities 
 
5.0

Afan Forest 4 Dayer

Went to Afan four 4 days from Sat 19th Nov to 22nd.
What can i say it was excellent staying at Afan Lodge with secure bike lock up, bike washing facilities, car park, on the main path to both Afan Visitor Centre & Glyncorrwg Centre is fantastic.
Restaurant food great, bar and open fire to chill out and even do biker bowls in afternoon and rooms big and comfy.

Now onto the trails done the Penyhdd & The Wall on Saturday thought Penyhdd was much better than The Wall.
Sunday Whites Level which was my favourite what a superb downhill from Windy Point.
Rode the four days on my Genesis Latitude 20 Steel Hardtail also which climbs so well.
Monday Penhydd again and Blue Scar it was raining so hard that i could not see at times but had hot soup in the cafe before going out again in treacherous conditions to do Blue Scar which is a great flowing loop once the climb is out the way.
Tuesday done some of the Blade which was very rocky but fun and Whites Level again great combination and also a different climb up this time

I have to say how good the riding was but be prepared for 6km climbs at the beginning.
Stay at Afan Lodge you wont get anywhere better in the country for Mountain Bikers

User Review

Good Points
Excellent Facilities with Cafe, Bike Shop and plenty of cheap parking at Afan Visitor Centre.
Everyone very friendly
Great trails in Particular Whites Level & Penyhdd
Blue Scar also a great flowing blast
2 days of dry weather
Afan Lodge excellent - people so friendly and great access to both trail centres great open fire
Bad Points
Weather 2 days of rain
Lots of building work re the Wind Farm but all trails open
The Uphills but really they are worth the effort
Would you recommend?
Yes
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
3.2
Grin Factor 
 
3.0
Trail Variety 
 
3.0
Skills Development 
 
4.0
Trail Quality  
 
3.0
Facilities 
 
3.0

Not what it once was.

Used to be the place to go in South Wales. I guess bike technology has moved on, but the trails have stayed the same.
However it does have great variety - green, blue scar, reds and blacks and it is a great place for starting mtbing or intermediate riders. Hardcore riders are better looking elsewhere.
I would base myself from Afan visitor centre and def call into the bike park at Bryan Bettws

User Review

Good Points
Rode at Glyncorrag today. Trail centre head is good with a well stocked shop. Cafe menu wasn't as good as it was a few years back.
The climb is nice and techy and good fun.
Afan visitor centre is much improved however and Ben his team are running a great set up. His off piste day is highly recommended!
Good variety of trails and bike park at Bryan bettws is great.
Bad Points
Descents are too pedally, and don't have real flow to them. Not worth the effort of the climbs.
However some of the off piste is great if you know where to look
Would you recommend?
Yes
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
4.9
Grin Factor 
 
5.0
Trail Variety 
 
5.0
Skills Development 
 
5.0
Trail Quality  
 
5.0
Facilities 
 
4.0

Awesome Afan

Good food in cafes, bike wash and showering facilities ensure you comfortable drive home.

User Review

Good Points
Single track heaven. Excelent for all levels of rounded mountain biking. All your hard work on technical climbs is rewarded by challenging decents. Good for families with children that are developing there skills.
Bad Points
Can't take the mud home.
Would you recommend?
Yes
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Grin Factor 
 
5.0
Trail Variety 
 
5.0
Skills Development 
 
5.0
Trail Quality  
 
5.0
Facilities 
 
5.0

best in its class

new to the area try penhydd and blue scar to get the feel for this amazing area

User Review

Good Points
mountainbiking at its best. trails for all ability's with a natural feel and great facilities and bike shop
Bad Points
nothing
Would you recommend?
Yes
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Grin Factor 
 
5.0
Trail Variety 
 
5.0
Skills Development 
 
5.0
Trail Quality  
 
5.0
Facilities 
 
5.0

Afan Forest. Everything you want. Big smiles.

This place gets better everytime i visit. The trails are easy to follow but you still feel miles from anywhere.
If im looking for a weekend away riding MTB this place is my default trail centre.

User Review

Good Points
Afan is the best. I have ridden here many times and always long to return. I have camped at Glyncorrwg which is a fantastic base for your adventures. It has all you need. Showers and food! If you want something more luxurious try Afan Lodge just up the road. Wonderfull place to stay. Great rooms with the best most powerful showers ever! Afan lodge has luxury of a hotel but the feel and friendliness of a local pub. Food is ace and is located in the middle of all the trails.
Trails are ace and are ridable in all weathers. My fave is Blade and Whites Level. Lots of climbing but lots of downhill too. Sweet flowy trails and stunning views. I miss it already!
Bad Points
Long drive from Hertfordshire. Thats not their fault though!!
Would you recommend?
Yes
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Grin Factor 
 
5.0
Trail Variety 
 
5.0
Skills Development 
 
5.0
Trail Quality  
 
5.0
Facilities 
 
4.5

Afan

I'm a local so this is my regular riding location. There's plenty here to mix up to keep me entertained, even riding here 2 or 3 times in a week.
Newbies should look at Blue Scar and Penhydd. I like riding the Wall, Whites and Blade. If you've got time try W2 (Whites and the Wall together) or Skyline.

User Review

Good Points
Variety of trails
Car parking
Well stocked bike shops
Good food and drink
Campsite
Bad Points
Shower blocks could do with refurb
Would you recommend?
Yes
Was this review helpful to you? 
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