Cwmcarn Mountain Bike Centre, Wales

Cwmcarn Mountain Bike Centre, Wales

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Location

Country
County/State
Trail, Centre or Base
Address
Cwmcarn Forest Drive, Newport, South Wales.
Directions
From juction 28 of the M4, just follow the A467 heading north. You should see a sign for Cwmcarn Forest Drive. By Train You can catch a train from Cardiff platform zero to Crosskeys, this is just around the corner from Cwmcarn, about 7-8 minutes on your bike.
Sat Nav Co-ordinates
NP11 7FA
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Cwmcarn mountain bike centre is in Newport, South Wales.

There are four main trails, the Twrch Red XC, the Cafall Red XC the Y Mynydd Downhill Track and another Downhill track called Pedalhounds.

Cwmcarn also has a pumptrack.

The Twrch Trail (XC) 

  • The Twrch Trail is 18km long with 300m of climbing and takes about 1-2 hours to nail. It has one of the most technical and scenic climbs which is aptly rewarded with the most flowing, smooth single track down. The ups are rooty and have numerous obstacles. The descent is fast.

Cafall XC

  • The Cafall Red trail is 12.48km long. Climbing up to altitudes over 400 metres the new XC trail is called 'Cafall' after King Arthurs lead hunting hound that chased the wild boar 'Twrch'. It had tough climbs and tight hand built singletrack sections combined with some fantastic technical descents it’s definitely for those with more experience. However, you will be rewarded with some amazing riding and views of the surrounding area on this trail that will take you out into some of the more remote areas of Cwmcarn Forest Park. Make sure you are self-sufficient and expect weather changes on this technical (Red grade) trail.

The Y Mynydd DH Track

  • The Y Mynydd DH Track is built for those getting into downhill as well as advanced riders. It achieves this by having a course that splits into two sections (a red and a black). The black has a length of 1750 metres and a drop of 250 metres and the red a length of 1900 metres and drop of 250 metres. Both features jumps, drops, kickers, berms, roots and rock slab drops. The course was built by Phil Saxena from Architrail who are well renowned for having built a number of the leading UCI world champs courses.

Pedalhounds DH Track 

  • A second downhill track (1.4km) is on the north-eastern slopes of Cwmcarn Forest Drive through the Ebbw Forest. Cwmcarn’s latest Downhill Track follows the line of the old club built trail down a steep side valley in the forest. Access is via the Cafall XC trail or you can use the onsite uplift service. This trail starts off with a handmade rooty section through the trees and soon picks up speed as it flows in and out of the wooded sections. There are plenty of drops and technical lines with lots of roots, rock and stumps so keep an eye out for them and make sure you know what’s on the other side before ‘sending’ any of the features. The trail finishes off with a steep and fast jumps section before arriving back at the uplift pick up point. Body armour and full face helmets are strongly advised for this extreme graded Downhill trail.

Pump Track

  • Small pump track targeted at kids. 

Clubs and Groups

Other Stuff

  • Uplift bookings available from CWMDOWN. In order for you to access both trails in the same day, the uplift on the Y Mynydd track runs in the morning and then the Pedalhounds track for the afternoon.
  • The trails here are open all year is all weather and free to ride. NB the uplift costs of course and needs to be booked in advance so check out the website. 

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  • If you have ridden any of these mountain bike trails at Cwmcarn then why not post a picture, video or favourite the trail or even write a short review and share your experiences with us.
  • Also, why not check out the iBikeRide Index of the Top UK Trails to see where Cwmcarn is ranked.

Resources

GPS Routes

January 09, 2016
60 visits

Photos

top of Cwmcarn twrch airstream 1&2 descent.
Cwmcarn - twrch not long after airstream descent
Cwmcarn Car park

Location

Swap Start/End

User reviews

17 reviews

 
(4)
 
(11)
 
(2)
2 stars
 
(0)
1 star
 
(0)
Overall rating 
 
4.17
 
4.42  (17)
 
3.92  (17)
 
4.36  (17)
 
4.33  (17)
 
3.59  (17)
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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 
 
3.77
Grin Factor 
 
3.50
Trail Variety 
 
4.00
Skills Development 
 
3.50
Trail Quality  
 
4.00
Facilities 
 
4.00

never ending ascent!

It's a great trail and has some cracking views down to the coast! As I am one of the weekend warriors, I tend to bypass the climb (which is quite technical in places) and simply ride up the road to the top car park and then session the top a couple of times before descending again. I wouldn't recommend for beginners as the level of technical features are fairly daunting, but as you progress your skills can be taken at greater speed.
My skill level is intermediate: I can ride half of the reds at BPW, but I have no problems with this trail other than my climbing fitness.

User Review

Good Points
Good facilities and well waymarked trails. Challenging trails. Great views. Opportunities for sessioning trails (easy to loop the short section at the top of the descent)
Bad Points
The climb seems never ending for the slightly less fit! When I do the Twrch I ride up the road to get to the top and then enjoy the roller coaster down.
Would you recommend?
Yes
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
4.43
Grin Factor 
 
4.50
Trail Variety 
 
3.50
Skills Development 
 
4.50
Trail Quality  
 
5.00
Facilities 
 
5.00

Twrch

Superb trails

User Review

Good Points
Local trails to me. The original and the best in the area.
Twrch and cafall have superb climbs for fitness and skills development (but leave the E bikes at home - in fact don't buy one).
The descents are superb and give loads of variety. Add the Ymynydd DH section at the end for a bit of variety and different skill base.
Cafall and Twrch together make for a great few hours of fun.
Bad Points
Occasional walkers on the trails.

A few more trails would make the area superb.
Would you recommend?
Yes
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
4.33
Grin Factor 
 
4.50
Trail Variety 
 
3.50
Skills Development 
 
5.00
Trail Quality  
 
4.50
Facilities 
 
4.00

Cwmcarn

This is my local trail and still puts a smile on my face every time I decend friendly local riders some brethren taking views from the top

User Review

Good Points
Tracks are challenging fast flowing both trails have a lot of climbing but then you have the fun of coming back down rideable in all weather some brilliant views. Good amount of parking.shop and cafe on site shop staff very helpfull
Bad Points
Could do with some more trails but is still grate place to ride
Would you recommend?
Yes
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
3.42
Grin Factor 
 
4.00
Trail Variety 
 
3.00
Skills Development 
 
3.00
Trail Quality  
 
4.00
Facilities 
 
3.00

Great trails

Been riding here for years and the trails are great for an intermediate or advanced riders
Downhills are a blast with good elevation drop.
Pity the facilities don't match up, though it is great there is now a shop on site

User Review

Good Points
Great trails
Good uplift
Really fun descents
Bad Points
Facilities arent a patch on most trails centres
Not a huge variety of trails - not really a place for beginners
Would you recommend?
Yes
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
4.17
Grin Factor 
 
5.00
Trail Variety 
 
3.00
Skills Development 
 
5.00
Trail Quality  
 
4.00
Facilities 
 
3.50

Love Cwmcarn

My go to trail.

User Review

Good Points
excellent climbs, thrilling descents. Well built jumps. Decent facilities. Camping options. Onsite shop/cafe. Fair parking. Stunning views.
Bad Points
Limited trail options.
Would you recommend?
Yes
Was this review helpful to you? 
(Updated: August 09, 2016)
Overall rating 
 
5.00
Grin Factor 
 
5.00
Trail Variety 
 
5.00
Skills Development 
 
5.00
Trail Quality  
 
5.00
Facilities 
 
5.00

My local trails

Well worth a visit if you're not from the area. You'll have a good day here and I'll bet you'd be back. 

User Review

Good Points
I'm a local Risca lad so know the surrounding areas well. Cwmcarn is a place I find myself most of the time to practice for Enduro. The climbs here can be quite challenging and I've been caught out by bits myself. You have to scan ahead and also near to your wheels as things creep up on you when you don't expect it. For example you've just climbed a technical rocky and rooty climb where you need to attack it, then it'll go in to a long progressive climb and as you come around the corner - immediately there will be a feature that you simply have to attack. I've seen many a rider have to dismount as what's around the corner has caught them out.

The corners can be very challenging and are just within the turning circle for the bike so you find yourself going out wider to come in on the corner. What I like it that the terrain is a mixture of loose rock, roots, technical climbs with progressive climbs to burn your legs out with tight corners all to keep you thinking. The descents are as technical. The Rocky valley and all through here is very fast and you can use the bigger rocks to help you jump sections and get a great line through it. The people that come riding here are always friendly. And I've had many a rider ask if they can tag along. A good place to come to practice and develop more advanced skills or if you are a novice also you'd soon find yourself getting very fit and learning a good skill on bikes if you came here often.
Bad Points
A lot of wood felling up towards Twmbarlum

A bit more direction of UP and DOWN on the trails as I've past riders new to the area riding down the up
Or riding up the down

But all in all I am glad this place is on my doorstep
Would you recommend?
Yes
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
4.12
Grin Factor 
 
4.00
Trail Variety 
 
4.00
Skills Development 
 
4.50
Trail Quality  
 
4.00
Facilities 
 
4.00

Fun all year round

I have been to Cwmcarn a few times now, and have always had a great time. the first time i went was when I was new to riding and it was a real challenge, but then going back a year later and riding the same trails i had an absolute blast and enjoyed every minute.

The climbs can be tricky in places but overall are not too bad and the whole place leaves you with a massive grin on your face.

User Review

Good Points
Plenty of Parking,
Great cafe
Showers
Easy to get there
You can ride here all year round. i have been in sun, rain and snow. (not all together)
Bad Points
Every time i ride the black i manage to get a flat.
Would you recommend?
Yes
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
4.27
Grin Factor 
 
4.50
Trail Variety 
 
3.50
Skills Development 
 
5.00
Trail Quality  
 
4.50
Facilities 
 
3.50

Cut my teeth

Love it

User Review

Good Points
Cut my teeth on these trails on my hard tail and have gained skills ,confidence, and fitness from cafall anD twyrch .not yet tried pedalhounds and mynedd dh as looking to upgrade to full suspension. . Always looking for new riders. Love this place.
Would you recommend?
Yes
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
4.25
Grin Factor 
 
4.50
Trail Variety 
 
3.50
Skills Development 
 
4.50
Trail Quality  
 
5.00
Facilities 
 
3.50

Cwmcarn

Excellent trail centre with 2 awesome XC routes and 2 killer DH tracks. Decent uplift if you need it, push up is a long slog for both sides if you choose it. Both XC climbs are tough, but the descents are worth it. Rode the Cafell trail for the first time this weekend and it was super quick, really good lower section and had a good flow.
Twrch is a classic, hard on the ups but again super quick on the downs.
Only improvements would be more variety in trails or alternative routes from the top, but that's it. Good bike shop on site, decent café, good set up all round.
Both XC loops utterly doable on a hard tail, the DH tracks are beasts, although an AM bike should handle it ok.
I prefer the routes to those over at BPW, as they've got more variety and are longer, these aren't motorway wide blue cruisers, they both deserve their red rating and there's plenty of steep to deal with, and some good technical sections to clear.

User Review

Good Points
Excellent DH tracks
Excellent XC routes
Good bike shop onsite
Good cafe
Bad Points
Could do with more trails / possible routes from trail head
Lots of felling on atm, resulting in diversion.

Would you recommend?
Yes
Was this review helpful to you? 
(Updated: June 06, 2015)
Overall rating 
 
3.85
Grin Factor 
 
4.00
Trail Variety 
 
3.50
Skills Development 
 
4.00
Trail Quality  
 
3.50
Facilities 
 
4.50

fast and fun

i rode The Twrch Trail at the end of a week long visit to wales so was pretty shattered but i still enjoyed it. i found the 1st section a bit of a slog but i putrt that down to the tiredness. when i visited there was a huge diversion which seemed to take away roughly half the trail. we were diverted from marker 4 and rejoined at marker 11 so was unable to visit the freeride park. was quite frustrating as the diversion was along a road and just kept climbing. rather dull!
once rejoining the trails at marker 11 the descents were fun and fast, the trails are coated in rocks so it makes for a very shaky ride but the speed that can be carried is breathtaking! there was not anything to challenging on the areas of cwncarn we rode but i as half the trail was shut i couldnt comment on the whole loop. all in all a good ride and will come back when there are no diversions

User Review

Good Points
fast descents
nice facilities
Bad Points
alot of rocks
massive diversion (when i visited)
Would you recommend?
Yes
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