Penmachno Mountain Bike Trails

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Trails

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Trail Grades
Facilities
Trail Distance(s)

Location

Country
County/State
Trail, Centre or Base
Address
LL24 0YP
Directions
To get to the trails head along the A5 and take the B4406 to Penmachno. Drive through the village and carry on for about 1km. The trailhead is up the forest track on the right.
Map Co-ordinates
SH 786 498
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The Penmachno Mountain Bike Trails are in North Wales in the Snowdonia National Park.

Just outside the town of Betws-y-Coed, they are round the corner from their sister trail The Marin

Basically, the Penmachno is two red graded MTB loops which can be ridden separately or can be joined up and ridden together to form one big epic ride. The Dolen Machno loop (Loop1) is 19k and the Dolen Eryri loop (loop 2) is 11k. 

Two new sections of red singletrack opened on October 1st, 2014.

Dolen Machno (Loop 1)

  • The Dolen Machno loop is 19km long and is red graded. The climbs are tough and the descents reward you with speed and technicalsingle-track

  • In October 2014 two new sections opened on loop 1. They replace existing sections of fire road. The first links Craig Wen (1.8) with Hafod Fraith (1.9), creating 3km of single track with an average gradient of -6%. The second section parallels the fire road section to Allt Pen y Bont (1.10), is 1km and -2% and has a couple of rock steps and two berms to finish with. 

Dolen Eryri (Loop 2) 

  • The Dolen Eryri loop is 11km long and also graded red. This is more flowing terrain in nature with boardwalk flowing single-track and technical stone trail.

Penmachno Trail (Loop 1 & Loop 2)

  • The Penmachno is simply combining the two above loops together to form an epic 30 km ride.
  • If you are not sure if you want to do both loops as one epic then start with Loop 1 (Dolen Machno) as Loop 2 (Dolen Eryri) joins at the mid point and you can decide then.

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  • If you have ridden the mountain bike trails at Penmachno then please share your experiences with the community and post a review, some pics and/or vids. 
  • Also, why not check out the iBikeRide Index of the Top UK Trails to see where Penmachno is ranked. You might be surprised!

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Penmachno Mountain Bike Trails

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User reviews

18 reviews

 
(2)
 
(11)
 
(3)
 
(2)
1 star
 
(0)
Overall rating 
 
3.5
Grin Factor 
 
4.0  (18)
Trail Variety 
 
3.8  (18)
Skills Development 
 
3.5  (18)
Trail Quality  
 
3.8  (18)
Facilities 
 
1.4  (14)
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Ratings
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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Penmachno red
Overall rating 
 
3.8
Grin Factor 
 
4.0
Trail Variety 
 
4.5
Skills Development 
 
4.5
Trail Quality  
 
3.5
Facilities 
 
1.0
got to say, some very mixed reviews when riding here. heard some people say amazing and some say awful. decided to ride and make my own mind up

set off fairly early so we were the only ones out there at first, was such a peaceful place other than the air force practicing overhead! stopped a few times on the climbs to watch (any excuse for a rest) first couple of sections of single track didnt seem to flow that well so started off thinking it will be a long awful ride. carried on regardless and then got to the ffastis un, dau and tri sections. wow. flew down them like a man possessed!! absolutely brilliant. that put a smile on ,y face for the rest of the day.

carried on to loop 2 and even though there was a long bit of fire road and a forestry diversion down some more fire road i enjoyed that. loop 2 felt a bit more wild. some trails were so overgrown had to go through at walking pace! reported a section of damaged boardwalk also. really enjoyed it still, even the section with all the massive rocks that went for ages. good technical section that flowed really well.

back onto loop 1 and the last few sections were awesome. carried so much speed and also needed to be on my toes for some bits as well. got to the car park absolutely buzzing and didnt feel like i had just rode 30km.

well worth a ride and will certainly come back again

User Review

Good Points
technical sections
fast sections
very natural feel
amazing views
Bad Points
needs a little tlc in places (broken boardwalk and overgrown on loop 2)
some facilities
Would you recommend?
Yes
B
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 1 0
Penmachno - needs some love - who's in?
Overall rating 
 
3.8
Grin Factor 
 
3.5
Trail Variety 
 
3.5
Skills Development 
 
4.5
Trail Quality  
 
3.5
I've been riding Penmachno since it first opened and even I have to admit that it's a bit of a Marmite trail - even during one ride. I can be swearing profusely at some of the climbs but back to grinning idiot status on the next down. However, there is some truth in the comments about it being a bit overgrown and in need of some love. Thing is, as I'm given to understand, two people give their time on a regular basis to keep it up to scratch. How about the rest of us grabbing the secateurs/shovel/mattock and helping out? Seems we're all happy to go there and ride the place and then moan about it's shortcomings afterwards, maybe we should have a maintenance weekend and help those guys out. What do you reckon?

User Review

Good Points
Feels like a big day out even if you only do the first loop. Great views and sense of wilderness. Variety of trails top notch.
Bad Points
Some trails are a bit tired and there are some nasty wheel-gobbling holes developing after some of the drop-offs. Over grown in places.
Would you recommend?
Yes
JH
Report this review Comments (1) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0
Penmachno ride
(Updated: September 25, 2017)
Overall rating 
 
2.4
Grin Factor 
 
2.0
Trail Variety 
 
3.0
Skills Development 
 
3.5
Trail Quality  
 
1.0
Rode this on Monday 18th September 2017 and the Marin the day before.

I understand this is a volunteer led trail but i have never ridden a whole trail that has been so overgrown?
This reminded me of the old bridleways i use to ride 15 years ago before Trail centres trying different routes and getting torn apart by overhanging growth.

Its a shame as could be a decent route.
2nd problem no drainage and you are talking deep deep puddles that submerge your feet not good.
I thought the first 7 miles or so of the 1st and 2nd loop were good and nice flowing but after that around the 8 mile mark i think on the 2nd loop (i was doing the whole ride not just the 1st loop) it was waist of time until you get to the last 2 miles of the 2nd loop.

Even the beginning of the 2nd loop was flooded (from the finish point of the 1st loop) and overgrown again.
Sorry cannot recommend this route which is a shame.
I should of gone to Coed y Brenin as havent been for 10 years or more but wanted to try Penmachno.
Marin trail better but to much fire-road for the amount of single-track you get

User Review

Good Points
Good views
Lots of single-track
Out there feel
Some nice descents
Bad Points
Overgrown for about 3 -4 miles and made the narrow single-track not rideable
Large deep puddles everywhere even on 1st loop so another problem that stopped any flow
Loop 2 is waste of time apart from the first 2 miles don't bother.
Would you recommend?
No
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Singletrack+++
(Updated: July 16, 2017)
Overall rating 
 
3.9
Grin Factor 
 
4.5
Trail Variety 
 
4.0
Skills Development 
 
4.0
Trail Quality  
 
4.0
Facilities 
 
2.0
A true single track trail centre - man madeness but with a feel of naturalness

Cycled the first part of loop 1 then all off loop 2 then back via road to the car park(very fast decent on road was great too)

User Review

Good Points
Had the whole place to myself.
Evidence of recent maintenance- strimming of trails.
Community run/looked after - get your donations in.
Wildness feel.
Great views
Bad Points
Bit overgrown near the end of loop 2.
Car parking option for just loop 2 might mean it gets ridden more.
Have to go back and complete loop 1 - ran out of daylight.
Would you recommend?
Yes
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0
Awesome trail, back to top nature
Overall rating 
 
4.6
Grin Factor 
 
4.0
Trail Variety 
 
5.0
Skills Development 
 
4.5
Trail Quality  
 
5.0
You'd be daft not to go. This place has everything.

User Review

Good Points
This course is awesome. It has everything. Amazing single track, technical decents, fast flowing decents, incredible views. This place will make you a better rider
Bad Points
No facilities at all. Just back to nature.
Would you recommend?
Yes
T
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 2 0
Natural feel
(Updated: March 12, 2017)
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Grin Factor 
 
4.5
Trail Variety 
 
3.5
Skills Development 
 
3.5
Trail Quality  
 
3.0
This trail is very old school but it's hard not to feel great nostalgia for it.

Natural twisting single track with some fun descents. Some sections are really fast and have quite narrow single track rather than the wider version of single track more common on modern trails. You keep your wits about you on this one as a result and it makes it all the more rewarding.

The whole trail has that natural hand built feel to it. That's a good thing.

There is an unusual feature that in a few sections it feels like you are riding through a stream. Maybe they should build some shore to remove this. Overall though it's a blast.

User Review

Good Points
Natural single-track
Rugged feel
Beautiful setting
Fun descents
Bad Points
Some sections are really wet (not muddy just puddles / riding through a stream)

Quite a lot of fireroad climbing.
Would you recommend?
Yes
S
#1 Reviewer 89 reviews
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Very flowing and techy trail
Overall rating 
 
4.1
Grin Factor 
 
5.0
Trail Variety 
 
4.5
Skills Development 
 
4.0
Trail Quality  
 
4.0
Facilities 
 
2.0
Love the honesty box idea

User Review

Good Points
Well designed flowing trails
Bad Points
No real facilities but still well worth a visit
Would you recommend?
Yes
A
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 1 0
Sweet
Overall rating 
 
3.9
Grin Factor 
 
4.5
Trail Variety 
 
4.5
Skills Development 
 
4.0
Trail Quality  
 
4.0
Facilities 
 
1.0
none

User Review

Good Points
Awesome trail, little fire road except where essential and no downs on fire road! Loop one is awesome - really well set, huge variation - ranging from forest single track to swoop to rocky and big berms thrown in too - basically everything bar bomb holes, big drop ins and gap jumps. The last few sections amongst the best around (in my opinion). Loop 2 is flat(ish) but mainly rock runs which are entertaining - but not riden that much, so can be over grown a bit - which actually makes it more fun!
Bad Points
Few............unless you want a cafe and toilet + shop at the trail head
Would you recommend?
Yes
F
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 2 0
Disappointing
(Updated: August 05, 2016)
Overall rating 
 
1.6
Grin Factor 
 
1.5
Trail Variety 
 
2.5
Skills Development 
 
1.5
Trail Quality  
 
1.5
Facilities 
 
0.5
Maybe try again in summer but avoid during winter.

User Review

Good Points
The few descents that were open were pretty fun and flowy. Views are terrific
Bad Points
Standing water - this felt more like a ride on a river bed than a trail centre, prepare to get very wet and cold. Change of clothes is essential. There was almost no trail drainage that I noticed. Climbing vs descents - for how much climbing we did (600m+) the descents were very few and far between. Not helped by the fire road descent linking loop 1 to 2. Total waste of an hours climbing.  Loop 2 - waste of time, only purpose is to recover height lost to afore mentioned fire road descent. Signage and information - v limited. If you're travelling from NW UK, save yourself some petrol and go to Llandegla. Far better vfm.
Would you recommend?
No
P
Report this review Comments (1) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 5
As good as it gets in my opinion
(Updated: August 05, 2016)
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Grin Factor 
 
5.0
Trail Variety 
 
3.0
Skills Development 
 
3.0
Trail Quality  
 
5.0
Facilities 
 
2.0
Best trail I've experienced in the Uk to date. Travelled down from Northumberland to do Marin, Coed y Brenin and Penmachno, and the full Penmachno loop was by far and away the most complete trail experience. The final descents are the incredible considering the are built on donations.

User Review

Good Points
Excellent variety of single track styles, views are outstanding and descents just go on and on. Every minute of the ride was enjoyable.
Bad Points
Could do with a toilet of some description at car park.
Would you recommend?
Yes
A
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