The old Welsh capital in the south of Snowdonia, Machynlleth has a unique Alpine atmosphere and rich trail menu. The original Mach 1-3 trails take you as far out into the wilderness as you want to go on natural, but no less challenging trails. Meanwhile the more recent cli-machx trail winds you high into Dyfi forest before firing you down superbly technical singletrack descents that seem to go on forever.
Waymarked routes of varying length and difficulty take you straight from the centre of town into fantastic mountain and valley scenery. With everything from mixed road and valley trails to long forestry climbs, traversing mountain singletrack and sketchy slate ravine descents on the longer routes there’s something for every level of rider. The Dyfi forest to the north of the town offers excellent forestry freeriding too.
The trails in this area are a good example of people power. Local mountain bikers and business people formed a community group known as Dyfi Mountain Biking, who aimed to publicise the great mountain biking in the area and boost tourist income. The group successfully fundraised to waymark the Mach 1, 2 and 3 routes on rights of way around Machynlleth, and then to build trails in the Dyfi forest, with the help of a community regeneration group, Ecodyfi.
The cli-machx is is sited in the Dyfi forest; home of the Raw Dyfi Enduro. It’s a 15km round trip, with 9km of built single track with compressions and whoops, rock slab drop offs and some beautiful flowing turns. The last descent is the longest in Wales and features rocky jumps; watch out for the ‘eye of the needle’; a huge jump with a narrow landing between two trees on the other side. The finale is a sequence of eight huge berms following quickly after each other. Hit them high enough and fast enough and they ride really well, but don’t look down!
Machynlleth is now the British capital of alternative technology with a thriving Bohemian community. The Museum of Modern Art, Wales is in the town and the Centre for Alternative Technology is just up the road. There’s also plenty of informal free-riding in the forest, but it isn’t waymarked, so take a map or get a local guide.
More information can be found here: www.dyfimountainbiking.org.uk
Head for Manchester. Take M62 / M6 to M56 towards Chester. Take M53 / A55 south. Follow A483 south past Wrexham and Oswestry. Turn onto A458 through Welshpool, follow A483 west then take A470 south to Machynlleth at Mallwyd roundabout.
From Midlands, London and South
Head for Birmingham and then take M6 north. Turn west onto M54 past Telford. Take M5 round Shrewsbury then turn onto A458 through Welshpool, follow A458 west then take A470 south to Machynlleth at Mallwyd roundabout.
Public transport: Machynlleth has its own railway station. For rail details call 08457 484950
For Sat Nav/GPS/Mapping Services use: SY20 8EB
Use: Machynlleth Town Centre, Powys