Mawddach Trail – Dolgellau, North Wales

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This route uses parts of the Mawddach Trail, an excellent cycling/walking track running on an old disused railway line at the edge of the beautiful Mawddach estuary. The ride also includes long segments on-road and some gentle off-road sections. Therefore, a gravel bike/cyclocross or hybrid would be ideal for this route.

Due to the virtually flat gradient and relatively smooth surfaces during the first half of the ride it would be an ideal route for a novice cyclist or family.

However, there is quite a big, long climb after the halfway point so you could just turn around and go back on the Mawddach Trail if you weren’t feeling confident about tackling the tough climb.

Route Guide

The route starts in the popular seaside town of Barmouth which is easily accessible by Train or Car. On leaving the town we join the Barmouth Bridge also known as the Barmouth Viaduct. At 699 metres long it is the longest timber viaduct in Wales and spans across the River Mawddach Estuary.

After reaching the other side of the Estuary we start on the Mawddach Trail. This dedicated cycling lane which forms part of the National Cycling Network Route 8, closely follows the very edge of the Estuary giving you great views across the water. Unfortunately, on the day I rode this route it was rather foggy. The trail is very flat and the gravel surface relatively smooth and well maintained so you can cruise along at a good pace.

Towards the end of the Mawddach trail there is a signpost showing the way to Coed y Brenin (7 miles), so there is the opportunity to link up some of the trails at the trail centre and make an epic all-day Mountain Bike route!.

As the trail ends we go through the pretty little town of Dolgellau where there is a Cycle Shop, Public Toilets and shops for supplies if required. The ride then takes us out of the town, joins local Cycling Route 21 and starts to gradually climb up out of the valley.  This incline is classified as a Category 4 climb and can be quite steep in places but most of it follows a gentle gradient. I’m sure the views of the valley with its thick lush forests would be fantastic on a clear day, but the day I rode it they were spoilt by thick fog.

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