Analysing terrain data
The Marin Trail was one of the first trail centres to be built in Wales.
It shows too, built in the classic old-school style that marked trail centres back in the day, with a significant amount of the climbing taking place on fireroad, leaving the singletrack for the descents.
Having said that, the route starts with a singletrack climb, a really pleasant one through some nice woodland that lifts you effortlessly up on to the hillside.
The remainder of the climb is on fireroad, leading to the first descent – 'Pigs Might Fly'.
Flowing and fast at the top, it drops you through some lovely tight corners.
Another climb follows, getting you ready for 'Blue' – another cracking section that's a little twistier and more technical than the first.
From there, the trail continues in a similar vein – cruisy climbs, fun descents.
There's the toothy 'Dragon's Tail' – the rockiest part of the route, the fast and flowy 'Pixies' Paradise' and the boardwalks of 'Stumpdance'.
The best comes last though .
After the speedy fun of 'Croeso' comes a huge fireroad climb.
Dig in, it's worth it, because the final two descents are stunning.
Beginning with the aptly-named 'Ride Fast, Ride Free', they run together into the fastest, most flowing and most grin-inducing descent of the ride.
Well-surfaced with flowing corners, it's easy to pick up speed, at which point it becomes impossible to resist popping off the numerous rollers and rises along the trail.
It a final descent to rival any trail centre in the country. Route into – 25 kilometres of full-marked and carefully designed fun.
With 450 metres of climbing, it'll take from 1.5 hours if you're flat out, and 3 or 4 if you're going at a more lesiurely pace.
You can start the ride in Betws-y-Coed, although the 'official' start is a short drive out of town.
It's probably better to start at the latter, as that way you end on a real high with the final descent.