A true old-school trail centre – fireroads on the way up, nothing but singletrack on the way down.









FATMAP difficulty grade



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.