Routes, maps and guides to cycling and mountain biking around the Mawddach Estuary in Wales
As a base for your cycling holiday, the Mawddach estuary has wide appeal, with everything from epic bike rides along quiet country lanes through to full-on mountain bike routes.
With accommodation to suit all pockets and a great selection of places to eat and drink and you have the perfect venue for a cycling break.
There is a main-line railway station at Barmouth and bus services run up and down the estuary, so you could even holiday completely car-free.
Bicycle rentals from Coed Cae
The principal points on the estuary, Dolgellau, Penmaenpool, Arthog and Barmouth, are linked by the Mawddach Trail, a way-marked and largely traffic free cycleway. Other cycling arteries, National Cycling Network Route-8 and Route-82, connect Dolgellau with the mountain bike trails at Coed y Brenin, and further afield the Cli-Machx and Mach trails. These routes also connect either end of the estuary to the principal towns of Porthmadog and Trawsfynydd to the north, and Tywyn, Corris and Machynlleth to the south. Route-8, also known as the Lôn Las Cymru, runs over 400 km (250 miles) between Holyhead on Anglesey and Cardiff or Chepstow.
For something a little different, why not explore some of the remains of 20th century military activity in the area. From hill-top memorials to beach defences, there are over 50 different sites in and around the Mawddach estuary to be explored on foot, by bike or by car. See here for further details.
The Mawddach also boasts some great walking, including the Mawddach Way, a 3 day route around the hills flanking the estuary.
Please visit the EVENTS page for a full list of what’s on around the Mawddach estuary throughout the year.
- The Mawddach Trail
15 km (9.5 miles)
A flat and friendly there-and-back route following the old railway line along the Mawddach estuary.
- Mawddach Trail + Cregennen
23.8 km (14.8 miles) 501m climb.
A circuit taking in the the Mawddach trail and the beautiful Cregennen lakes.
- Dolgellau-Bala Loop
78.9 km (49 miles) 4500m climb
A big road ride taking in the remote moors at the back of Coed y Brenin. More…
- Mawddach Big-8
160 km (99.4 miles) 4500m climb
An epic 2-day ride. Following National Cycle Network Route-8 in a figure of 8, with the Mawddach estuary at its centre, you will ride for around 8 hours and cover around 80 km each day. Its octastic! Rated: Difficult
- Coed y Brenin
World class trail-centre mountain biking with 7 different trails to chose from. Trail heads and visitors centre 12 km from Dolgellau.
Rated: Something for everyone
Short but sweet trail centre mountain biking. Trail Head 19 km from Dolgellau.
- Mach 1, 2 & 3
Real trails with a trail centre feel. Trail Head 25 km from Dolgellau.
Rated: Something for everyone
- Antur Stiniog
For those who like their mountain biking gravity-fuelled, the the Antur Stiniog downhill courses run through the slate quarries of Blaenau Ffestiniog, about a 30 min drive from Dolgellau.