The UK's biggest uplift venue set to expand, with over 30,000 metres of new trails planned


BikePark Wales (BPW) will double in size, adding over 30,000 metres of new trails over the next few years, if its planning application for expansion is successful. BPW in the Gethin Woodland Centre, situated just off the A470 in Merthyr Tydfil, would see trails of varying difficulty being built to “meet the need of its customer base.”

As well as new riding routes it would include uplift track extension and more access trails. The plans are within the woodlands managed by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) but are still within the area leased by BPW. Want to get a visit in to the UK’s biggest uplift venue before the JCBs roll in? Give our guide to BPW a read.

BikePark Wales

There are plans for 27 new trails and two new skills areas at the park

What are the plans?

Essentially, BPW is hopefully going to get bigger, better and cater to a more diverse crowd. While it does already have runs for novices and families, the management team has recognised that the customer base for the park has become more diverse, and that includes more beginners.

Thus, according to the application, there are plans to “provide a suite of graded difficulty trails, to better meet the needs of the increasingly diverse customer base that visit the park, which now includes many more novices, beginner riders and families as well as the more experienced and expert riders that have always frequented the park.”

There is also a plan to add in 737 metres of uplift track extension, and 2,986 metres of maintenance and emergency access tracks.

According to WalesOnline, the proposal includes using the existing topography of the land for the new trails. This includes using natural rock slabs and boulders as features.

It also says that the gentler slopes on the hillside are set to be designed into the easier graded routes, and the steeper slopes for the more advanced runs.

The park recognises that more beginners and novices are coming to visit, and wants to cater to them as well as advanced riders with the new routes

The trails

According to Wales Online, the plans have 9 climbing trails, 27 descending trails, 7 linking trails, and two new skills areas. The new runs are set to vary between 400-800 metres in length, and the skills areas will include an area of disused quarry with rocky shelves and slopes to “allow users to learn core skills” according to the report.

The second skills area would be situated on the northern section of the park, which is west of the visitors centre. From there, riders will be able to practice skills on short trails in a confined zone.

BPW has been steadily expanding over the last few years, with the A470 jump line reopening recently, and is a popular destination for mountain bikers across the UK – over 10,000 of us visit the park a year.

The plans are set to be considered by the council’s planning committee on 8 May.