Elan Valley Trust working with Back On Track trail builders

Elan Valley Trust working with trail designers Back on Track on plans for new mountain bike trails situated in and around Llanerchi Woods.

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The general idea behind the new trails is to offer up something of a technical level that lies between existing routes that are either overtly easy or on the more un-waymarked, difficult, natural side. In other words, the trails are planned to be a Blue route and a Red route.

Back On Track are experienced trail design specialists, headed up by Rowan Sorrell. It’s fairly likely you’ve ridden – and enjoyed – more than one of their creations over the past decade. BikePark Wales, Swinley Forest, the Forest of Dean, Lee and Cragg Quarries and more.

If it goes ahead, the new trails will broadly begin at the Elan Valley Visitor Centre; the Blue trail will technically start at Llanerchi Wood forestry gate. Both the Red and the Blue trails are likely to be wholly within Welsh Water-owned Llanerchi Wood

Quoted in the Powys County Times, the Elan Valley Trust said: “The development of a new woodland biking trail  will complement and enhance the current mountain biking available at Elan.

“Our proposal is for a new route, utilising some existing forestry tracks and installing new ones, to create a circuit. The route will be a ‘stacked’ trail, which means there will be two trails of varying difficulty, one above the other.

“The lower trail will be a moderate blue trail, which will be designed for intermediate mountain bikers with basic off-road riding skills. Above will be a longer more difficult red trail, which will be designed for more proficient mountain bikers with more technical sections.

“These new routes are designed to provide progression in cycling abilities and bridge the gap between easy and difficult mountain biking routes in the Elan Valley.

“There will be a few technical features designed within the trail, such as berms, rollers and climbing switchbacks.”

“One of the most commonly asked questions at the information desk is where there are suitable off-road cycling trails, either for families or for the more adventurous. The feedback often received at the information desk is the disappointment that the Elan Valley Trail, although off-road, is only a linear trail. The construction of the new blue and red trails will provide the much desired for circular routes.”

The current waymarked Elan Valley Trail is a basic point-to-point 14km Green route, intended for novices or families that follows the old railway line from Rhayader to Craig Coch Dam.