In south Wales, the Afan Forest Park has an extensive mountain bike trail network. These all-weather designed trails mixes singletrack descents with fireroad climbs through hardwood forests and is on the caliber of the infamous Coed-y-Brenin.
The four mountain bike trails [Penhydd, The Wall, White's Level & Skyline totalling over 100km are sponsored by npower renewables who have made a major financial commitment towards trail maintenance and development.
There are two main trail systems. The Llwybr Penhydd Route is blazed in yellow, and the Wall Route is blazed in red.
The original Afan trail is the 22km loop of the Penhydd trail a mix of tightly twisting singletrack, fantastic views and awesome descents through the Hidden Valley, Sidewinder and Dead Sheep Gully sections.
The Wall trail is a swooping 24km mainly singletrack loop with epic views and breathtaking descents to keep your heart pumping all the way round. Watch out for The Graveyard section and hang on for the searingly fast final descent.
The White's Level Trail is a challenging 6km sheep singletrack climb, followed by an adrenalin pumping mix of rock drops, step sections, berms and cliff traverses.
The epic Skyline Trail is the most recent addition to the area, 46km long and over 2000m of climbs and descents. Stunning ridgeline scenery and a roller coaster final descent on Jetlag with drop offs and steps will remind you what you came for. A serious piece of trail for experienced and fit riders, not for the faint hearted but well worth the effort!
The extensive trail network in the forest also includes the high level, scenic Celtic Trail provided by Sustrans, which is part of the National Cycle Network. The Celtic Trail is well waymarked along forest roads as Route 47, which links Neath to Pontypridd. For more information on the 220 mile Celtic Trail from Fishguard to Chepstow.
Afan Forest Park now has two visitor centres, the original at Afan Forest Park and the striking new Glyncorrwg Mountain Bike Centre complete with Skyline Cycles Shop, professional bike mechanic and the Dropoff cafe.
You'll definitely want to check out the newer 44km W2 route, which has been classified as an IMBA Epic Ride for its narrow, twisty singletrack trails.
The trailhead is located eight miles north of junction 40 on the M4 behind the Port Talbot steelworks. Follow A4107 north and the visitor center is on the left after 6km.
Alternate directions: Take M4 /M5 over Severn Bridge into Wales (don’t forget toll money). Follow M4 west past Cardiff and Bridgend. Take Junction 40 off the M4 and head north on A4107 to Afan Forest Park. Follow the brown tourist signs to Afan Forest Park.
For Glyncorrwg Mountain Bike Centre continue 3 miles to Cymmer and turn sharp left down to Glyncorrwg, then look out for the Glyncorrwg Ponds sign on the left.
Overall, Llwybr Penhydd Route is the 2nd most popular mountain bike trail of all 93 mountain biking rides in UK.