Cafall trail at CwmCarn is their newest trail heading out to some of the remote areas of the forest. This is what I thought of the trail when I had the chance to check it out this Autumn. It has been a good few years since I have had the chance (small people do seem to take up a lot of time!) to go across to Cwmcarn. Mountain biking with a young family is tricky to fit into the schedule. So when I had a baby free Saturday last weekend me and a friend took the opportunity to go and ride the new(ish) Cafall trail.
We got up early and arrived at Cwmcarn for about 10am. It was a lovely Autumn day, dry and warm – perfect riding conditions. The Cafall and Twrch trail share the same start, though there are a lot of diversions at the moment on the Twrch trail because of tree felling operations but the Cafall trail is mostly unaffected. There is a lot of up to begin with and it certainly got my heart pumping! The climbing was actually quite ‘fun’ and all on singletrack. There are some pretty tight switchbacks which will keep you awake as well as some as some sections that really flow and make you feel like you are barely climbing at all. As you come towards the top of the climb and head across the ridge there is a lovely piece of singletrack. It weaves between the pine trees before getting tighter and more steadily downhill, that definitely got me smiling!
As it has been a while since I have ridden anything expect local trails I was a bit worried about my confidence on the downhill sections. There was only one or two bits on the whole decent that I felt like I couldn’t ride. Some slippy, evil looking roots and a rock slab! And I think when I ride the trail again I will have those nailed!
The downhill was fantastic. Challenging in places and with a nice drop to the side in some sections (best not to think about!) with some fun switchback berms which amazingly I managed to clear all of them. Even the very last section before you hit the car park is brilliant. Really flows well and you can pick up some speed!
I really enjoyed the Cafall trail. Yes the climb is hard – but this is Wales and the descent more then makes up for it! It took us about two hours to get round. The trail is 24km long and there is 795 metres of climbing! It has a real natural feel about it and I’m looking forward to riding it again in the future. Now I know what is coming!
Have you recently ridden the Cafall trail? What did you think? Tweet @ownthetrail