Mawddach Biking

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 it all: 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.  

Bike rentals are available in Taicynhaeaf, Barmouth, Dolgellau and Coed y Brenin. A number of adaptive bikes including a hand-cycle, tandem and small-adult-sized tag-along are also available for hire on the estuary, along with child and cargo trailers. 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.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays and other selected dates through the summer holidays, the Greenway Shuttle Bus can connect you and your bike to the start of some of the best cycling routes in Southern Snowdonia. Operating between Dyffryn Ardudwy, Barmouth, Dolgellau, Coed y Brenin and Llyn Trawsfynydd, the bike bus offers the perfect opportunity to leave the car behind and ride instead.

Cycle route around the Mawddach Estuary in Wales

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.

For further information about places to eat, drink and sleep on the Mawddach estuary, visit Discover Dolgellau.

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.

More Mawddach Cycling:

Cycle Route Difficulty

Mawddach Trail Easy Cycle Route
15 km (9.5 miles)
A flat and friendly there-and-back route following the old railway line along the Mawddach estuary. More...

Mawddach Trail + Cregennen Challenging Cycle Route
23.8 km (14.8 miles) 501m climb
A circuit taking in the the Mawddach trail and the beautiful Cregennen lakes. More...

Route 21 Challenging Cycle Route
35.5 km (22.1 miles) 1040m climb
A Regional Cycle Network way-marked route out of Dolgellau, making use of quiet back roads and straightforward off-road tracks. More...

Cadair Idris Challenge Difficult Cycle Route
48.8 km (30.3 miles) 1260m climb
The Snowbikers Cadair Idris Challenge makes use of quiet back roads and some rougher off-road tracks to make a circuit around Cadair Idris. More...

Dolgellau-Bala Loop Difficult Cycle Route
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 Difficult Cycle Route Difficult Cycle Route
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! More...

Mawddach Big Adventure
+250 km (+155 miles) A red route walkDifficult Cycle Route
A journey of over 250 km, on foot, cycle and mountain bike, that will take you through some of the most beautiful parts of southern Snowdonia. More...

Coed y Brenin Easy Cycle Route Challenging Cycle Route Difficult Cycle Route
World class trail-centre mountain biking with 7 different trails to chose from. Trail heads and visitors centre 12 km from Dolgellau. More...

Cli-Machx Difficult Cycle Route
Short but sweet trail centre mountain biking. Trail Head 19 km from Dolgellau. More...

Mach 1, 2 & 3 Easy Cycle Route Challenging Cycle Route Difficult Cycle Route
Real trails with a trail centre feel. Trail Head 25 km from Dolgellau. More...

South Snowdonia GreenwayChallenging Cycle Route
43 km of quiet back roads and straightforward off-road tracks running from Trawsfynydd to Barmouth. More...

Antur Stiniog Difficult Cycle Route
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 . More...

Natural Trails Easy Cycle Route Challenging Cycle Route Difficult Cycle Route
The area has a network of rights of way across the hills that are open to mountain bikes. If you are unsure where a mountain bike is entitled to ride, or would prefer not to have to navigate, consider getting a local guide to do the work for you. More...

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