Tarquin's cycling pages

12 June 2010 - Elan Valley Trail

WhereElan Valley Trail
(Mid Wales)
Date12 June 2010
Duration2 hours 40 minutes
Distance10.4 miles (~17 km)
WeatherSunshine with scattered clouds
Trail conditionsDry tarmac and dirt track
Anonymous Unknown Silverfox SFX01
Josie Wilton-Jones 8 Concept No Limit
Mark 'Tarquin' Wilton-Jones 30 GT LTS 2000 (TWJ)

Trip report

Description by Mark 'Tarquin' Wilton-Jones

The Elan Valley Trail is a walking/cycling route along the Elan Valley, starting at Rhayader, and ending at the top-most reservoir in the Elan Valley. The first part of the route spends a lot of time running beside a boring road past the farmland around Rhayader, so we started at the start of the Elan Valley instead. There is a parking area by the visitor centre at the base of the first dam, or another (which we used) above the right side of the dam. This trip also served as a photographic trip, covering much more of the Elan Valley area.

See pictureSee pictureA gate opposite the parking area gives access to the head of the dam, where the cycle path runs in both directions. Our route heads to the right along the right edge of the reservoir. After a while, it swings into the right branch of the reservoir, and reaches the bridge (actually a hidden dam) over the reservoir.

See pictureSee pictureAt the bridge, the path crosses the bridge road (take care, small cyclists cannot be seen over the walls by approaching cars). The path continues ahead beside the road, along the right bank of the next reservoir. From there it follows the bank of this impressive reservoir as it winds along the valley.

See pictureSee pictureNot long before the end of the reservoir, the path reaches the road at a junction. The cycle route continues ahead between two narrow lanes, up a gentle railway incline. After passing a house, it eases off, and reaches the next dam. From here, the path once again sticks to the right edge of the next reservoir.

See pictureSee pictureAfter passing through a railway cutting, the track begins its next ascent to the dam of the final reservoir. The dirt track continues beyond there onto the boggy moorland, but the cycle route ends at the dam. I made a small excursion, adding 1 km onto my route, by following the roads on the far side of the dam. Then from there, as there is nothing better, a return was made along the same route as the way out.

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