The Pen y Cymoedd project has invested £350,000 to build the new Blade mountain bike trail and will deliver long-term funding to its upkeep for up to 10 years.
The Blade Trail is the latest addition to the highly acclaimed Afan Forest Park trail network in the Afan Valley, and was launched on Friday 11th April.
The 24km, red graded trail in Glyncorrwg, has been developed across the site of the Pen y Cymoedd wind energy project. It offers more experienced riders a selection of tough technical climbs and fast flowing descents.
Ben Threlfall runs the Afan Valley Bike Shed and was one of the first to try out the Blade Trail. He said:
“The Blade Trail is a fantastic new addition to the valley and is something that the area was really lacking. It offers a completely new style of trail that’s different to those already here.
“It’s a very physical 24km track, and you really feel as if you’ve achieved something by the time you reach the end. Anyone who is an intermediate or experienced biker will really enjoy the mix of styles. The Blade Trail has a good mix of excitement and physicality that makes it a very enjoyable ride.”
Stephen Holdroyd, Project Development Manager for Pen y Cymoedd, said:
“We’re very proud to officially launch the Afan Forest Park’s latest mountain bike track, The Blade Trail. We have been working very closely with local organisations to bring this project together, and deliver an exciting new attraction to the area.
“We look to support the local community in a number of ways and are committed to supporting the Blade Trail in the long term, to ensure that it can be enjoyed for many years to come.”
Emyr Roberts, Chief Executive of Natural Resources Wales, said:
“Pen y Cymoedd is an example of how we can improve the upland landscape for wildlife by managing the woodland, peat bogs and open grassland as part of wind farm developments.
“We are also committed to providing opportunities for people to make the most of our environment, enjoy an active lifestyle, and boost the Welsh economy through outdoor recreation.
“As well as providing a top quality facility for those local to the forest, the Blade trail will also appeal to mountain bikers from across the UK, providing a welcome boost for tourism in the area.”