For a long time Cwmcarn has come under some criticism with only one XC trail and one DH trail. Many trail center users were choosing to visit the near by Forest of Dean with its wider selection of MTB trails and forest routes or to travel further west to Afan for a bigger all mountain fix on Skyline, Y Wal or the grueling Whites Level.
Cwmcarn was being left behind. The locals (of which I know many) barely ride there, opting to ride their own trails that frankly offer a much better time for experienced riders. In late 2013 Bike Park Wales opened less than 45 mins drive away threatening the very existence of Cwmcarn’s classic Twrch Trail, a trail that so many riders cut their teeth on. Cognation had a job to do if Cwmcarn was still to have a place in the Welsh MTB landscape.
The hills and forests around Cwmcarn have some fantastic “local” trails with steep descents and great natural riding – Cafall was going to need to deliver something special when it was to open in February this year.
I rode the trail for the first time a few weeks ago and I can tell you its great. The Twrch Trail has been noted for its technical climb and long flowing descent – Cafall offers something different.
By the time you have reached the 400m peak of the trail through some tiring sections such as QUADZILLA you will be well and truly warmed up for the descents! Split into a number of distinct sections with names like Voodoo, Powder House, Riddler and Rocky Valley, each has slightly different feel. From tight wooded sections to loose rocky off camber stretches it challenges you all the way to the finish.
The trail feels natural which maybe its downfall, so far the general consensus is it wont stand up to to much wet riding, but this is also its appeal. Even the locals like it!
Cafall is a great trail and earns its RED grading on two counts – the climb is not for a novice (at least not in a hurry) and the descents are tight and twisty with some drops and switchbacks that will catch you out if you don’t know how to ride them.
Now with two great trails, plus some DH action if you are up for it Cwmcarn is back on the map with enough to keep you interested and challenged for a good few hours riding.
Visitors to South Wales who may be coming for Bike Park Wales should consider a stop here if you have more than one day at your disposal.