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Family bike rides in North Wales
If you're looking for family bike rides in North Wales then you'd be advised to head over to the North East which has some stunning scenery, and is ideal for two-wheeled adventures with your kids. There are hills, but the Snowdonian range in the background reminds you that things could get a lot steeper!
Here are a few of the best places to explore - do let us know if you have any more routes to add to the list.
A word of warning: Due to the landscape of NE Wales, some of the routes below do involve some rough patches. Always read up on the routes before you set off, and ensure you are all equipped for the ride, and your children are capable of completing the route.
Family bike rides in North Wales
Alyn Waters Country Park - The largest Country Park in the Wrexham area, there is a 2 mile cycleway that is perfect for letting young children loose. It's designed to be accessible for wheelchairs, so is great for less experienced cyclists.
The Sustrans National Cycle Network Route 5 (NCN 5) goes all the way from Chester to Holyhead. In Flintshire, NCN 5 takes you from Sealand in the east, over to the seaside at Gronant in the north of the county. Between Chester and Connah’s Quay, there are eight miles of traffic-free path for cyclists, walkers and wheelchair users to enjoy.
There is also a purpose built off road section which runs between Hawarden Bridge and Chester for over six miles and follows the north bank of the River Dee. This route links into Queensferry and Saltney, via the footbridge at Higher Ferry. Combined with NCN5, this makes an excellent flat circular route.
You can even look at the Sustrans website and design your own Family bike rides in North Wales, based on your choice of start and end point.
Llandegla Forest is one of the biggest and best mountain bike centres in Wales, and has a great family route to whet the appetite of your youngsters. Is is always busy, and our boys loved looking at all the serious bikers coming down off the mountain with their impressive kit!
The Family Challenge Green Route avoids major climbs and technical sections, and concentrates on allowing families to experience off-road cycling in a fun and safe way. The surfaces are generally hard packed but there are sections which are loose, uneven or muddy at times, but we've managed it with rear bike seats.
Just make sure you keep your kids under control at the start and end of the route, as you can get bikers from the other routes coming down VERY fast!
Once they've got the mountain biking bug, there are routes of all grades at Llandegla which you can progress through as their confidence and skill levels improve.
The Hiraethog region is a stunning and unspoilt landscape of rolling heather moor, deep forest and quiet lakes in the heart of North Wales. Easily accessed from the A5 at the gateway to Snowdonia. There are 4 traffic free cycling routes suitable for families:
Bod Petryal - This is a short and easy route for the whole family that meanders through the Clocaenog Forest - Distance 3.5 km
The Alwen Trail - This walking and family biking trail around the Alwen Reservoir is perfect for families and less technical mountain bikers. The 7 mile/11.5 km way-marked route is well away from metalled roads – so you and the kids can concentrate on the biking! We did this route when our eldest was riding his own bike (see below) and the youngest was in a rear bike seat. It was a great, but long, day out, with a couple of climbs and descents.
Brenig Trail - A good route around Llyn Brenig for children of around 10 years of age. The route circumnavigates the reservoir - through forest, along the edge of the shoreline with one noticeable climb. Part of this trail runs along a B Road.
The Clwdian Range offers some great locations for family bike rides in North Wales, particularly for families with older kids looking to try out mountain biking.
Coed Nercwys Multi User Trail - Coed Nercwys is a forest with a rich past. From the remains of a Bronze Age Cairn, to industrial archeology resulting from Victorian lead mining, up to the present day as a working forest, Coed Nercwys has always been a busy place. This 2 mile route is a great place for families to safely enjoy cycling away from busy roads, and at the same time learn about this unique forests varied history.
Around Llyn Brenig - this ride allows you to circumnavigate Llyn Brenig, a large man made reservoir. With its start point at the visitor centre cups of tea and cakes are never too far away. The route over the dam wall and around the shore line provides that wilderness feeling, whilst not having to endure the long climbs and difficult terrain to get there. Only one noticeable climb. Length - 15.2km, total height climbed 50m
Coed Moel Famau Loop - This short ride meanders its way through the forest of Moel Famau, climbing steadily to a high point at the edge of the forest with spectacular views over the Merseyside and beyond. Length - 12.2 k, total height climbed 450m.
Cilcain Short - This short ride from Cilcain up to the ridge of the Clwydian Range allows you to take in the impressive views over the Vale of Clwyd towards Snowdonia, after the steady climb from the village along the old county road, before riding down a challenging singletrack descent back towards the village. Length - 8.5km, total height climbed 185m
More details of suitable routes for family bike rides in North Wales, along with maps and downloadable route details, can be found on the Ride North Wales website
We'd love to hear if you've ridden any of these routes, or have any other Family bike rides in North Wales that we can feature on Cycle Sprog. Please let us know on our Facebook page or drop us an email. Thanks!
This article was first published February 2013 and updated in March 2017
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