North Wales becomes home to UK’s latest long-distance off-road cycling route
North Wales has officially become home to the UK’s latest long-distance off-road cycling route, Traws Eryri.
Created by the charity, Cycling UK, in collaboration with Natural Resources Wales (NRW), the route stretches for 122 miles (196km) through the less visited parts of Parc Cenedlaethol Eryri, taking in the Mawddach estuary, the forests of Coed y Brenin and Gwydir, and remnants of North Wales’ slate mining heritage.
This adventurous route includes 4424m of ascent, more than four times the height of Yr Wyddfa (1065m) from sea level, and is estimated to take four to five days to complete for competent riders on special off-road bikes like mountain or gravel bikes.
Sarah Mitchell, Cycling UK chief executive, said, “North Wales is arguably the adventure capital of Britain and has some fantastic mountain biking trail centres.”
“With Traws Eryri, we wanted to inspire people to venture beyond the forest and explore more of the National Park in a sustainable, active way.”
“Working with Natural Resources Wales, Cycling UK has created a route that we’re sure will soon be on the bucket list for local, national and international visitors.”
The development of Traws Eryri was funded by NRW and took three years to complete. During this period, Cycling UK engaged with local communities and off-road riders to gather views on the best possible route and negotiated with landowners to agree on new cycling access on suitable sections of trail to link the route together.
John Taylor, NRW’s North West Wales Team Leader for Recreation, said, “This is a fantastic, collaborative project with our local knowledge shaping a really great, sustainable tourism project.
“The route connects existing mountain bike trail centres with an off-road cycle route, blending the best of public rights of way and existing tracks to offer a longer-distance, wilder-feeling cycling route.”
“This will build on the existing cycle tourism product in the area, support local businesses, and provide a low carbon cycle attraction, offering an alternative to car dependent tourism.”
Cycle tourism spending from cyclists in the UK generates £520m per year, and there are 1.23 million overnight trips each year, benefiting small businesses in particular, and contributing £433m to the economy.
A survey of riders of King Alfred’s Way, a route starting in Winchester which Cycling UK launched in 2020, shows on average every cyclist spends £83.60 per day on food and accommodation.
Cycling UK hopes that the interest in Traws Eryri will result in similar economic benefits for the Welsh hospitality sector along the route.
“Routes like Traws Eryri aren’t just for outdoor enthusiasts, but as Cycling UK has found also for the local rural economy which benefits from the passing trade,” said Sarah Mitchell.
“On Traws Eryri, you’ll want to travel light to get up the hills and make the most of the supply points of the local shops, pubs and tea rooms you pass by – and many of these will be off the beaten track.”
The Traws Eryri is part of Cycling UK’s wider goal to create a network of long-distance off-road routes across Great Britain, taking in its amazing places and wild landscapes.
It is the seventh long-distance cycling route Cycling UK has launched since its riders’ route for the North Downs Way was unveiled in 2018.
For further information visit: www.cyclinguk.org/traws-eryri Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com