Ceiriog Loop (44.5 kms)
Start GR:217421 Doctor Who/Sarah Ponsonby Arms Car Park Turn L out of Car park and take 1st L over the bridge. Continue to traffic lights and turn L. Immediately on your right take the road rising up in front of you. Continue along this road (Pengwern Vale) for about 2.5km until reaching the ‘Three Trees’ Bridleway on the right. Climb steeply until the trail splits and take the fork left. The bridleway continues to climb (great views to your left over the escarpments and Crow Castle) passing through two gates until reaching the 3rd where the track meets the top road. GR:253404. (approx. 5.6km into the ride!) Turn R onto the road and continue along for approx 4km until reaching a road junction with the Ceiriog Trail bridleway descending through the fields on your L. Take this bridleway until it meets the road and turn L. Follow the road and take the first road on your R signposted ‘unsuitable for motor vehicles’. Continue along this road for a short distance and just as it begins to descend more steeply take the track off to the left down. Just after the buildings the track turns right, narrows and descends down a rocky and watery track. On reaching the lane at the bottom, descend steeply until reaching another lane, turn R and immediately R again onto a dirt track just to the right of a barn. Follow this track down until you meet the Glyn Ceiriog Valley road B4500 at Pontfadog. (approx. 13.5km into the ride!)
Cross straight over the road and follow the road around to the right before taking the 1st available road on the L. Climb quite steeply for a short distance and take the 2nd track on the right into the woods. This fire-track climbs steadily for about 1.5km until it levels off as you exit the woodland. Continue along the track until it eventually comes to a cross roads, go straight across and continue along until the lane meets the B4579. Turn L and immediately R (rejoining the Ceiriog Trail) and follow this road for approx 2.5km until you reach the point where the Ceiriog Trail turns L off the road and follows initially a fire-track and then moorland 4x4 track descending gradually down to a road. GR:224341.
Turn L and then R past the farm buildings following the track straight ahead. Follow the track across the moorland (this is part of the Lower Ceiriog Trail) until you reach the point where the tracks splits 3 ways. Take the track going back to the R climbing gradually up to edge of the woodland. Continue along this track through the woods and across another stretch of moorland passing a sheepfold and ignoring the Ceiriog Trail going off to your R. As the trail becomes a more distinct track continue to descend until it meets a track coming down from the R. Turn L and follow this track downhill passing through a number of gates. At the point of 189336 turn L off the main track and descend down passed the buildings named ‘Ty-newydd’ taking care to avoid the rather large cattle that roam very freely in these fields! Continue to descend as it becomes a tarmaced lane until it meets the road at the bottom where you turn R and go over a small bridge passing over the River Ceiriog. This road returns you once again to the B4500 in a village called Treceiriog. GR:177338 (approx. 30km point)
Turn L onto the B4500 and continue along for approx 1km taking what is the 1st available R turn off the main road. Nearly immediately after leaving the main road turn L and climb steeply up a narrow lane until reaching a gate at the side of a farm. Proceed straight on up the lane in-front of you – this section is a horribly steep tarmac affair. As the road begins to level out you reach a crossroads where you continue straight ahead on a dirt track leading up to a house. At this point you turn right on the track you meet just after the house and rejoin the Upper Ceiriog Trail. This track climbs gradually over ever increasingly rough ground (also known as the pheasant track for obvious reasons!) until it reaches the crest of the hillside after passing through 2 gates. GR:157351.
Descend and climb across the next stretch of moorland always following the main (and most obvious track) until reaching a gate with a number of large rocks immediately in-front of it. After passing through another gate the trail descends more steeply down ever rockier terrain, through one more gate and across some off camber and slippy rocks (careful of the drop into the stream to the left!) dropping eventually down onto a lane. Carry straight on and turn R by the phone box at the junction, carry on up the drag and turn sharp back L on yourself by a house and go along the road with a gate across the start of it. GR:177371 Follow this road until it reaches the Ceiriog Forest, turn R and follow the undulating road for approx 4km taking what is only the 2nd available turning on the L. This section is called the ‘Allt y Badi’ and after an initial road descent you drop down a an ever increasingly rough trail until you finally come out on the road you initially started out up the Pengwern Valley on. Just retrace your route back through the centre of Llangollen back to the car park! 44.5km