IN A bid to accommodate more experienced mountain bikers the Elan Valley Trust plans new tougher bike trails.

The Elan Valley Trust has been working with trail design specialists Back on Track to come up with proposals for two new trails of varying difficulties at Llanerchi Woods.

The charitable trust believes these new trails would "bridge the gap" between easy and difficult mountain bike trails in the picturesque Elan Valley.

Jennifer Newman, of Elan Valley Trust, said: "The development of a new woodland biking trail  will complement and enhance the current mountain biking available at Elan.

"Our proposal is for a new route, utilising some existing forestry tracks and installing new ones, to create a circuit.

"The route will be a ‘stacked’ trail, which means there will be two trails of varying difficulty, one above the other.

"The lower trail will be a moderate blue trail, which will be designed for intermediate mountain bikers with basic off-road riding skills.

"Above will be a longer more difficult red trail, which will be designed for more proficient mountain bikers with "more technical sections.

"These new routes are designed to provide progression in cycling abilities and bridge the gap between easy and difficult mountain biking routes in the Elan


"There will be a few technical features designed within the trail, such as berms, rollers and climbing switchbacks."

The existing Elan Valley Trail is graded as green, which is designed for beginner and novice cyclists.

This follows the route of the historic railway line, for nine miles (14km), from Rhayader to  Craig Coch Dam in the Elan Valley.

Miss Newman added: "One of the most commonly asked questions at the information desk is where there are suitable off-road cycling trails, either for families or for the more adventurous.

"The feedback often received at the information desk is the disappointment that the Elan Valley Trail, although off-road, is only a linear trail.

"The construction of the new blue and red trails will provide the much desired for circular routes."

If given planning permission the new trail will begin at the Elan Valley Visitor Centre.

Mountain bikers can then access the new trail by starting on the tarmac section of the Elan Valley trail to the Garreg Ddu road junction before crossing the viaduct to the beginning of the blue trail at the Llanerchi Wood forestry gate.

The site where the new blue and red trails could be built constructed is within Llanerchi wood, which is a forestry plantation owned and maintained by Dwr Cymru Welsh Water (DCWW).