Best Family Cycling Routes In Snowdonia
There are lots of cycling routes in and around North Wales and there are some really great ones that all the family can enjoy. The disused rail lines are perfect. For a start, they are flat; this is hard to find in North Wales, believe you me, but they are also away from the main roads, which when you have younger ones in tow, it can be little hair raising.
From lake side and sea views to the depths of beautiful forests, they all offer something different and are long enough to make a real morning or afternoon of it. So for a tantrum free family bike ride in the beautiful landscape of North Wales, here are our best family cycling routes in Snowdonia.
Lon Las Ogwen | Bangor | 17km
If your family are more experienced cyclists or you have older teenagers in the mix, then Lon Las Ogwen might be one you want to try. Taking you from Bangor to Llyn Ogwen, this 17km route is predominantly traffic free with a few sections that are on road / off road in the middle section. Famed for its mountain views, you will be cycling along rivers and an old quarry. There are inclines (1000ft in total) as you are going into the Snowdonia mountains, but as you will be circumnavigating the famous Penryhn quarry, there are plenty of flats as you follow the disused tram road used to move the slate back in the day.
The final climb before you drop into Llyn Ogwen is said to be well worth that last push when the view of the lake greets you. There is a cafe that over looks the lake and run by the National Trust offering light lunches and snacks when you finally arrive there.
If you want a more gentle ride, Bangor to Tregarth is 8km and the the incline is only 300ft as it is situated just before the climbs into the mountains.
Yr Afon Trail | Coed Y Brenin | 10.8km
This is my favourite route for an all round family bike ride. Part of the Coed Y Brenin centre, it is the green trail. 10.8km which will take approx 3 hours to complete, this really is a beautiful ride through the forest. The trail takes you along open forest roads, passing waterfalls and a disused gold mine. There are a couple of downhill sections, so there is a chance for the kids to practice their speed control, but all in a very safe and car free environment.
The great aspect of Coed Y Brenin is that if you have multiple ages in the mix, there are more challenging trails on offer and at the end of it, you can all meet at the visitor centre for lunch at the cafe or a picnic on the many benches on offer.
Mawdacch Trail | Barmouth | 11km
Running along the stunning Mawdacch Estuary on the disused railway line from Barmouth to Dolgellau the Mawddach Trail has to be included in our list of best family cycling routes in Snowdonia. Totally flat and car free, the full length is 15km with various points that you can come on and off at. A really good run is the slightly shorter route of 11km starting from the iconic Barmouth bridge to the George III pub on the outskirts of Dolgellau. Stop at the pub for lunch or a lemonade and a packet cheese and onion crisps and then back again into Barmouth.
It is run by the Snowdonia National Park and so is well marked out and 3m wide, flat with no traffic so really is a great route, especially if you have smaller ones with you. I would allow 1.5 hours each way.
Lon Las Eifion | Caernarfon | 16km
Starting in the historic town of Caernaron, this 16 km route runs along the Welsh Highland Railway south towards the village of Brycir on the outskirts of the Llyn Peninsula. It is again traffic free, taking you past Caernarfon Bay, Anglesey and then along an avenue of trees. A tarmac route, it is easy on the wheels and there is a incline of 500ft before you cycle downhill into Bryncir.
There is a garden centre in Bryncir if you want to stop for something to eat before you make your way back or of course, take a picnic and choose a spot along the way to have a breather.
Lon Las Cefni | Anglesey | 17km
Starting at the South West corner of the island in Malltraeth, the 17km route takes you along the river Cefni. There are sections that have some traffic, but the most part is traffic free with a mix of straights where you follow railway line. Taking you through villages, the Dingle, boardwalks and reservoirs it is a really great cycle ride offing lots of variety along the way.
You can also head south from Malltreath towards Newborough Forest which is absolutely stunning. Famous for its red squirrel population, it is a haven for cyclists due to its size and beauty. You can also park up your bike once you have cycled through the forest and head for the beach where you will find the famous Llanddwyn Island.
Lon Las Peris | Llanberis | 1.5km
This is the shortest of the cycling routes at only 1.5km. Running from Llanberis, along the shore of Llyn Padarn to the village of Brynrefail, there are great views to be had of Snowdon and of course the beautiful lake itself. It is flat, traffic free and the perfect ride if you are looking for a little excursion or wanting to introduce smaller ones to the world of cycling. A lovely cafe in Brynrefail called the cabin cafe is great to stop for something to eat before you head back to Llanberis.
If you want to make this more of a ride, you can join the road network after the tunnel and cycle through the villages of Cwm Y Glo and Llnrug, following the Seiont river into Caernarfon itself.
Whilst some of these routes may seem long, as they are flat, they are relatively easy but don’t forget there are places along the way that you can come off at to enjoy a picnic before heading back home.