We were contracted by Caerphilly County Borough Council to design and build a3.3km beginner MTB trail at the popular Cwmcarn trail centre. This included a 2.3km section of new flowing blue descent along with regrading 1km of existing trail to conform to blue grade standard. As part of the trail construction we installed 2 6m length tunnels to allow the trail to be routed under the final descent of the y Mynydd downhill track and the final descent of the Twrch trail, which were both built by Architrail in 2003.Post and rail fencing was installed at the trail edges above the tunnels to provide a safety barrier.
The design phase required careful planning due to the steep sideslopesand gentle gradients required for blue grade trail. Thorough site survey and the use of clinometers allowed us to design a constantly descending trail with suitable switchback locations. The trail was designed to slow riders at the end before merging safely with the final 50m of the Twrch trail.Prior to construction, the trail line was flagged on the ground and we walkedan arboriculturalist, an ecologist and with land managers CCBC through the trail line.
The existing trail network is very popular witha range of mountain bikers, so it was important to ensure that the trail was enjoyable for bothbeginner mountain bikers and more proficient riders. The trail was designed to be constantly moving on all axes with a variety of features that could be rolledthrough by a beginner, but jumped between for more advanced riders.