Llandegla Forest is the perfect place to enjoy a quiet family outing with stunning views, fascinating wildlife, walking, biking trails and much more. This spot is a unique and special place to visit; you can learn more about Llandegla Forest from this article.
Located in North Wales, only 20 miles from the city of Chester and 7 miles west of Wrexham. Llandegla Forest has provided fun and activities to tourists and locals of all ages since its opening in the 1970s. It is the perfect destination for families looking to ramp up their outdoor activities!
With mountain bike trails of varying difficulty levels, walking trails, and a visitor centre providing all the cycling gear you need, it’s an unparalleled way to explore nature. And the fact that this Welsh forest is sustainably certified by the Forestry Standards Council adds an extra assurance that your time here will be spent responsibly. Here is all you need to know about Llandegla Forest.
Walking trails at Llandegla Forest
Walks vary in length and are suitable for various abilities and skill levels. All walking trails are well-signposted and easy to follow, so don’t worry about getting lost! The paths are well established.
Green: The Reservoir Trail – 4km (2.5 miles)
This short walk will take you up a winding forest road; you will come to the edge of Pendinas Reservoir. Be aware that this serene reservoir supplies drinking water to its surroundings and is very cold – so keep out. On sunny days, you can enjoy stunning views of Moel Famau and the surrounding countryside. Next, make your way down Larch Bank to end the stroll back at the visitor centre and café.
Watch for dragonflies hovering above the wildlife ponds, listen for the unmistakable screech of a jay as it flies from treetop to treetop, and search for common lizards basking on open heathland near the reservoir.
Purple: Black Grouse Trail – 3.5 km (2 miles)
Journey through beautiful North Wales and explore the contrasting landscapes of the upland spruce plantation and Ruabon moors. From the bird hide, you can experience expansive views of Esclusham Mountain and other sites of special scientific interest that are managed to protect black grouse. You can even book a tour with the RSPB to witness a remarkable performance – the lekking of male black grouse! As your walk continues, take in the tranquil scenery surrounding Pendinas Reservoir before heading down to the visitor centre and café. While exploring, watch for a speckled wood butterfly fluttering about the grassy edge of the forest road or a hen harrier soaring high above Ruabon moor.
Blue: Llandegla Forest Trail – 5 km (3 miles)
Start off with the upland spruce plantation, where mature tall spruce trees mingle with clear fells. These open areas are soon replanted with conifers to provide a sustainable timber crop and broadleaved trees for long-term wildlife corridors. Then move on to the heather rides – managed spaces of open heathland where you can explore further. Finally, descend to Larch Bank and its forest full of well-thinned mature trees and small groups of younger mixed species. Plus, witness pipistrelle bats darting along the edge on warm Summer evenings or listen out for the chiffchaff singing in the conifers.
Orange: Moorland View Trail – 11km (7 miles)
Experience the beauty and tranquillity of the Moorland View Trail, an 11 km/7 mile walk through Llandegla Forest. First, stroll through spruce plantations of varying ages and keep your eyes open for the elusive nightjar. Then, cross Offa’s Dyke footpath towards the Ruabon SSSI, where you might be lucky enough to spot black grouse in their natural habitat. As you pass thinned spruce trees, be on the lookout for flocks of crossbills and other birds. The goldcrest is one of Britain’s smallest birds – can you find it? At the end of your journey, treat yourself to a rest stop at the visitor centre café featuring delicious homecooked food to refuel with.
Extend your walk to World’s End
There are ways to extend your route and visit nearby World’s End for a longer walking trial. Follow a clear route suitable for you, as you will leave the marked trails. World’s End is a narrow vale between Wrexham and Llangollen in the beautiful Denbighshire of Wales. So, it’s no surprise that this stunning landscape draws in walkers and cyclists from far and wide. On clear days, you can experience breathtaking 360-degree views and panoramas on your journey over the hills. Even when the weather isn’t as ideal, you’re still sure to be enchanted by the sights of this remarkable valley.
Oneplanet Adventure, running trails
Are you ready to explore the far reaches of the forest on foot? Oneplanet Adventure and the Clwydian Range Runners have put together two permanent, fully waymarked, 10km running trails at Coed Llandegla forest. These red and blue routes offer something unique – though there are areas of overlap, each way requires a different level of skill and endurance.
- 10 km/6.2 miles
- Ascent – 354M
- Descent – 323M
Suitable for runners in good physical health and with basic off-road running skills, this trail contains sections of undulating tracks with an uneven trail surface.
- 10 km/6.2 miles
- Ascent – 382M
- Descent – 353M
This trail is perfect if you’re a skilled runner looking for a challenge. Climb through wooded areas and take on tricky descents with uneven surfaces. Test your skills and navigational prowess as you cross the bridge over Leete Stream. Be prepared to battle against steep climbs and descents, as well as mud, roots, and rocks.
Oneplanet Adventure, mountain biking cycle centre and bike trail
Coed Llandegla has been a hotspot for mountain bikers for the last decade. Whether you’re just starting or are looking for an extreme rush, there’s a trail here to suit your needs. From the serene Green Trail around the reservoir to the thrill-seeking B-Line Trail, there is something for all mountain bikers.
Mountain biking trails
Green Route – great for families
This 5km waymarked route is designed for families to enjoy, avoiding significant climbs and technical sections in favour of a beautiful forest landscape. As you ascend gently from the car park, take in stunning views of the Clwydian Range from the reservoir before heading back through the forest. End your adventure on a high note with a fun final descent and well-deserved refreshment at the visitor centre.
Blue Route – perfect for those with a good level of fitness
You’ll start your ride by gradually climbing through the forest. Then you’ll be rewarded for your hard work as the journey back to the Centre is mostly downhill, apart from a few gentle uphill sections that will keep you on your toes. Along the way, small humps and various other features will add to the challenge – remember that this route can be difficult in wet or muddy conditions.
Red Route – perfect for experienced mountain bikers.
With huge bermed switchbacks, whoops, water crossings, tabletops and boardwalk sections, this route will send you on a series of more technical challenges through remote areas of the forest. Of course, your fitness and stamina must be high to tackle this trail, but the gradual ascent through the woods at the start makes it slightly more manageable. So, test your skills and see if you can master this fantastic trail.
Black Route – for experienced mountain bikers looking for a challenge.
For experienced mountain bikers looking for a challenge, the Intermediate Route of 21km includes 6km of black runs. These sections consist of steep and technical downhill sections with significant steps, gaps and drop-offs, and steep, technically challenging climbs. Riders must have a good quality, well-serviced mountain bike to enjoy the experience.
Skills area, pump track and free ride area
The skills area offers plenty of jumps and drops for any ability level. Show off your skills in the pump track, a favourite among visitors. If you’re looking for an extreme challenge, try out the free ride area – it’s full of massive table tops, double jumps, and large drops to test even the most experienced riders.
MTB cycle courses with instructors
Whether you want to become a better mountain biker with insightful, passionate instructors 1-2-1 or take part in one of the group courses designed to give everyone from beginners to experienced pros the tools they need to take their skills and confidence to the next level, this is a fantastic location to ensure your riding progresses at whatever speed fits you best. Plus, you will have fun! You can find more information here.
Hire a bike
If you want to give mountain biking a go, you can hire all the equipment you need from Oneplanet Adventure. You can find all the information and bike hire faqs here.
Oneplanet Adventure, café
The cafe offers a mix of hearty meals, top-notch coffee and a welcoming atmosphere. They cook with local ingredients, passion, and a homemade touch. During winter, you can look forward to a generous helping of freshly made stew and curry – and in summer, they treat you with BBQs or wood-fired pizza out on the decking. It’s the perfect spot to meet friends and make memories after exploring. Find more information here.
Parking at the Forest costs £5.00 per car and driver, plus £2 per passenger. Under 16’s are free, and an annual season ticket costs £85 and may be bought in the visitor centre. Check their website here for car park opening and closing hours; outside of these times, the car park is locked, and the trail network is closed to the public. Income from car parking charges helps the site’s upkeep and the development of new facilities and trails.
Stay at Llandegla Trout Fishery nearby
- Fly and coarse fishing site with well-stocked lakes.
- Tackle shop, tackle hire, café, and family fishing pool.
A five-minute drive to Llandegla.
- A mile from the Offa’s Dyke Path.
- Wifi onsite.
Whether you’re an avid angler or trying fishing for the first time, Llandegla Trout and Coarse Fishery in Denbighshire is the perfect spot. The well-stocked pools are ideal for fly fishing with rainbow, brown, tiger and gold trout and coarse fishing with mirror and common carp, barbel, tench, bream, roach, rudd and chub. There’s also a worm lake and a family area for beginners.
The park is also an excellent base for outdoor activities like mountain biking along Offa’s Dyke Path. Horse riding is also available at a nearby centre within a 5-minute drive. Stop off at the on-site Cafe to refuel after all that activity. Enjoy free-range breakfasts or freshly caught trout sourced from the park. Book your stay here.
Llandegla forest is a great place to explore with your family and friends. And, if you’re looking for a challenge, there are plenty of trails to hike and mountain biking routes to take on. So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and enjoy the beauty of Llandegla Forest.