Strata Florida car park (grid ref SN 745/657, postcode SY25 6ES)
The Tywi Forest is best known for the excellent Doethie Valley route, but there’s lots of other great riding to be found in this wild and remote area. The ford crossings are known for washing cars away downstream, so go when dry (it’ll still be wet anyway) and be sensible and prepared.
Strata Florida is in Mid Wales, south-east of Aberystwyth, off the B4343 between Tregaron and Devil’s Bridge. Turn off the B4343 at Pontrhydfendigaid, follow Abbey Road to Strata Florida and park in the car park.
MAPS AND USEFUL BOOKS
OS Landranger 147: Elan Valley & Builth Wells.
The Black Lion at Pontrhydfendigaid is good (www.blacklionhotel.co.uk, 01974 831624). There are toilets, tea and coffee at the abbey in Strata Florida, but nothing else on the route. Summit Cycles in Aberystwyth can help with spares and repairs (www.summitcycles.co.uk, 01970 626061).
Exit the car park and turn right on the Tarmac road, climbing uphill. When you eventually come to a wide track crossing, take the good forest track to the right of the rocky (cycle) track directly ahead. Follow this track as it continues straight ahead, parallel to and crossing the rougher (cycle) track, all the way to the top of the hill.
Exit the trees and keep left/ahead at the fork. Go around a right-hand bend and look for the rougher track crossing you again. Go left on this and follow it, over a number of water crossings, to a junction at the edge of the forest.
Keep ahead/right on the forest track, ignoring the forest track to the left and the rougher track ahead/left, and follow it uphill into the forest. Keep ahead/right, then left, all the way back to where you left the forest track earlier (now on your right). This time, turn left on to the rougher track.
Follow this rough, wide track all the way back down the hill. Rejoin the road back down to Strata Florida to finish.
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