The team at Get Jerky are always looking for the next adventure. Whether it be hiking in the heart of Wales to find new trails, slaloming down misty mountains, or seeking serene paths through the countryside, from Wales, to the Lake District to Scotland, we also love discovering new trails, and we know you do too.
So, we’ve teamed up with Get Jerky, racked our brains, packed our bags, chomped down some protein and found our favourite Trails for you to read about. We’ll be looking at great trails for hiking, walking, cycling, climbing & more. As well as that, we’ll be talking to people who love them, and finding the historical or quizzical nooks to look out for – and the nearest of our lovely local stockists so you can get your fill of Get Jerky protein ahead of your trails!
First up, is the beautiful Elan Valley – the Welsh Lake District – right on our doorstep!
TRAIL: ELAN VALLEY
ACTIVITIES: ROAD CYCLING, WALKING & HIKING, CANOEING IN SEASON
PROTEIN POINTS: GET JERKY IN THE CO-OP IN RHAYADER, PAUSE FOR GRUB AT ELAN VALLEY VISITORS CENTRE CAFÉ
From spectacular scenery upon six dams, biking along the snaking Cambrian way, challenging hikes to glorious stargazing, the Elan Valley has trails to behold. Made up of five reservoirs built between 1883 & 1953 on the Elan & Claerwen rivers, they offer a variety of beautiful starting and end points for biking & hiking, with the Garreg-ddu & Caban Goch meeting at the stunning Pen-y-garreg dam, amongst others.
There are dozens, or more, hikes and bike trails you could follow in the area – each of them revealing glorious, wooded peaks, babbling waters and stunning vistas, but it’s highly recommended that you aim to finish or break your journey at one of the visual centrepieces of the area – the dams themselves, each of them a stunning sight.
Craig Goch is the highest of the six dams, 317 metres above sea level, and its curved walls give stunning views either side, with the baroque, domed tower one of three similar built on these dams. It also has the advantage of holding a small road above it, meaning you can enjoy the view from atop the dam itself. Using this as a starting, or mid-point for a bike ride offers wonderful views.
Across the furthest end of the west of the lake, a sharp road downwards leads to a crossing over the River Elan and sharp s-turns and more serious biking upward. Alternatively, follow the Elan Valley Trail between here and the Penygarreg reservoir, which cascades spectacularly over the edge of its dam on one side, and from behind it, the domed tower sits at the edge of the quiet deep of the reservoir, with the mountains framed beautifully behind.
For those on bikes or hikes, there are a variety of paths to take for different abilities. The Elan Valley trail is a short ride of 9 miles or a moderate walk of about 3 hours, depending on which direction you decide to take. This takes you along sustrans route 81, but for the more ambitious, the trails mentioned above can be found as part of a large ride of 64 miles, a ride that takes on all the lakes and the outskirts of Rhayader, before returning.
Make sure you pack some protein to take on the longer rides. The town of Rhayader is your best place to stock up, where you can find Get Jerky at the co-op, but you can also stop at the cafe at the Elan Valley visitor centre, which has exhibitions about the Victorian history of the dams & reservoirs, which were built to get clean water to Birmingham.
Some canoeing trails have re-opened again for summer and are a wonderful way to explore some of the lakes and the Elan River. You can find limited sessions to kayak the Caban Goch via Elan Valley Leisure from Elan Valley lodge, with guidance given.
ELAN VALLEY TRAIL: – 9 MILES
ELAN VALLEY, RHAYADER – 64 MILES ROUND, 1662M CLIMB
CABAN GOCH KAYAKING: 2.5 HOURS FROM ELAN VALLEY LODGE