The site is owned and operated by Forest Enterprise Wales, part of the Forestry Commission, and covers an area of some 9,000 acres (36 km²) around the valleys of the rivers Mawddach, Eden, Gain and Wen.
The site was identified as a potential mountain bike race course in 1990, and the first races were held there in 1991. The initial course had to be chopped out of an unpassable rock-strewn terrain.
Shortly afterwards an MTB hire centre, together with a visitor centre and café were opened at Maesgwm. Five waymarked trails were developed by Dafydd Davis who was employed by Forest Enterprise as a Forest Sports Development Adviser, grew Coed-y-Brenin into a major UK mountain biking center. Davis received an MBE in the 2004 Queen's Birthday Honours list for 'services to forestry' relating to his work on this resort.
A new £1.6 million visitor centre is under construction at the site, and is due to open in Spring 2006. There are also a number of waymarked walking trails around the forest.
|Trail Name||Grade||Waymarking||Length||Time needed|
|Afon||novice (green)||river||8 mi||13 km||1.3 hours|
|Temptiwr||difficult (red)||apple||5 mi||9 km||1 hours|
|MBR||difficult (red)||mbr logo||11 mi||18 km||2 hours|
|Tarw||difficult (red)||Bull||12 mi||20 km||2 hours|
|Dragon's Back||severe (black)||Dragon's back||19 mi||31 km||4 hours|
|The Beast||severe (black)||Beast||24 mi||38 km||4.5 hours|