Hafna, near Llanrwst
Two walking trails past the old mines of Gwydir
Gwydir Forest Park lies in the heart of the Snowdonia National Park.
Since Victorian times, generations of visitors have walked the woodland paths and fished the clear waters of the rivers here.
Today, waymarked walking trails allow visitors to explore this landscape of lakes, forests and mountains and to learn about its mining history.
There is also a mountain bike trail (which is graded red as it is only suitable for proficient riders), a forest garden and a waymarked walk to the famous Swallow Falls.
Between 1850 and 1919, lead and zinc mining dominated the area. The legacy of old engine-houses, waste tips and reservoirs are characteristic features of the forest landscape today.
Nearly all of the lakes in the forest were created to serve the mines.
Several of the most important mines have been partially restored and made safe for visitors.
Nowadays, as you explore the extensive, rolling upland of wooded knolls, lakes and pastures, you will find it difficult to imagine that this was once a derelict industrial landscape.
Gwydir Forest Park covers an area of over 72 square kilometres (28 square miles) and it encircles the village of Betws-y-Coed.
Waymarked walks start from the following parts of Gwydir Forest Park:
The Marin Trail, a red graded mountain bike trail with big climbs and singletrack only descents, starts from Sawbench.
Cae’n y Coed is an easy to find picnic site, near Betws-y-Coed on the A5.
Cae’n y Coed means “field in the woods” in Welsh and it is a lovely spot for a picnic. There are tables around the parking area near the main road and on the upper level, where there is also plenty of space for children to play.
The hillside above the car park is home to a “forest garden” which was planted with trees from around the world in the 1930s.
The walking trail is waymarked and starts from the car park.
1.4 miles, 2.3 kilometres
The steep climb through some spectacularly large conifers at the start of this walk is rewarded with splendid views down the valley. On top of a knoll, there’s a bench with a wide view to Capel Curig and Moel Siabod with its slate quarry.
Download more information about the Craig Forys Walk
Cae’n y Coed is two miles west of Betws-y-Coed on the A5.
The OS grid reference is SH 764 576.
Car parking is free of charge.
The entrance to the car park is off the A5, two miles west of Betws-y-Coed, just after Swallow Falls.
The nearest train station is in Betws y Coed. For details of public transport visit www.traveline.cymru
Tel: 0300 065 3000
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