Cae'n y Coed, near Betws-y-Coed
A field in the woods with picnic spots and a forest...
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.
The hillsides in Gwydir Forest Park are riddled with tunnels and hollowed out caverns where generations of miners toiled to extract lead and zinc ore.
Hafna car park is near the old Hafna lead mine. It is the starting point for two waymarked walking trails past the mine ruins and capped shafts.
The peace of the woodland has absorbed this mining history yet, as you look around the ruins, you can imagine the industry that existed many years ago at these sites.
All of the walking trails are waymarked and start from the car park.
1.3 miles, 2.2 kilometres
The Conwy Valley View Trail goes past derelict mining buildings and numerous tunnels and spoil heaps. The viewpoint looks over the market town of Llanrwst, the wind turbines on the hills behind, and down the Conwy valley to the sea beyond.
2 miles, 3.6 kilometres
The Hafna Miners’ Trail passes through several different mines, all with their own story. The trail threads its way through the forest, passing deep cuttings, capped mine shafts and tunnel entrances. There are also the remains of long abandoned mills, where the excavated rock was processed.
Download more information about the Conwy Valley View and Hafna Miners' Trails
The 25km Gwydir Mawr Trail is a long established mountain bike trail.
It is waymarked and starts from the car park.
See our mountain biking page for a list of all our mountain bike trails and information about grading to make sure you pick a trail that is right for you.
Please also read the relevant onsite information before setting off on your ride.
25 kilometres, grade red
Gwydir Mawr has big climbs, big descents and brilliant singletrack. Most of the climbs are on forest roads and tracks giving time to take in the mountain views. The descents are on singletrack which varies from very tight, technical and rocky to open and flowing.
Hafna is 1.5 miles west of Llanrwst off the B5106.
The OS grid reference is SH 780 600.
Car parking is free of charge.
From the B5106 at Gwydir Castle, take the minor road into the forest, signposted for Geirionnydd. Hafna car park is on the right.
From the A5 at Tŷ Hyll (ugly house), take the minor road into the forest. Hafna car park is on the left, after passing Llyn Sarnau car park.
The nearest train station is in Llanrwst For details of public transport visit www.traveline.cymru
Tel: 0300 065 3000
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