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.
Llyn Sarnau means “lake of the old tracks” in Welsh and it is a lovely place for a picnic at one of the tables around the car park.
The lake is fairly shallow and so it often dries out in summer. Even though it may not be much to look at during warmer months, it's a valuable home for wetland loving wildlife.
The Forest Lakes Walk goes to two other lakes, which are hidden from view from the car park.
The walking trail is waymarked and starts from the car park.
2.5 miles, 4 kilometres
Download more information about the Forest Lakes Walk
Llyn Sarnau is two miles west of Llanrwst off the B5106.
The OS grid reference is SH 778 592.
Car parking is free of charge.
From the B5106 at Gwydir Castle, take the minor road into the forest, signposted for Geirionnydd. Llyn Sarnau car park is on the left, after passing Hafna car park.
From the A5 at Ugly House (Tŷ Hyll), take the minor road into the forest. Llyn Sarnau car park is on the right, before reaching Hafna 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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