Dyfi Forest - Foel Friog, near Machynlleth

What's here


Foel Friog is set within the spectacular landscape of Dyfi Forest, near the village of Aberllefenni, and is easy to find from the A487.

The pretty picnic site is next to the river and there is a circular waymarked walking trail to the top of Pen y Bryn hill.

During the late 18th century, slate quarrying was the major occupation locally but, when the quarries began to close in the 20th century, the Forestry Commission planted the hillsides.

The trees have transformed the landscape but, if you look carefully, you can see ruins of the quarry buildings.

Walking trail

The walking trail is waymarked and starts from Foel Friog car park.  

Pen y Bryn Trail

2 miles/3.2 kilometres, strenuous

The Pen y Bryn Trail goes up a steep path through the trees before joining a forest track.

It passes by derelict farmsteads and quarry remains, and offers superb views.

It descends through an ancient oak woodland and returns to the car park on a bridleway along the river valley.

Dyfi Forest

Foel Friog is part of Dyfi Forest.

Dyfi Forest lies mainly to the north of the River Dyfi between the towns of Dolgellau to the north and Machynlleth to the south.

Rugged peaks loom above the forested hillsides that are dotted with atmospheric ruins and slate spoil heaps. 

Steam trains chug along the hillsides, now carrying holidaymakers, but originally carrying slates from the quarries to the coast. 

As well as the walk at Foel Friog, there are also waymarked trails in Nant Gwernol and Tan y Coed

National Forest for Wales

Dyfi Forest forms part of the National Forest for Wales.

The National Forest will:

  • create areas of new woodland
  • enhance existing woodlands
  • restore Wales’ irreplaceable ancient woodlands.

In time it will form a connected ecological network running throughout Wales, bringing social, economic and environmental benefits.

For more information about the National Forest for Wales go to the Welsh Government website.

Closures and diversions

Please note:

  • Sometimes we need to close or divert trails for your safety whilst we undertake maintenance work or forest operations
  • Occasionally we may have to close a site in extreme weather, such as high winds or snow and ice due to the risk of injury to visitors or staff
  • Please always follow any instructions onsite and make sure you follow any temporary diversion signs in place

How to get here 


Foel Friog is on a minor road signed for Aberllefenni off the A487 between Dolgellau and Machynlleth.

This site straddles the county borders of Gwynedd and Powys.

Ordnance Survey map

Foel Friog is on Ordnance Survey (OS) map 215.

The OS grid reference is SH 769 092.

Directions from Machynlleth

Take the A487 towards Dolgellau and immediately opposite the Braich Goch pub turn right signed for Aberllefenni. Foel Friog picnic site is two miles down this road on the right immediately before the Aberllefenni village sign.

Directions from Dolgellau

Take the A487 towards Machynlleth and just after the Corris Craft Centre turn very sharply left signed for Aberllefenni. Foel Friog picnic site is two miles down this road on the right, immediately before the Aberllefenni village sign.


Car parking is free of charge.

Overnight parking is not permitted.

Public transport

The nearest train station is in Machynlleth.

For details of public transport visit Traveline Cymru's website

Contact details

There are no staff at this location.

Contact our customer team for general enquiries during office hours, Monday to Friday.

Related document downloads

Dyfi Forest leaflet PDF [7.7 MB]

Other places in Mid Wales

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