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Clocaenog Forest, near Ruthin

Experience this huge forest's stunning landscapes and rich wildlife

Family at Bod Petryal lake

What's here

Dogs welcome
Horse Riding
Mountain biking
Picnic area
Walking trail


Clocaenog Forest takes its name from the village of Clocaenog, near Ruthin.

The forest is part of the bigger Hiraethog Forest which covers 6000 hectares (15000 acres) on a broad rolling landscape. This in turn is part of Mynydd Hiraethog.

The scenery in Clocaenog Forest is varied – there are changing forest landscapes, open moorland, rivers and a beautiful lake. 

Visiting Clocaenog Forest

Walks start from many points within Clocaenog Forest. Many of these walks are circular and the routes offer something for all tastes from gentle strolls to breathtaking summit climbs.  

There are many miles of quiet forest roads in Clocaenog Forest which make it an ideal location for family cycling.

There is also open access for horse riders throughout the forest on the network of forest roads.

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

Walking trails

 Waymarked walks start from these points within Clocaenog Forest:

  • Bod Petryal
  • Pincyn Lys
  • Boncyn Foel Bach
  • Coed y Fron Wyllt
  • Pool Park
  • Rhyd y Gaseg

Bod Petryal

Bod Petryal is home to some of the oldest trees in Clocaenog Forest, planted in the 1930s. This picnic site with its beautiful lake is the starting point for two scenic walks.

Bod Petryal leaflet

Bod Petryal Circulars

Walk one: half a mile, 1 kilometre; walk two: 2 miles, 3 kilometres

The Bod Petryal Circulars are two gentle walks through attractive forest. The route passes by the oldest conifer trees in the forest and the historic keepers cottage.

Animal Puzzle Trail

Half a mile, 1 kilometre

This is a fun and educational way to explore the woodland for young nature detectives. Download the leaflet, then follow the 12 clues and the map around the red trail and keep your eyes peeled for the animals.

Animal puzzle trail leaflet cover


Bod Petryal car park is on the B5105 between Cerrigydrudion and Clawddnewydd.

The OS grid reference is SJ 036 512.

Pincyn Llys

Pincyn Llys is a small roadside car park and the starting point for a walk up to Lord Bagot's monument from where there are excellent views across Ruthin and the Vale of Clwyd.

Pincyn Llys leaflet

Pincyn Llys Circular

2 miles, 3.5 kilometres

The Pincyn Llys Circular is a short, steep climb through forest and moorland to Lord Bagot’s Pincyn Llys monument erected in 1830. There is also an ancient earthwork and trig point with stunning views.


From Bontuchel take the minor road south west and the Pincyn Lys car park is located shortly after the road enters the forest.

The OS grid reference is SJ 060 557.

Boncyn Foel Bach

Boncyn Foel Bach is a very scenic viewpoint and picnic area, with terrific views south and east towards the Clwydian Range Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Llantysilio mountains and the Berwyns.

Boncyn Foel Bach Circular

One third of a mile, 0.5 kilometres

The Boncyn Foel Bach Circular is a short stroll through a forest with a beech avenue and a young woodland.


From the west: take the B5105 from Ruthin and Boncyn Foel Bach car park is signposted on the right, two miles after the village of Clawddnewydd.

From the east: take the B5105 towards Ruthin and Boncyn Foel Bach car park is signposted on the left, about a mile after the Bod Petryal car park.

The OS grid reference is SJ 055 520.

Coed y Fron Wyllt

Much of Coed y Fron is ancient woodland which means that records show there was woodland here before 1600. Nowadays, it is a home for dormice, although they are very hard to spot!

Coed y Fron Wyllt Walk

1.5 miles, 2.5 kilometres

This is a pleasant riverside walk through mixed woodland to a wildlife viewing hide which overlooks small ponds and a stream.


Take the B5105 from Ruthin to Clawddnewydd. Opposite the pub in the village of Llanfwrog take the minor road signposted Bontuchel. Turn first left when you reach Bontuchel.  After ½ mile Coed y Fron Wyllt car park is on the left.

The OS grid reference is SJ 081 570.

Pool Park

From this car park there is a short stream-side walk through some attractive woodland.

Clocaenog Panel Pool Park leaflet

Pool Park Circular

Half a mile, 1 kilometre

This short walk goes through a woodland made up of mixed broadleaved trees and huge Douglas firs, and then along the side of a stream. There are great view of the Clwydian Hills on the return to the car park.


Pool Park car park is signposted on the B5105 between Clawddnewydd and Ruthin.

The OS grid reference is SJ 102 561.

Rhyd y Gaseg

This car park is the starting point for a lovely walk in a woodland made up of different trees, including some towering poplars, and areas of coppice.

Clocaenog Panel Rhyd y Gaseg leaflet

Rhyd y Gaseg Circular

One and a quarter miles, 2 kilometres

This woodland walk reaches the riverside and passes two fords, an historic weir and a waterfall.


Take the B5105 from Ruthin to Clawddnewydd. Opposite the church in the village of Llanfwrog turn left. After half a mile the car park is on the right.

The OS grid reference is SJ 103 556.

Find out more

Contact details

Tel: 0300 065 3000


Related document downloads

Clocaenog location map PDF [2.7 MB]

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