Brechfa Forest – Byrgwm, near Carmarthen
A woodland with a walking trail and mountain bike...
Woodland walks, a mountain bike trail and an arboretum with a difference
Our sites and most visitor facilities are open but, under the current coronavirus restrictions in Wales, this is intended only for the use of people who live locally.
You are strongly advised – in line with current Welsh Government regulations – not to drive to any of our sites to exercise unless you have specific health or mobility issues.
We have changed the normal route for some of our trails to help you maintain social distancing – please follow signs on site.
Brechfa Forest is the modern name for part of the ancient Glyn Cothi Forest.
Glyn Cothi Forest was managed for centuries by local people in order to provide building materials, products and grazing.
In 1283, following the final defeat of Wales by Edward I, Glyn Cothi became a Royal Forest administered under Forest Law for several centuries.
Since those days a very different forest has developed. In the 1900s Brechfa Forest was replanted with conifers by the Forestry Commission to boost Britain’s timber reserve after the heavy use of timber in the First World War.
Today Brechfa Forest covers some 6500 hectares and is looked after by Natural Resources Wales for the benefit of people, wildlife and timber production.
There are walking and mountain bike trails through these two woodlands within Brechfa Forest:
There are also walking trails in other places in Brechfa and horse riders are welcome on forest roads.
There are portaloos in the car park.
Abergorlech is home to a picnic site with childrens' play area in a wooded location where the Gorlech and Cothi rivers meet.
Strangely shaped stones have been found in the river, and examples of these Gorlech Stones are displayed in the front gardens of cottages in the villages.
Sewin (sea trout) and salmon find their way up the river Gorlech each year to spawn.
There are three waymarked walks from Abergorlech, one of which goes to Brechfa Forest Garden.
This was created by Forestry Commission staff in the late 1950s and early 1960s (but with the most recent plantings in 2004).
They planted a variety of trees, mainly coniferous, to assess their suitability for use in British forestry.
Many of these trees have matured and now form an arboretum with a difference as, instead of one or two trees of each type, there are whole stands of trees from all over the world.
Brechfa Forest Garden can be reached on the Forest Garden Trail.
The walking trails are waymarked and start from the car park.
1 mile, 1.7 kilometres, easy
This mainly level woodland trail goes alongside the scenic river Gorlech, over a humpback bridge and then returns along the forest road.
3.5 miles, 5.7 kilometres, moderate
This delightful trail follows the River Gorlech along forestry roads before crossing a small bridge on to a footpath and climbing uphill through mature woodlands made up of mixed broad leaf trees and conifers.
5 miles, 8.3 kilometres, strenuous
This trail goes to Brechfa Forest Garden. The forest garden is made up of half of the tree species that are able to grow in the British Isles. They were planted by the Forestry Commission in the last century to assess how well they grew in Britain.
The mountain bike trail is waymarked and starts from Abergorlech woodland car park (see how to get here).
Sifigwm woodland car park is an alternative starting point for the mountain bike trail. This quiet and remote car park is accessible from a minor road off the B4337, half a mile from the village of Rhydcymerau (OS grid reference: SN 553 395).
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.
19 kilometres, grade red
This trail is a hard, fast, all weather surface which becomes more and more exciting as your skill level and speed progress. Highlights include perfectly sculpted berms and huge switchbacks, jumps and tabletops.
Please check the top of this page for any changes to these opening times.
The toilets are portaloos which are open at all times.
Abergorlech is a small village on the B4310, south of Lampeter.
It is in the county of Carmarthenshire.
Abergorlech is on Ordnance Survey (OS) map 186.
The OS grid reference is SN 586 337.
From the A482 between Lampeter and Llandovery, turn off onto the B4302for Llansawel.
From Llansawel follow signs for Abergorlech.
The nearest train station is in Carmarthen.
For details of public transport visit www.traveline.cymru
Car parking is free of charge.
Tel: 0300 065 3000