The Arch, near Aberystwyth
Walks through huge beech trees with views over...
Planted by the Forestry Commission in the 1930s, Hafren Forest is named after Afon Hafren (the Welsh name for the River Severn).
The source of the River Severn is in a peat bog on the slopes of Pumlumon, Mid Wales’ highest mountain. In no time at all it becomes a torrent with falls and cascades plunging headlong through the forest.
A walk along one of the trails, which are waymarked from the car park, is a great way to enjoy this beautiful river.
The longest route takes you to the source of the Severn, just outside the forest’s boundary.
The shorter trails go to waterfalls within the forest, including the famous Severn-Break-its-Neck.
Hafren Forest is also home to many public footpaths and bridleways and it is the starting point for two long distance walks.
There are pleasant picnic areas near the car park and a riverside accessible trail to a viewing platform over the cascades.
The walking trails are waymarked from start to finish.
Look out for the information panel at the start of the trails in the main car park (Rhyd-y-benwch).
Find out about walking trail grades.
The Cascades Walk goes down to a boardwalk along the riverbank and along the side of the tumbling cascades.
Here there is a raised platform to enjoy the view before returning through the forest to the car park.
The Severn-Break-its-Neck Trail sets off alongside the river and then goes through a wildflower meadow with a boardwalk section.
It crosses a footbridge where the River Severn thunders down a gully and forms the famous Severn-Break-its-Neck waterfall.
It returns to the car park on a forest road with views across the forest.
This scenic route goes through the heart of the forest alongside the River Severn to Blaen Hafren Falls.
The Source of the Severn Trail leads alongside the river and through the forest to Blaen Hafren Falls.
It then climbs steeply to the forest boundary and onto a stone path through boggy moorland to the Severn’s source on Pumlumon - the source is marked by a carved wooden post.
The trail passes by some heritage features including a standing stone and the remains of a mine and a farmstead - look out for the information panels along the route.
The Wye Valley Walk is a 136 mile long distance walk along the River Wye to Chepstow.
Hafren Forest is the start (or end) point for this linear walk.
For more information see the Wye Valley Walk website.
The Severn Way is a 210 mile long distance walk to Bristol.
Hafren Forest is the start (or end) point for this linear route.
For more information see the Long Distance Walkers Association website.
Sarn Sabrina is a 25 mile circular waymarked walk, part of which passes through Hafren Forest.
The route is named after the Celtic myth of Sabrina, a water nymph said to inhabit the waters of the River Severn.
For more information, see the Sarn Sabrina website.
The Sustrans National Cycle Network route 8 (Lôn Las Cymru) follows the minor road through Hafren Forest.
For more information see the Sustrans website.
Ospreys spend the summer by a reservoir in Hafren Forest called Llyn Clywedog.
These large birds of prey return to Africa in late August.
You can watch the live feed from one of the osprey nests during the breeding season (normally March to August).
Two live stream cameras film the nest 24 hours a day.
Live footage from both cameras is available on YouTube by searching “Llyn Clywedog Ospreys”, or by using the following links:
Hafren Forest forms part of the National Forest for Wales.
The National Forest will:
It will form a connected ecological network running throughout Wales, bringing social, economic and environmental benefits.
Parts of the network will eventually form a trail running the length and breadth of Wales, so anyone can access it wherever they live.
For more information go to the National Forest for Wales website.
Hafren Forest is 6 miles west of Llanidloes.
It is in the county of Powys.
Hafren Forest is on Ordnance Survey (OS) map Explorer 214.
The OS grid reference is SN 857 869.
Follow Short Bridge Street out of Llanidloes - there is a brown and white sign for Hafren Forest on the side of the town hall.
Cross the river and bear left.
Follow this narrow road for 6½ miles, passing through Old Hall, and the Rhyd-y-benwch car park is on the left.
The nearest mainline railway station is in Caersws.
For details of public transport visit the Traveline Cymru website.
The main car park is Rhyd-y-Benwch.
Car parking is free of charge here.
Overnight parking is not permitted.
There are no staff at this location.
Contact our customer team for general enquiries during office hours, Monday to Friday.