Beddgelert Forest, near Porthmadog
Peaceful forest in the heart of Snowdonia National...
Choice of peaceful forest walks away from the tourist bustle
The Pen yr Allt Trail is closed due to forest operations – this includes the section of path along the river from the Miner’s Bridge to Pont-y-Pair.
There is a temporary one-way system on the Coed Tan Dinas Walk - a section of this route now follows the path through the forest to the Council road and is graded as moderate instead of easy.
Some orienteering control posts are not accessible - please follow all signage and instructions on site.
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.
Betws-y-coed is one of the most popular villages in the Snowdonia National Park.
Much of Betws-y-coed was built in Victorian times and Gwydir Forest Park encircles this pretty village.
There is an easy boardwalk and footpath from the Pont y Pair car park through some of the giant Douglas fir trees, planted in the 1920s, and along the banks of the Afon Llugwy.
There are also four waymarked trails from Betws-y-coed which go up into the peaceful forested hillsides that surround the village.
The permanent orienteering courses through Gwydir Forest Park begin just outside Betws-y-coed.
All of the walking trails are waymarked from the Pont y Pair car park in the centre of Betws-y-coed (apart from the Llyn Elsi Trail).
The Llyn Elsi Trail starts behind St Mary’s Church.
¾ mile/1.2 kilometres, easy
Follow the boardwalk and wide path alongside the river on this short walk through very tall trees. Look at the majestic Douglas fir trees which are up to 100 years old.
1½ miles/2.5 kilometres, strenuous
The Cyrau Trail climbs through some majestic Douglas firs to give a stunning view over Betws-y-coed.
The path returns to the village along an avenue-like forest road with trees growing either side. Download more info about the trail.
4½ miles/7.1 kilometres, strenuous
The Pen yr Allt Trail is a circular route through shady fir forests and upland meadows.
The path passes abandoned mines and offers breathtaking views of the ever dominant Moel Siabod and the Conwy Valley.
It returns along the River Llugwy (if there has been a lot of rain, the river may flood part of this path and you should follow the diversion).
6½ miles/10.6 kilometres, strenuous
The Llyn Parc Trail sets off along an old miners' path and goes past the ruins of Aberllyn Mine.
After reaching the lake, it continues along the shore before passing a small waterfall on its way back to the village.
4 miles/6.2 kilometres, strenuous
The Llyn Elsi Trail starts on the forest road behind St Mary’s Church in Betws-y-coed.
Follow this road to woodland where the route is then waymarked to Llyn Elsi.
The path goes around the lake with views of the island that supports nesting seagulls and geese.
Test your map-reading skills by navigating between wooden marker posts on one of the permanent orienteering courses in Gwydir Forest Park.
The courses begin just outside Betws-y-coed and finish in the centre of the village.
All three routes are graded to British Orienteering Federation standards and were designed by Eryri Orienteers.
The Orange Course has medium navigational difficulty and 10 controls.
The Green Course requires technically difficult navigation and has 16 controls.
The Blue Course requires technically difficult navigation and has 16 controls.
To reach the starting point, follow the minor road (Ffordd Craiglan) alongside Cotswolds Rock Bottom outlet out of Betws-y-coed to a layby (OS grid reference SH 795 559) on the left after around 150 metres – look out for the sign at the side of the road.
Gwydir Forest Park lies in the heart of the Snowdonia National Park and encircles the village of Betws-y-coed.
Lead and zinc mining once dominated the area and the legacy of old engine-houses, waste tips and reservoirs are characteristic features of the forest landscape today.
Several of the most important mines have been partially restored and made safe for visitors.
In addition to the walks from Betws-y-coed, waymarked walks start from several other Natural Resources Wales car parks in Gwydir Forest Park.
Pont y Pair is in the centre of the village of Betws-y-coed which is at the junction of the A5 and the A470.
It is in the county of Conwy.
Pont y Pair car park is operated by Conwy County Borough Council. There is a parking charge.
Pont y Pair car park is at the junction of the B5106 and the A5 in Betws-y-coed over a narrow bridge.
Pont y Pair is on Ordnance Survey (OS) map OL 17.
The OS grid reference is SH 791 567.
The nearest train station is in Betws-y-coed. For details of public transport visit Traveline Cymru's website.
0300 065 3000