Dyfi Forest - Tan y Coed, near Machynlleth

What's here


Tan y Coed is an easy-to-find picnic site located immediately off the A487.

It is the starting point for a walking trail to a waterfall and an animal discovery trail for children.

The Forestry Commission began planting the woodland after the First World War to boost Britain's timber reserve.

Planting continued through the Second World War with Land Army Girls, known as Timber Jills, carrying out the work. 

There is a picnic site with tables amongst huge Douglas fir trees in the large grassy area around the car park.

The toilet block is in the car park.

Walking trails

The walking trails are waymarked from start to finish.

Look out for the information panel at the start of the trails.

Find out about walking trail grades.

Animal Discovery Trail

  • Grade: Moderate
  • Distance: 1 mile/1.8 kilometres
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Trail information: Follow the red waymarkers through conifers and beautiful beech trees before dropping down to the riverside on narrow paths often less than 80cm wide in places, on an unmade, uneven surface, where you can expect mud, rocks and tree roots. There are several flights of steps. There are two benches and two picnic tables.

Be a nature detective on this special trail for children.

Pick up a leaflet from the dispenser outside the toilets or download a copy from the bottom of this page.

Then set off through the woodland and work out the clues to find the hidden animals in the trees.

This trail uses some of the same paths as the Tan y Coed Trail and goes past the waterfall and through the rock passage.

Tan y Coed Trail

  • Grade: Moderate
  • Distance: 1½ miles/2.3 kilometres
  • Time: 1½ hours
  • Trail information: Follow the green waymarkers along a trail which zig-zags through the trees climbing the steep hillside on a narrow path less than 80cm wide in places, on unmade, uneven surface, where you can expect mud, rocks and tree roots. There are steps down to the waterfall.

Set off through the trees on the longer of the two trails through the woodland.

The route takes you to the waterfall and alongside the river.

Then squeeze through the rock passage and enjoy views over Dyfi Forest on your return to the car park.

Dyfi Forest

Tan y Coed is part of Dyfi Forest.

Situated between the towns of Machynlleth and Dolgellau, Dyfi Forest lies in the shadow of Cadair Idris.

The woodlands cling to the steep hillsides of the Tarren and Dyfi mountain ranges cut through by the Dysynni, Dulas and Dyfi rivers heading west to the nearby sea.

The whole area was once filled with thriving slate mines, employing hundreds of people.

The finished slate was moved to the coast via a system of tramways and steam trains for export.

The remaining trains now carry holidaymakers through the countryside.

Other walking trails in Dyfi Forest

Try our waymarked trails for a taste of the area's history and culture and experience the cascading rivers and majestic trees.

In addition to Tan y Coed, there are walking trails in these other Natural Resources Wales woodlands within Dyfi Forest:

Eryri (Snowdonia) National Park

Most of Dyfi Forest is in Eryri (Snowdonia) National Park.

Eryri is the largest National Park in Wales and is home to picturesque towns and villages and the highest mountain in Wales.

It is looked after by the Eryri National Park Authority.

For more information about visiting Eryri go to the Eryri National Park Authority website.

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

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.

Visiting safely

We want you to return home safely after your visit here.

You are responsible for your own safety as well as the safety of any children and animals with you during your visit.

For advice and tips to help you plan your visit here go to Visiting our places safely.

Accessibility information

  • parking for Blue Badge holders
  • accessible toilets
  • accessible picnic bench

Changes to visitor facilities

See the top of this webpage for details of any planned closures or other changes to visitor facilities here.

For your safety, always follow instructions from staff and signs including those for trail diversions or closures.

We may divert or close trails whilst we undertake maintenance work or other operations and we may need to close other visitor facilities temporarily.

In extreme weather, we may close facilities at short notice due to the risk of injury to visitors and staff.

How to get here

Tan y Coed is 3½ miles north of Machynlleth.


The postcode is SY20 9AT.

Please note that this postcode may not take you to the car park if you use a sat nav or navigation app.

We suggest you follow the directions below or use the Google map on this page which has a pin on the car park’s location.


Take the A487 from Machynlleth towards Dolgellau.

After 3½ miles, the Tan y Coed car park is signposted on the left.


View this place on the What3Words website.

Ordnance Survey

The Ordnance Survey (OS) grid reference for the car park is SH 755 053 (Explorer Map OL 23).

Public transport

The nearest mainline railway station is in Machynlleth.

For details of public transport go to the Traveline Cymru website.


Parking is free of charge.

Overnight parking is not permitted.

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 [4.8 MB]

Other places in North West Wales

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