Gwydir Forest Park - Cae'n y Coed, near Betws-y-coed

What's here


Cae’n y Coed is a large picnic site near Betws-y-coed on the A5.

There are tables around the parking area and plenty of space for children to play.

The hillside above the car park is home to a “forest garden” which was planted with trees from around the world in the 1930s.

Follow our waymarked walking trail past the forest garden and to a viewpoint to enjoy a stunning mountain panorama with Moel Siabod flanked by the Carneddau mountains.

Walking trail

The walking trail is waymarked from start to finish.

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

Find out about walking trail grades.

Craig Forris Walk

  • Grade: Strenuous
  • Distance: 2 miles/3.2 kilometres
  • Time: 1½-2 hours
  • Trail information: Most of this trail is on forest roads connected by rough narrow paths less than 60 cm wide in some places, on unmade and uneven surfaces, where you can expect mud, rocks and tree roots. The trail has a steep ascent, and a steady descent. There are numerous picnic tables in the car park, and there is a bench at the viewpoint.

The steep climb at the start of the walk is worth the effort as you pick your way through some impressive and unusual trees in the old arboretum.

You’ll catch glimpses of the Llugwy Valley as you climb, but these views are just a taster.

On top of a knoll, you will find a bench with a wonderful panoramic view across to Moel Siabod, the Carneddau mountains, and, on a clear day, the top of Tryfan.

Gwydir Forest Park

Cae'n y Coed is in Gwydir Forest Park.

Gwydir Forest Park lies in the heart of the Eryri (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.

Waymarked trails start from Betws-y-coed and several other Natural Resources Wales car parks in Gwydir Forest Park:

  • Betws-y-coed - peaceful forest walks away from the tourist bustle
  • Cyffty Mine - short trail around abandoned lead mine
  • Dolwyddelan - walking trail along Roman road and cycle trail with mountain views
  • Hafna - walking trail through lead mine ruins and red-graded mountain bike trail
  • Llyn Crafnant - walking trails around the lake and accessible riverside trail
  • Llyn Geirionydd - picnic site with walking trail around two beautiful lakes
  • Llyn Sarnau - picnic spot with a walk to two scenic lakes
  • Penmachno - remote mountain bike trails with spectacular views
  • Sawbench - two red-graded mountain bike trails and historical walk
  • Ty’n Llwyn – walking trail to the famous Swallow Falls waterfall

Eryri (Snowdonia) National Park

Gwydir Forest Park is set 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

Gwydir Forest Park 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.

Closures and diversions

  • Sometimes we need to close or divert trails for your safety whilst we undertake maintenance work or other operations.
  • 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 on site and any temporary diversion signs.

How to get here


Cae’n y Coed is two miles west of Betws-y-coed.

It is in the county of Conwy.

Ordnance Survey map

Cae’n y Coed is on Ordnance Survey (OS) map OL 17.

The OS grid reference is SH 763 576.


Take the A5 from Betws-y-coed towards Capel Curig and the car park is on the left just after the main entrance to Swallow Falls.

Public transport

The nearest mainline railway station is in Betws-y-coed.

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


Car 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

Craig Forris Walk guide PDF [277.3 KB]

Other places in North West Wales

Last updated