Brechfa Forest – Abergorlech, near Carmarthen

What's here

Walking trails

 

A landslip has affected some of the trails.

 

  • The middle section of the Gorlech Walk is closed. The trail is diverted and currently follows the same forest road out of the car park and back.

 

  • The first section of the Forest Garden Walk is diverted along the forest road. The rest of the trail is open.

 

Mountain bike trails

 

  • The ‘Final Descent’ section of the Gorlech mountain bike trail is now open. Please be aware of a new trail feature near the end of this section.

 

Please follow all instructions and diversion signs on site.

Welcome

Our car park is situated just outside the village of Abergorlech and is the starting point for three walking trails and a mountain bike trail in Brechfa Forest.

One of the walking trails goes to a forest garden, where Forestry Commission staff planted a variety of trees in the late 1950s to see how well they grew.

‘Gorlech’ is the name of the river which joins the Cothi nearby. 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.

There is a picnic site and children’s play area in the car park, and portable toilets.

Walking trails

The walking trails are waymarked from start to finish.

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

Find out about walking trail grades.

Riverside Walk

  • Grade: Easy
  • Distance: 1 mile/1.8 kilometres
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Trail information: Suitable for families, no steps. Low level of fitness required. Walking shoes with a good grip recommended. Paths can be slippery when wet.

This mainly level woodland trail goes alongside the river Gorlech, over a humpback bridge and then returns along the forest road.

Gorlech Walk

  • Grade: Moderate
  • Distance: 3½ miles/5.7 kilometres
  • Time: 2 hours
  • Trail information: Requires a reasonable level of fitness. Walking boots and waterproofs recommended. Paths can be slippery when wet.

This trail follows the river Gorlech and climbs uphill through an attractive range of woodlands.

Forest Garden Walk

  • Grade: Strenuous
  • Distance: 5½ miles/9.1 kilometres
  • Time: 3 hours
  • Trail information: Requires a greater level of fitness owing to its length. Walking boots and waterproofs recommended. Paths can be slippery when wet (includes the Gorlech Walk climb as you need to do the Gorlech Walk to reach the Forest Garden Trail).

Try our Forest Garden Trail to see trees from all over the world – giant redwoods from California; eucalyptus from Australia; nothofagus from South America; firs from all the continents and a variety of European species like sessile oak, walnut and spruces

Instead of one or two trees of each type of tree, you will find a whole stand.

Mountain bike trail

All our mountain bike trails are waymarked from start to finish and have been graded for difficulty.

At the start of the trail there is an information panel – please read this before setting off.

Gorlech Trail

  • Grade: Red (difficult)
  • Distance: 20.1 kilometres
  • Alternative starting point: Sifigwm woodland car park (OS grid reference: SN 553 395; on a minor road off the B4337, half a mile from the village of Rhydcymerau)

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.

Brechfa Forest

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.

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 also walking and mountain bike trails from the car parks at Byrgwm and Keepers and Gwarallt.

Horse riders are welcome on forest roads.

National Forest for Wales

Brechfa 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.

In time it will form a connected ecological network running throughout Wales, bringing social, economic and environmental benefits.

For more information about the National Forest for Wales go to the Welsh Government website.

Opening times

Please check the top of this page for any changes to these opening times.

The portable toilets are open at all times.

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

Location

Abergorlech is a small village on the B4310, south of Lampeter.

It is in the county of Carmarthenshire.

Ordnance Survey map

Abergorlech is on Ordnance Survey (OS) map 186.

The OS grid reference is SN 586 337.

Directions

From the A482 between Lampeter and Llandovery, turn off onto the B4302 for Llansawel.

From Llansawel follow signs for Abergorlech.

Public transport

The nearest train station is in Carmarthen.

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

Parking

Car parking is free of charge.

Overnight parking is not permitted.

Contact details

0300 065 3000

enquiries@naturalresourceswales.gov.uk

Other places in South West Wales

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