Gwydr Forest Six Lakes Walk
Route Summary: Long mid level walk exporing the lakes of the Gwydr forest.
Long mid level walk exporing the lakes of the Gwydr forest.
|25.79 km||948 m||8 hours|
Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.
Start and Finish: Capel Curig
Gwydr Forest Six Lakes Walk Route Map and GPX Download
Summits and Places on this Route
Gwydr Forest Six Lakes Walk Details
Finding a long yomp in Snowdonia can be difficult if you’re looking to return to the start and you don’t want an insane amount of ascent. This walk from Capel Curig takes in the start and ending of the Llynnoedd Crafnant and Geirionydd lakes from Capel Curig walk, but tags on an extra loop to visit the eastenrmost section of the forest above Betws y Coed and Llanrwst. In fact, you could easily modify the route to start from either of those locations or any other along the route by missing out the first and final section from Capel Curig to the footbridge crossing Nant y Geuallt.
1 Start off from opposite the Pinnacle Cafe in Capel Curig, there’s free parking behind it and the Sherpa Bus service stop here regularly, if not often. The path continues past the old chapel, and climbs through fields before soon entering woodland. The woodland is replaced, too soon by wet moorland as the path crosses Nant y Geuallt and a well built path ascends to the bwlch.
2 Descend steeply towards Llyn Crafnant, where the quickest option is to follow the lane on the near side of the lake (you can extend it by passing through the farm and following a track along the far side of the lake). You pass the café, but it’s probably too early to be stopping there, and reach the far end of the lake.
3 Continue down the country lane until you reach the car park (another potential starting point) which has toilets if needed. A track heads steeply to your right. Follow this track, which contours around to Llyn Geirionnydd in well under 1km.
4 Follow the minor road along the far side of the lake, and turn left and uphill at the footpath. This brings you to a mine after around 800m, with care needed to find the footpath towards Llyn Glangors (a bearing, roughly east, should help if you can’t find it!). The path continued, over the hill, and down to the Hafna mine, with the going generally being good. It’s worth a wander around here, but probably not to drink the water, as this was an old lead mine.
5 Follow the lane left for 150m, before taking the forestry track to the right. Follow this, until you reach a junction, where you can turn right up an old track. There’s a bit of a pull on this section, until it levels out and joins the shore of Llyn y Parc.
6 You can follow the shore, or continue along the forestry track, which you’ll rejoin towards the end of the lake. This track, should be easy to follow to Llyn Sarnau, as it contours around, just ignore the various junctions!
7 From Llyn Sarnau, which has a convenient picnic area, cross the lane and follow the footpath through the forest for 1km, to rejoin a country lane at the Cors Bodgynydd nature reserve. There’s a clear path initially towards the lake, but once you arrive at the shore, it becomes boggy in places. If in doubt, you can descend by the first forestry track you arrive at, before the going becomes tougher.
8 Despite the tough going, Llyn Bodgynydd has a real mountain feel to it, and it’s worth persevering along the shore. You’ll reach a second forestry track, which is where we leave the sixth and final lake.
9 The forestry track back is a bit of a yomp, and the only redeeming features are the glimpses of mountain on the way. You’ll need to take the first left hand junction, and continue along this track, ignoring the two junctions (although the second one provides an alternative) and turning right at a main junction at SH755 579. You can turn left here to arrive at the A5 in about 10 minutes, and walk to Pont Cyfyng via the old road on the far side of the river.
10 Follow the final section of forestry track, keeping left at the first junction, and then follow as it contours around the valley, taking a left junction to continue working your way around the valley in a loop. At the far end, the track, now heading back south, should be easy to follow as it continues to climb steadily, endlessly it seems! It does, finally reach open moorland, where it becomes a walled path down through farmland.
11 This final section is usually wet, especially once this footpath reaches level ground. Thankfully, you’re only 500m from the footpath you crossed this morning over the Nant y Geuallt, which is at least some comfort if it’s particularly wet. Once you reach the footbridge, retrace your footsteps to the start, or better still you can divert down to one of the pubs!