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Walk or Mountain BIke around the Alwen Reservoir Trail

By Dave Roberts   

on August 1, 2016    5/5 (1)

Posted as a walk in – Europe, Mynydd Hiraethog, North Wales, Wales

Walk or Mountain BIke around the Alwen Reservoir Trail

Further Details

Route Summary:

Steady walk around Alwen Reservoir, perfect for a Sunday afternoon stroll.

Route Start Location: Alwen Reservoir

10.87 km 247 m 2 hours

Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.

Activivity Type: Easy Moderate Walk, Mountain Biking

Summits and Places on this Route


The Llyn Brenig Visitor Centre is on the route while the nearest pub is the The Sportsmans Arms – though we suggest giving them a ring to check if they’re open (were open at time of writing)


Remember that we cannot outline every single hazard on a walk – it’s up to you to be safe and competent. Read up on Mountain Safety , Navigation and what equipment you’ll need.

Parking : check the map

Parking at the start of the route

Public Transport:


Traveline for UK Public Transport

Recommended Maps


Walk or Mountain BIke around the Alwen Reservoir Trail Ordnance Survey Map and GPX File Download

Download file for GPS

Walk or Mountain BIke around the Alwen Reservoir Trail

Mynydd Hiraethog in North East Wales is a relatively unknown area of upland, lower in height than Snowdonia beyond and not as rich in walking as the Clwydian range to the east. Mynydd Hiraethog still makes for some decent half day walks in the forests, as well as trail running and easy grade mountain biking routes. While there are no summits, there are still distant views to the mountains to be had and picturesque views across the lakes.

This is a way-marked route around Cronfa Alwen Reservoir that makes a straightforward walk, trail run or blue graded mountain bike trail. Note that it’s narrow in places and to ensure safety it’s recommended that walkers set off in a clockwise direction, while cyclists go in the opposite direction.

Alwen Reservoir Trail Route

1 The trail is easy to follow all the way around, with a clear marker at every junction. Start off from the car park, crossing the Alwen Dam. Follow the path around and through the forestry.

2 After 1km, the path joins a wider forestry track, which still provides views in places and the woodland remains open and light.

Walk or Mountain BIke around the Alwen Reservoir Trail

3 After 2.5km, you suddenly find yourself on open moorland. The path is still good, and has obviously been well maintained. Without the path, this would be a damp trod, but you’ll struggle to get your boots muddy. There’s also a bit of an uphill pull, but one that’s thankfully followed by a 1km downhill section to the footbridge that crosses this narrow section of lake.

4 Cross the footbridge, and the track pulls uphill before turning right into the forest just before you reach the farm at Pen-y-ffrith. The forest is claustrophobic in places on this section, but does thankfully emerge onto the lakeside for the best section on the route.

Walk or Mountain BIke around the Alwen Reservoir Trail

5 Soon after (around 7.5km round) the path pulls back uphill, through the forestry to rejoin a forestry road, and again taking you away from the waterside. Plod along this, keeping an eye for the way-markers, and the path again heads for the reservoir towards the final section. This final leg is narrow, with no room to pass.

Walk or Mountain BIke around the Alwen Reservoir Trail

Visit the route homepage here or print off the leaflet here.

Dave Roberts founded Walk Eryri in 2004, with the aim of providing routes that are off the beaten track. Walk Eryri is now part of Mud and Routes which continues to provide more off beat routes and walks in Snowdonia and beyond. Dave has been exploring the hills of Eryri for over thirty years, and is a qualified Mountain Leader. Dave also established Walk up Snowdon, Walk up Scafell Pike and Walk up Ben Nevis just to mention a few.
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