Moel Wnion Circuit and Aber Falls
|17.25 km||660 m|
Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.
Start and Finish:
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Moel Wnion Circuit and Aber Falls Route Map and GPX Download
Moel Wnion Circuit and Aber Falls Details
It’s always exciting to be trying out new kit. Well, this time, it seemed I had more new kit than tested. New tent, new sleeping bag, new stove and pans and new rucksack. Oh yes, and the boots were new too. Maybe you’re ahead of me here in guessing the purpose of this walk, but i’ll tell you anyway. Gear testing. I needed to test it all out and get a general feel for it before trying anything too adventurous.
Still, I think starting a walk after a hard week’s work (when bed is all I wanted) was rather adventurous, and it turned out that the evening’s stroll would be harder than anticipated.
The walk started in Aber, about 6pm, it should have been earlier but traffic from Anglesey was atrocious. You can, like me take the first footpath right, and it takes you straight up the hill, though ends dead in bracken half way. Or, more intelligently, you can wander a little further up the road to the falls (2 mins or so) and take that path. It was this path i struggled upon after thrashing through chest high bracken that’s found in abundance in these parts. But at least I was on the path, and on the way to my pitch for the night.
The path is easy from here, if steep in places. You need to be aiming for the track where you turn left and further uphill before turning right and along the wide North Wales Path through what used to be a plantation. Just beyond that you can turn left and uphill. After a while, the view opens up to your left of the Carneddau and Aber Falls, the destination for tomorrow.
The easy path contours around Moel Wnion to the wide col between this hill and Drosgl. Tonight, it was dry and I had my pick of places to pitch, however the col is clearly a boggy place under normal conditions. The biggest problem is finding water, as the river is far down a grassy gully and was no more than a trickle. It is also the first stream this route passes. Pitching was easy, and I was soon scoffing a curry I’d frozen to make it more robust in the rucsac, and watching the sun quickly set. It had taken nearly 3 hours to get here, i couldn’t believe it. So I decided to stroll back the next day and not try and push it. Tonight however, I lay reading in the tent till one, and had one of the best night’s sleep for ages, not waking till after eight.
It was a nice morning, with sunshine and mist intermittently. I didn’t cook breakfast, instead I ate a cold cooked sausage I had (mattesons) which filled a gap. I think next time I go on an overnighter, I shan’t bother with a stove and carry cold, ready-to-eat rations. Though, I must admit, the curry was the best morale booster I could have had.
Today, I decided to return to Aber via the North Wales Path, and this was reached by a path going north. It’s a nasty, eroded path, but I realised that my knees were giving me no descent pain (that’s a first). Beware the path here, as it’s easy to lose and end up heading for where you think the NWP lays. However, farmers tend to circle their fields, and usually, any direct routes, in barbed wire, which I now had to traverse. Of course, it is just at the right height to perform an impromptu mountain vasectomy, so that’s out of the question. I eventually find a lengthy section where I am, with great care, able to limbo up and over between the barbed wire and the fence. If you actually pay attention, then there’s a pretty obvious green track where you should turn right towards the NWP.
The track from here onwards is impossible to lose. It’s wide and grassy, and generally in good nick. The only drawback are the pylons that seem to be ever present. You’ll find that the walking is straightforward and you can continue along the NWP to the Aber Falls and finally to Aber. The last section is from the falls to the A55, and is touristy and level enough for pushchairs. The most notable thing on the walk was the fact that my knees didn’t hurt, which bodes well for more interesting routes in the future.
This route, might be of interest if you want to do a low level walk around Aber or want an access point to the Northern Carneddau. Possibly, you might fancy a Friday start and the wild camp area above, might be just right for an all out assault on The Carneddau the next day (my initial plan).