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Snowdonia Walk
Four lakes of the Gwydir Forest

Nat Park - Snowdonia - Eastern Carneddu

County/Area - Conwy

Author - Peter Smyly

Length - 6.5 miles / 10.6 km    Ascent - 650 feet / 197 metres

Time - 3 hours 50 minutes    Grade - easy/mod

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Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Four lakes of the Gwydir Forest
Click image to visit gallery of 6 images.

Many walkers visiting Snowdonia will be drawn to the main attraction of Snowdon itself, but here is a walk that covers part of Snowdonia that few walkers visiting the area are likely to see. The Gwydir Forest provides a different insight into the area with some relatively low level walking, while helping to maintain stamina levels and its exploration can be a challenge to your navigational skills. This walk could be completed in an afternoon on a day of arrival in the area before heading for the mountains the next day.

To reach the car park at the start of the walk (Tyn Llwyn), turn off the main road between Betws-y Coed and Capel Curig past Ty Hyll (The Ugly House) up a narrow, steep road and this leads to the car park on the right. For the walk, set off from the car park and walk along the minor road ahead, watching out for the occasional car passing by. After about half a mile, take the road turning to the left and shortly, the first lake of the walk, Llyn Tyn-y-Mynydd, can be glimpsed through trees to the left. To get a better view of this small sheet of water will involve leaving the road briefly, passing between trees and climbing over a gate; however the lake is surrounded by boggy ground and therefore it is better viewed from a distance.

Returning to the road, look out for a footpath off to the right after another few minutes walking, a path which later swings round to the left and Llyn Geirionydd, a large, long lake, can be seen to the right. A tree-clad hill overlooks it from the west and at the near side is a tarmac road and a car park. Possibly the best view of the lake is from the southern end where the whole length of the lake can be seen at a glance between trees and reeds appear in the water in the foreground which lend a bit of variety to the view,

Finding Llyn Bychan is a little more complicated and a route map will help here as paths are generally not waymarked or signposted. Cross the outflow of Llyn Geirionydd, and, by following the route ahead, pass between some houses. The path then goes first to the left and then right up a hill before going left again (ignore the turn off down the hill to some farm buildings). The route then reaches a T junction where you go left and Llyn Bychan then appears on the right after the unsurfaced road has gone up a hill and down the other side. This is a pretty little lake despite the tree-cutting activities in its vicinity. A hill on the far side from the track overlooks the lake, below which there are outcrops of white quartz part way up the hill. In fact, the quartz on the hill overlooking the lake is visible in the distance before you top the final hill before the lake comes into view. This lake has clear waters with stones showing on the bottom and tree reflections when the water is still and this is a good place to stop for a pause.

The path continues to trend due south and a digression from it is necessary to locate the next and final lake of this walk. Take the path off to the left which swings round to the right and Llyn Goddionduon appears through the trees with an access path that soon becomes wet and muddy underfoot. There is a boathouse nearby on the north shore and your arrival may inadvertently startle some of the bird life in residence here who are apparently not used to human visitors to the lake. There was much evidence (in May 2011) of trees having been felled recently on the western shore of the lake. There are no paths offering further access to the lake from the north, therefore you need to go back to the turn off and resume the path south. The path leaves the forest to reveal Moel Siabod off to the right as the route branches left of a dry stone wall with a farm and fields below. By following the route ahead you pass across another field and then enter a lane to the left which, by following it straight ahead, joins up with the road from Ty Hyll (Ugly House) which is off the main road between Betws-y-Coed and Capel Curig. A left turning along the narrow road at the T junction takes you back past moss-covered dry stone walls and woodland to the car park at the start of the walk.

While the walk could be extended to include another lake nearby, Llyn Sarnau, this lake was completely overgrown in May 2011.

Other walks nearby

Walk 1151 Moel Siabod from Pont Cyfyng, near Capel Curighard5.5 miles
Walk 2919 Moel Siabod from Capel Curig moderate6.0 miles
Walk 1037 Two lakes of the Gwydir Forest - Llyn Elsi and Llyn Parceasy/mod6.5 miles
Walk 2592 Llyn Geirionydd & Llyn Bychan from Llyn Crafnantmoderate9.5 miles
Walk 2608 Crimpiau & Creigiau Gleision from Llyn Crafnantmoderate7.5 miles

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