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Snowdonia Walk
Moel y Garnedd from Lake Bala

Nat Park - Snowdonia - Arans Lake Bala

County/Area - Gwynedd

Author - Ray Hind

Length - 4.0 miles / 6.5 km

Ascent - 700 feet / 212 metres

Time - 2 hours 40 minutes

Grade - easy/mod

Start - OS grid reference SH917351
Lat 52.90239 // Long -3.611586
Postcode LL23 7YF (approx. location only)

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Moel y Garnedd from Lake Bala Photo from the walk - Moel y Garnedd from Lake Bala Photo from the walk - Moel y Garnedd from Lake Bala Photo from the walk - Moel y Garnedd from Lake Bala
Click thumbnails for larger images.

This is an easy/moderate circular Snowdonia walk of around 2 hrs duration (6.5 km). From the top of Moel y Garnedd, there are excellent views of the Arenigs, Arans, Berwyns and even as far as Cader Idris. Moel y Garnedd is named Gwastadros on some maps and known by locals as "Stadros". The walk is partly over moorland and can be wet in places, therefore boots are advised.

Directions from Bala: leave Bala on the A494 road to Dolgellau, as you leave Bala you will see the access point to the lake; continue for approx. 400m and park, on the left, in the Fron Feuno (Snowdonia National Park) car park at the side of the lake (Grid ref. SH 917351). There is alternative parking 350m further on in the lay-by just through Llanycil.

Route: Leave the Fron Feuno car park, turn left and walk along the pavement towards Llanycil for approx. 200m, then turn right to cross the road and take the middle drive (Fron Feuno Farm) which is waymarked as a bridleway.

After approx. 100m, turn right (waymarked) and go through a small gate (this is a detour around the Farm). Continue uphill along the fence, on you right, after a short distance bear left (waymarked) to go steeply uphill then turn left to join a track which continues uphill and then through a small gate. While recovering your breath there are views over Lake Bala to the Berwynsand also the Aran ridge at the bottom of the lake to enjoy. Continue through a (waymarked) wider gate uphill, passing Fron Feuno Farm (no longer a farm) on your left and continue climbing up the track.

As the ground levels off turn left at a waymarked post and follow the fence and the old field boundary, both on your left - it will be wet here! Go through a gate and continue with the old field boundary, on your left. You will see Moel y Garnedd to the left while to the right, situated on the top of the hill, is the Golf Course - the location provides good views but a challenging course! At the sign "Footpaths to PENLAN" turn left, continue now with the fence on your right to go through a gate then along the farm track and through a gate to Penlan Farm. Pass the farm, which is on you right, and continue along the farm access road until it swings right, with a gate straight-on providing access onto moorland with Moel y Garnedd ahead of you (SH 909359).

Go through the gate follow a track for around 100m then bear left, the exact distance of 100m is not important as path is not clear - but the route is to the high ground ahead. Aim for the left of a clump of trees that are nearly at the top of the hill with other clumps of trees close to their right. If you keep to the right near the trees and field boundary you will eventually pick-up the path again. After the clump of trees, continue ahead, over the brow, then swing left keeping an outcrop close on your left, locate a solitary rock on the near horizon. Then cross wet-ground aiming for where you think the rock is. Upon reaching the rock, the summit, marked by a trig-point, will be visible.

From the summit (SH 896355) there are views of the Berwyns and Penllyn Forest across the Lake with the Arans at the bottom of the Lake. Continuing round, Cader Idris can be seen in the distance while closer to (south-west) are Dduallt (comb shaped) and Rhobell Fawr (just behind Dduallt). To the north-west there are excellent views of the Arenigs and to the north-east, Moel Emoel (another local walk) can be seen.

The return commences in the same direction as the ascent, past the outcrop and downhill until just before a clump of (five) trees, on the left, there is a cross-path, turn right aiming for the Caravan Park. Pass an outcrop on your left then cross wet ground to reach a gate into a field, continue ahead and bear slightly right to a second gate which leads into the Caravan Park (note that the Caravan Park has been extended and this extension is not shown on the OS maps revised 1998/9). Go through the Park, bearing right through the caravans towards the Park entrance, then turn left immediately before the Information & Games Room, go down a short lane between two cottages, through a gate, cross the field to a wooden gate, then go down to cross the stream by a narrow bridge, cross the stile and turn right and descend to the woods with the ruined house on your left. The walk now follows a picturesque valley through woods ( Nurse College), with bluebells in the spring, and a mountain stream on the right.

Cross the stream and stile to enter the woods, continue on a waymarked path with the stream (Aber Gwenwyn-feirch) on the right hand side - this is the so called "poisoned stream". Pass a stile without a fence and continue under a fallen tree. Leave the woods by a stile, continue ahead (waymarked) to reach the access road to Fron Feuno Farm, turn right and continue down the access road to the start point.

Accommodation is available at Abercelyn Country House - where you can start this walk directly.

Please maintain social distancing - keep at least 2 metres away from other walkers.

Maps Ordnance Survey Logo Anquet Maps Logo

Ordnance Survey Explorer OL18Sheet Map1:25kBUY
Anquet OS Explorer OL18Digital Map1:25kBUY
Ordnance Survey Landranger 125Sheet Map1:50kBUY
Anquet OS Landranger 125Digital Map1:50kBUY

It is recommended you take a map. The preferred scale is 1:25k.

GPS files - right click or option-click the button and choose "Save As..." to download this file.

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