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Follow the Route

The Cwm Community Action Group of Cwm Penmachno, Betws y Coed is promoting this ambitious project to create an 85-mile long Trail through the slate villages of Snowdonia.

This is an 85 mile circular trail which enables walkers to explore the industrial heritage of the slate villages throughout  Snowdonia.  The route starts at Porth Penrhyn near Bangor and ends at Bethesda and attracts walkers to villages such as Llanllechid, Bethesda, Dinorwig, Llanberis, Waunfawr, Nantlle, Rhyd Ddu, Beddgelert, Croesor, Ffestiniog and Penmachno. The path passes by a number of social enterprises and community run facilities and provides opportunities for people to gain a better understanding and appreciation of the slate heritage of the area.

This project uses existing rights of way, crossing a variety of terrain, including remote moorland and quarry remains.  It also crosses a number of main roads.  Walkers follow the route at their own risk and Cwm Community Action Group holds no liability for its use.

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1. Bangor to Bethesda

Distance: 10.2km, 6.4mls     Ascent: 325m, 1050ft     Time; 3-4hrs

The Bangor to Bethesda leg of the Snowdonia Slate Trail is a wonderful introduction to Snowdonia and its slate heritage. Starting from the sea, it provides easy walking with interest throughout as the mountains are approached.

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The maps and route descriptions are supplied in Acrobat PDF format.

Click on the Acrobat PDF logo to get the free reader software from Adobe.

Or use the following links.

Download the map as a PDF

Download a GPS route in kml format

Download the route description as a PDF

Accommodation in this section

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2. Bethesda to Llanberis

Distance: 11.6km, 7.3mls     Ascent: 360m, 1200ft     Time; 3-4hrs
The leg from Bethesda to Llanberis takes you through the heart of the slate industry. After following the Afon Ogwen for a short while, the Trail climbs out of the Ogwen Valley to Mynydd Llandegai by riverside paths and minor roads. After crossing the wild moor of Gwaun Gynfi, good paths lead to Parc Padarn, the National Slate Museum of Wales and Llanberis.

adobe pdf icon s

The maps and route descriptions are supplied in Acrobat PDF format.

Click on the Acrobat PDF logo to get the free reader software from Adobe.

Or use the following links.

Download the map as a PDF

Download a GPS route in kml format

Download the route description as a PDF

Accommodation in this section

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3. Llanberis to Waunfawr

Distance: 6.9km, 4.3mls Ascent: 310m, 1000ft Time; 2-3hrs

The leg to Waunfawr leaves Llanberis through its narrow streets, following a lane high up above the village. This is also part of the North Wales Pilgrim’s Way which continues along good forest tracks and lanes which take you to a footpath down into Waunfawr.

adobe pdf icon s

The maps and route descriptions are supplied in Acrobat PDF format.

Click on the Acrobat PDF logo to get the free reader software from Adobe.

Or use the following links.

Download the map as a PDF

Download a GPS route in kml format

Download the route description as a PDF

Accommodation in this section

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4. Waunfawr to Nantlle

Distance: 8.9km, 5.6mls     Ascent: 270m, 900ft     Time; 3-4hrs

For most of this leg, the Snowdonia Slate Trail follows the North Wales Pilgrims' Path. Leaving Waunfawr near the Welsh Highland Light Railway station, the route follows a country lane before branching off up the steep wooded hillside. Eventually, open moorland is reached with views of Mynydd Mawr to the left and the rugged Nantlle Ridge ahead. Soon, the extensive slate workings of the Nantlle Valley are reached and the route passes beneath towering slate tips and between cavernous quarries before emerging in the village of Nantlle.

adobe pdf icon s

The maps and route descriptions are supplied in Acrobat PDF format.

Click on the Acrobat PDF logo to get the free reader software from Adobe.

Or use the following links.

Download the map as a PDF

Download a GPS route in kml format

Download the route description as a PDF

Accommodation in this section

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5. Nantlle to Rhyd Ddu

Distance: 8.2km, 5.1mls     Ascent: 260m, 850ft     Time; 2-3hrs

The Nantlle Valley is an unfrequented place of beauty, with the bulk of Mynydd Mawr on the one side and the towering cliffs of the Nantlle Ridge on the other. This is an easy walk along the valley bottom before an ascent, with one very boggy area, to the forest and a descent into Rhyd Ddu with its pub and café.

adobe pdf icon s

The maps and route descriptions are supplied in Acrobat PDF format.

Click on the Acrobat PDF logo to get the free reader software from Adobe.

Or use the following links.

Download the map as a PDF

Download a GPS route in kml format

Download the route description as a PD

Accommodation in this section

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6. Rhyd Ddu to Beddgelert

Distance: 8.3km, 5.2mls     Ascent: 110m, 350ft      Time; 1.5-2.5hrs

This leg follows the recently established Lon Gwyrfai all the way. It is a pleasant and easy walk along way-marked paths and forest trails, with views of Snowdonia's highest mountains

adobe pdf icon s

The maps and route descriptions are supplied in Acrobat PDF format.

Click on the Acrobat PDF logo to get the free reader software from Adobe.

Or use the following links.

Download the map as a PDF

Download a GPS route in kml format

Download the route description as a PDF

Accommodation in this section

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7. Beddgelert to Croesor

Distance: 7.2km, 4.5mls     Ascent: 400m, 1300ft     Time; 2-3hrs

This section takes you from the bustle of Beddgelert to the calm of Croesor by way of a spectacular riverside path, a quiet country lane and a wild drovers' road across the open moors.

adobe pdf icon s

The maps and route descriptions are supplied in Acrobat PDF format.

Click on the Acrobat PDF logo to get the free reader software from Adobe.

Or use the following links.

Download the map as a PDF

Download a GPS route in kml format

Download the route description as a PDF

Accommodation in this section

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8. Croesor to Tanygrisiau

Distance: 7.4km, 4.6mls     Ascent: 470m, 1550ft      Time; 3-4hrs

This leg is probably the wildest and most strenuous yet. A good track climbs the side of the Croesor valley to Croesor quarry.  There are way marks but careful navigation is also needed to reach the remote Rhosydd Quarry, from where a broad track drops down to Cwmorthin Lake and its abandoned settlement.  From here, the road drops down to Tanygrisiau.

adobe pdf icon s

The maps and route descriptions are supplied in Acrobat PDF format.

Click on the Acrobat PDF logo to get the free reader software from Adobe.

Or use the following links.

Download the map as a PDF

Download a GPS route in kml format

Download the route description as a PDF

Accommodation in this section

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9. Tanygrisiau to Llan Ffestiniog

Distance: 8.6km, 5.4mls      Ascent: 250m, 850ft     Time; 2.5 -3.5hrs

From Tanygrisiau to Blaenau Ffestiniog is not the most beautiful section of the Trail. However, much work has been carried out in Blaenau Ffestiniog to regenerate the village. From the town, the Trail passes down the wide Cwm Bowydd before crossing over into the attractive gorge of Cwm Teigl.  From here, it is a short field walk up into Llan Ffestiniog.

adobe pdf icon s

The maps and route descriptions are supplied in Acrobat PDF format.

Click on the Acrobat PDF logo to get the free reader software from Adobe.

Or use the following links.

Download the map as a PDF

Download a GPS route in kml format

Download the route description as a PDF

Accommodation in this section

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10. Llan Ffestiniog to Penmachno

Distance: 21.0km, 13.1mls      Ascent: 880m, 2850ft     Time; 8 - 9hrs

This day is certainly the toughest of all, commencing with good paths through the hidden gem of Cwm Cynfal gorge, followed by a crossing of the wild, open and sometimes boggy moors of the Migneint. Good route finding is necessary here. A descent through quarry workings takes you to Cwm Penmachno before a final climb and subsequent descent through the forest to Penmachno.

adobe pdf icon s

The maps and route descriptions are supplied in Acrobat PDF format.

Click on the Acrobat PDF logo to get the free reader software from Adobe.

Or use the following links.

Download the map as a PDF: Part one,   Part two

Download a GPS route for both parts in kml format

Download the route description as a PDF: Part one,   Part two

 Accommodation in this section

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11. Penmachno to Betws y Coed

Distance: 8.6km, 5.4mls      Ascent: 150m, 500ft      Time; 2 - 3hrs

After the last leg, this section is a doddle. Broad forestry tracks take the Trail down to Roman Bridge, after which the road is followed to Conwy Falls Café. A pleasant track passes the Fairy Glen before a minor road, followed by a short woodland walk, leads to bustling Betws y Coed.

adobe pdf icon s

The maps and route descriptions are supplied in Acrobat PDF format.

Click on the Acrobat PDF logo to get the free reader software from Adobe.

Or use the following links.

Download the map as a PDF

Download a GPS route in kml format

Download the route description as a PDF

Accommodation in this section

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12. Betws y Coed to Capel Curig

Distance: 9.5km, 5.9mls      Ascent: 420m, 1350ft      Time; 3 - 4hrs

This is a lovely section with plenty of interest. The Trail leaves Betws y Coed by a well-engineered riverside walk, passing the famous Swallow Falls before reaching the road at The Ugly House.  A steep pull up a lane takes you once more into the Gwydir Forest and good woodland tracks. Once out of the woods, the stunning views of Snowdon, Moel Siabod, the Carneddau and the Glyderau open up as you drop down into Capel Curig.

adobe pdf icon s

The maps and route descriptions are supplied in Acrobat PDF format.

Click on the Acrobat PDF logo to get the free reader software from Adobe.

Or use the following links.

Download the map as a PDF

Download a GPS route in kml format

Download the route description as a PDF

Accommodation in this section

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13. Capel Curig to Bethesda

Distance: 17.4km, 10.9mls     Ascent: 150m, 500ft     Time; 5 - 6hrs

The hard walking is over and you can enjoy a virtually level walk to the head of the impressive U-shaped Nant Ffrancon valley. Then comes a few miles of minor road down this beautiful valley, after which you join the Lon Las Ogwen cycleway. This takes you around the blue cascading slate tips of the Penrhyn Quarry before a short cycleway takes you back into Bethesda.  You've done it.  Congratulations.

adobe pdf icon s

The maps and route descriptions are supplied in Acrobat PDF format.

Click on the Acrobat PDF logo to get the free reader software from Adobe.

Or use the following links.

Download the map as a PDF: Part one,   Part two

Download a GPS route for both parts in kml format

Download the route description as a PDF: Part one,   Part two 

Accommodation in this section

Our Funders

  1. Heritage Lottery Fund
  2. Magnox, 
  3. Snowdonia National Park CAE Fund, 
  4. The Foyle Foundation, 
  5. The Garfield Weston Foundation, 
  6. The Oakdale Trust, 
  7. Community Fund in Wales, 
  8. HF Holidays, 
  9. Horizon, 
  10. First Hydro, 
  11. The Laspen Trust,
  12. Conwy County Borough Council,
  13. Bethesda Town Council, 
  14. Ffestiniog Town Council
  15. One private donor

Our Supporters

  1. Snowdonia National Park
  2. Gwynedd Council
  3. Conwy County Borough Council
  4. The Snowdonia Society
  5. Ramblers Cymru
  6. Cofio Cymorthin
© 2017 Cwm Community Action Group. All Rights Reserved. Designed by Creativity Jones.

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