Coed y Brenin is a beautiful forest in the southern part of the Snowdonia National Park, near Dolgellau. Managed by National Resources Wales, it’s renowned for its mountain biking and hiking trails, boasting several man-made mountain bike courses that meander through this exceptional woodland. The site comprises 9000 acres around the valleys of the rivers Mawddach, Eden, Gain and Wen.
Ecologically and historically the surrounding area is richly endowed. The geology of the forest, in particular, rouses special interest, primarily due to its precious hoard of minerals including copper, gold and iron ores. This accounts for the area’s once thriving mining industry, which includes the world famous copper works at Glasdir.
The site is home to an amazing range of plants and animals. Watch out for the shy Fallow deer in forest glades and marvel at some of the huge wood ants’ nests, several of which are decades old. The very rare Pearl mussel lurks in Coed y Brenin’s rivers, and you may spot an Otter along the riverbank. Typically, a rich flora of mosses, ferns, liverworts and lichens (some very rare) carpet the rocks, trees and ground. Birds are observed in abundance and include Dippers, Grey wagtails and Herons around the rivers; as well as Crossbills, Jays, Woodpeckers, Goldcrests and Goshawks in the forest. Flycatchers and Wood warblers are spotted during the summer months and Merlin and Black Grouse frequent the heather moorland.
There is a wide range of walking trails from wheelchair and pushchair friendly to rugged mountain yomps. Stroll along and you will find cascading waterfalls on the Afon Mawddach, as well as collossal Douglas fir trees on the “Kings Guards Trail” from Tyn y Groes. There is also a children’s adventure playground and for the adrenalin junkies, a high wire course.
There are parking facilities and picnic site at Coed y Brenin itself along with a visitor centre, cafe and accessible toilets and baby changing facilities open 7 days a week.
|Coed y Brenin is a particularly special wildlife area as it part of the Snowdonia Centre of Excellence. This is a is a £4 million project creating and developing the best outdoor adventure opportunities the sector can offer through four key sites.
These four outdoor activity centres include Antur Stiniog downhill mountain bike trails, Coed y Brenin mountain bike centre, Glan Llyn multi activity centre and Prysor Angling at Llyn Trawsfynydd. The project is nearing completion and some exciting developments have been happening at each of the four sites. Click here
to find out more.