Circular walk through ancient woodland

Coed Felinrhyd & Llennyrch is a 310ha woodland in the Snowdonia National Park which is owned by the Woodland Trust. The legendary resting place of Pryderi, King of Dyfed, Coed Felinrhyd is thousands of years old and one of Europe’s finest Atlantic Oak woodlands. You will discover an important natural habitat which is home to diverse wildlife including wood warblers, otters and lesser horseshoe bats. Rare lichens and mosses cover the trees and rocks around you and the wood is bordered by the steep gorge of the Afon Prysor.

A network of footpaths enables you to fully explore this fascinating woodland but there is only one waymarked trail. This is a 3.8km circular route which takes you through the trees and past many small cascades to the highlight of the walk – the spectacular Rhaeadr Ddu (Black Waterfall).

The entrance to Coed Felinrhyd & Llennyrch is adjacent to the Power station just outside the village of Maentwrog, near Penrhyndeudraeth. There is no car park but there are a couple of lay-bys on the A496 which are just a few hundred metres away. The lack of parking is an inconvenience but does mean that few people visit the woodland, ensuring that it is a peaceful place to explore.

Duration: 2-3 hours if you linger at the waterfall

Terrain: Woodland paths, rocky paths and steps with some steep sections

Coed Felinrhyd

Starting Out

Enter the wood via the gated entrance adjacent to the power station and then take the clearly marked path to the left. You will walk alongside the river for a while, passing an old stone bridge which is now covered in moss and lichen. The path then leads you upwards and deeper into the trees. You climb fairly quickly, passing a number of small cascades and a wealth of interesting flora along the way. After roughly 2km you will catch a glimpse of the stunning waterfall through the trees.

The footpath is generally in good condition and easy to walk on. But in wet weather, there are slippery sections which should be tackled with care. You will pass the occasional bench if you fancy a break and you might need one as there are a few steep sections of the trail to negotiate.

Rhaeadr Ddu

Rhaeadr Ddu

There is no doubt that the wonderful Rhaeadr Ddu is the highlight of this walk. The waterfall cascades over a vertical cliff into a large pool. A river flows out of this and down the gorge to complete the picturesque scene. You don’t get a particularly good view of the falls from the footpath and so it is worth clambering down the hillside to the left in order to spend a little time by the water.

The climb down is relatively steep but isn’t too much of a challenge. You will be rewarded with amazing views of the waterfall and the area in front of the pool is the perfect place for a picnic, especially in the summer months. If you have dogs with you, they can enjoy a paddle while you relax with a snack. You will be glad that so few people visit the woodland when you have this amazing spot to yourself!

Moving On

After spending some time at the waterfall, clamber back up to the footpath and continue the walk. The path climbs upwards through the trees and features further steep ascents. You will eventually arrive at a gate where the onward route is clearly marked.

The walk back to the entrance includes sections of unmade road and woodland paths. There are portions of the footpath which can be boggy or slippery in wet weather, but the terrain is generally easy to tackle. You will see further small cascades tumbling down the hillside and towards the end of the walk there are incredible views of the peaks rising up in the distance.

Coed Felinrhyd
Rhaeadr Ddu


Take the A487 and head south until you pass Porthmadog. At the roundabout after the metal bridge over the road, turn left towards Penrhyndeudraeth. Remain on this road until approximately 3 miles beyond Penrhyndeudraeth, turn right onto the A496 towards Harlech. Drive through the village of Maentwrog and you will find the entrance to the wood on your left just after the power station.