See the spectacular Rhaeadr Ddu Falls and the fascinating remains of the Cefn Coch gold mine.
- Bus stop
Start: Ganllwyd car park, grid ref: SH727243
Cross the road from the car park towards the recently-restored corrugated iron village hall.
Follow the tarmac road alongside the River Gamlan to its junction with a stoned footpath, waymarked towards a wooden bridge. As you follow this path look out for a rock inscribed in Latin with a line by the poet Thomas Grey.
The rock outcrops along the river create turbulent rapids, waterfalls and torrents and is very impressive in high water.
Cross over the bridge and veer right to Rhaeadr ddu: the Black Falls. There are two separate waterfalls, both spectacular in all seasons.
These cascading falls have inspired generations of artists and writers. They are one of the wonders of Wales and are breathtakingly beautiful in all weathers.
Continue along the path, following the waymarkers through a kissing gate. A little further on, take the path to your right and cross the wooden footbridge. Carry on along the path to your right, up a tarmac road and through a gate into Forestry Commission woodland.
After about 110yds (100m) turn left through a recently thinned conifer plantation. Follow the waymarkers over a rustic oak footbridge and onto the open mountain. From here the waymarkers will take you past the the 19th-century gold workings. Look out for the early and more recent stamping mills, the barracks and a powder hut. The path will lead you down to the ruined cottage of Berthlwyd.
The discovery of gold in Wales in the 19th century led to a gold rush. Cefn Coch was one of the richest mines in the Merionydd gold belt, an area known at the time as New California.
Walk downhill along the tarmac road as far as the stone house on the left. Take the path to the right and cross a step-over stile into the woods.
Carry on along this path until you reach a junction. Take the second path to the right and follow the waymarkers through the woods. This path will bring you to the Merionydd National Trust Workbase.
Continue on along the tarmac road to the Tyn-y-Groes Hotel. Cross the busy main road and take the path opposite, towards the River Mawddach and the Tyn-y-Groes bridge.
Go left along the tarmac road back to the main road. Cross over to the pavement and turn right, back towards the village and the car park.
End: Ganllwyd car park, grid ref: SH727243
- Trail: Walking
- Grade: Moderate
- Distance: 4 miles (6.4km)
- Time: 4 hours
- OS Map: Landranger 124
Woodland, grass paths, some tarmac. Can be muddy. Steep in places. Kissing gates, ladder and step-over stiles. Dogs welcome, under close control in woodland and on leads on farmland. Please clear up after your dogs.
- How to get here:
By bike: NCN Route 82 goes close by, see Sustrans for details
By bus: Bus stops in Ganllwyd, routes between Dolgellau and Blaenau Ffestiniog, see Traveline-Cymru for details
By train: Station at Barmouth 10 miles (16km), see Traveline-Cymru for details
By car: A470 to Ganllwyd, car park in village. Post code LL40 2TF
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