A circular route of a little over 8 miles & almost 1700ft climb, beginning & ending in parking at Aberllefenni. (Assuming a reasonable pace, allow 3 hours for this walk).
(Feature image) The misfit river Afon Llefenni runs in this glacial valley to it’s junction with the Afon Dulas at Aberllefenni.
The route includes a brief detour at the highest point, to take in views of Cadair Idris & Tal-y-llyn.
Mainly on stoned forest tracks & quiet rural lanes.
Park in the Picnic site car park at the southern end of the village of Aberllefenni; this is a lovely spot for a riverside snack, before or after your walk.
Exit the parking area heading in a southerly direction with the river on your left. Having noted the information board, turn left and cross the river bridge, then proceed gently uphill along the forest track / farm drive. When you reach the gates at the high point of the drive, keep right on to the footpath at the woodland edge. Walk along this woodland edge path, then turn left across farmland & descending to the riverside. [as per the detailed instructions for crossing Foel Friog]. Take the footbridge across the river & start walking up the small lane.
Part way up the hill, turn left on a path over the river and climb a few steps up to the main village road. When you meet the road, cross carefully and take the footpath entrance behind the small stone building. Walk up this picturesque path which traverses part of the old Aberllefenni slate quarry. If you look across the valley to your right a large quarry cavern can be seen.
At the other end of this footpath section you will descend past Bluemaris Cottages, through a gate, to join the main stoned forest track. Follow this track ahead & uphill. Cross the cattle grid & continue uphill through the forestry. Whatever time of year you walk this, do take time to enjoy the ever changing views.
When you reach a split in the track (at the 2nd hairpin) turn sharp right & continue uphill. This can be a good place to pause for a rest & enjoy the views of where you have come from.
Continue following this main forest track as it twists & turns through the forestry. The smell of the tree resins, the sparkle of sun on dewdrops, perhaps the call of a Peregrine Falcon somewhere high above – a magical & peaceful section.
Eventually you will come to a tarmac mountain lane. If you still have the energy a short detour to the left will be rewarded with outstanding views. To do so, turn left along the lane until you reach a gateway across the road. Go through the gateway & turn immediately left, off the lane and fairly steeply uphill. Follow the grassy path up to the clifftop (take particular care when close to the cliffs of Bwlch Llyn Bach). Here you can enjoy stunning panoramic views, including one of Cadair Idris & Tal-y-llyn.
When you are ready, retrace your steps back to where the forest track met the lane. Now continue along the lane, downhill, in a generally easterly direction. Having climbed up on the southern side of the valley, you will now descend on the northern side. This quiet gated lane will take you back past the quarry to the edge of Aberllefenni village. When you come to the road junction, take the village road to the right & walk through Aberllefenni back to the car park from where you started.
Route map via Viewranger.