Running Trails

From a 1 mile shoe test route to 2.7 mile inspiring trail or a challenging 13.5 mile ‘half marathon’, Coed y Brenin’s five way marked running trails are ideal for both novice and more experienced runners helping to progress off road running skills and improve endurance

Passing through three river valleys and climbing and descending the ridges that separate them, make these some of the toughest trail runs you’ll find. With panoramic views of the mountains of southern Snowdonia, cascading rivers, tranquil plunge pools, heather moorland and the dappled shade of broadleaf oak woods, our routes for all abilities of runner mean you will see some of the best scenery Coed y Brenin Forest Park has to offer

Sarn Helen Trail - Long

5.2m/8.4 km | 1 hour | Moderate | Climb 198m

After climbing up to the Cefndeuddwr ridge, begin a descent into the valley of the Afon Gain. Follow the river upstream to the ruins of Penmaen Farm where the trail climbs back up the hillside to the Sarn Helen and returns, past the medieval ironworks (Bloomeries) and along the forest road to the visitor centre

Download the trail guide and map

IMG_1700Sarn Helen - Short

2.7m /4.3km | 40 minutes  | Moderate | climb 97m

Climb up onto and contour round the Cefndeuddwr ridge, where you’ll meet the Sarn Helen, an ancient Roman road, before descending back to the visitor centre

Download the trail guide and map

Half Marathon Trail

13.5 m/21.8km | 1.75 -3.5 hour | Strenuous | Climb 727m

Once you’ve climbed to Cefndeuddwr, descend the forest roads to Afon Mawddach, following the river downstream. Climb the next hill, along the edge of the copper bog and then down again on a footpath to the valley of the Afon Wen

The trail then climbs up past Cynant Hyll and its cascading stream. As you follow the extreme eastern edge of the forest park, you can enjoy some unexpected views. Then descend back to the Afon Wen, taking in a short section of tarmac road. You’ll have a chance to catch your breath, as you follow the valley floor round the end of the hill to the Afon Mawddach. There’s one final sting in the tail after Tyn y Groes: a climb back over the Cefndeuddwr ridge to the visitor centre

Download the trail guide and map

1795517_596442493783958_61276881_nGoldRush Trail

8.5 m/13.7km | 1hr 10mins - 2 hours | Strenuous | Climb 420m

The trail climbs over the Cefndeuddwr ridge, where it detours along two footpaths before descending to the Afon Mawddach. After crossing the aerial bridge at Tyddyn Gwladys, you’ll climb up to and cross the Copper Bog before descending past Caen Coed house. Join a bridleway back down to the Afon Mawddach, then follow a low level finish along the Afon Eden back to the visitor centre

Download the trail guide and map

FullSizeRender 14.32.00The Shoe Test Route

1.05m /1.7km | 10-20 minutes  | Moderate | climb 50m

Climb up to Cefndeuddwr cross roads, take a right turn onto the Council Road and right again onto the orienteering path before descending through lush broadleaf trees back to the visitor centre

Download the trail guide and map

Safety & Equipment

Novice or long distance runner, make sure you’re geared up for the weather

You’ll need water, provisions and of course footwear and kit to suit the conditions. If you get into difficulty, follow the Escape Route waymarkers for a low-level return to the visitor centre

Be prepared for an interesting mixture of forest roads and rough unmade public rights of way with occasional roots, mud and rocks. There are steep ascents and descents and occasional sections of tarmac road

All the trails start from the visitor centre car park and Running Trails trail head

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Courses & Seminars

Beginners, intermediates or experts, all are welcome for our range of courses

Starting in 2015 our offerings will cover introductions to trail running, products, nutrition, navigation, techniques and special guest seminars from some of the UK's foremost trail runners

Further details can be found on our Courses & Seminars page

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