Introduction:

This is a substantial circular walk, cycle or horse ride through the centre of Dyfi Forest. It might make a fun day out with a picnic.

I have chosen to start / finish the route in the picnic site car park at Aberllefenni (cars only, not horsebox friendly),

what3words ref:  ///rooks.thunder.merely

The route is mainly on stoned forest fire-roads with a few short sections of tarmac lane.

Please note that Dyfi is a working forest, as such there may be some restrictions due to felling & the like. Check for closures on the Natural Resources Wales Map. The NRW website should also provide details of any access requirements, such as third party insurance for horse riders.

A GPS route file is available for download from my OneDrive.

Just a friendly reminder, you should always have navigational means with you when venturing out: map, compass, GPS, knowledge. There are no signposts or way markers along this route and one section of forest can look much like the next.

Elevation Overview:

Route Map:

Route map may be viewed dynamically on my Viewranger and / or OutdoorActive presence.

Overview:

Following the route as shown upon the above map, our GPS logged:

Ascent:      ~ 3500 feet

Distance:  ~ 20 miles

Estimated Time:  MTB 2 to 3 hours  |  Horse 3 to 4 hours  |  Walking 7 to 8 hours

{times are fitness dependant}

The route can be tackled in either direction. If you wish to modify it for your MTB, to include some of the Climachx trails, then I'd suggest riding it in reverse to the description below.

There are some decent climbs, so expect a good workout - here's my heart rate data for a 2-hour circuit in trail mode of an eMTB:

Route Description & Photos:

Starting from  Aberllefenni, traverse the rural lanes to Corris. In the centre of Corris we turn left & steeply downhill at the crossroads. Follow this small lane down through the village, over the river bridge and then up alongside the forestry edge. Don't take the first stone track to the left, wait until you reach a substantial turning place on the left, where the main fire-road enters the forestry. This is the fire-road that we need to follow, climbing sharply uphill into the forest.

As we gain height, a lovely view over Corris towards Cadair Idris opens up, as photographed below by my daughter, late on a June evening:

Corris Eve

Evening sunlight falls upon the village of Corris. (Courtesy of Tamsin Jones)

Continue to climb on the fire-road. Ignore any tracks that leave to either side (two to the left & bridle path to the right). Eventually the track will curve to the left shortly before a sharp hairpin right. Follow around this hairpin (don't go straight) and climb to the crest of the hill, where there is a fire-road T-junction.

At this junction turn left and follow this fire-road across the hillside and then descending a little, for a lovely swoop down with views on your right, across the hills of northern Powys.

Smaller tracks and MTB trails will join from both sides, ignore all of these. At a point where our track sweeps to the right, another track will leave ahead & left, be sure to keep right on the main fire-road.

Soon we will be descending substantially and around a right-hand hairpin (easy to approach too fast on an MTB lol). We continue downhill on the fire-road until coming to a large multiway junction of fire-roads.

We must keep left at this junction, taking the fire-road that leads down to the stream & hairpins at the base of this side-valley. Having negotiated a sharp right, we will start to climb again. 

Soon at a place where, at the time of writing, there is some rather nice post & rail fencing, we will turn sharply left and steadily climb uphill.

Junctions and Fences

A rare run of post and rail deep in the forestry.

We now have several miles of fire-road where we will climb, level-out, then climb again. We are sticking to the main fire-road, keeping left to the steadily rising ground, but avoiding any dead-end spurs.

Upon reaching another multi-way junction on a lefthanded curve keep left on the undulating fire-road through to the next valley spur.

At various points along this generally rising ground, there are breaks in the trees, which allow us a vista across the local forestry and hills.

  • Forest Valley

    Looking along part of Dyfi Valley from Dyfi Forest

  • Trees

    Trees, so many trees. Looking east towards Mynydd Cemmaes

As we curve around the head of this next valley, we will finally climb to our second high point as we meet the Aberangell - Aberllefenni mountain lane.

From winter sunset to summer sunrise (as in the picture below) the views are ever changing, always showing a different aspect of the forest & its sometimes wild, sometimes tranquil weather.

Essence of Dyfi

Dawn light begins to spread across the upper reaches of Dyfi Forest - its log piles, tracks, and tree covered hills.

Upon reaching the tarmacked mountain lane, briefly turn left along it. As you start downhill, take the first fire-road entrance on your right.

After a long straight, the fire-road descends to a multi-way junction, here we must turn sharp left and gently downhill.

Whichever direction you have tackled this route in - don't forget to look back occasionally, the views are wonderful both ways:

Route Duality

Summer Dawn in Dyfi Forest - glorious forest views, whichever route one takes.

Having enjoyed the gentle descent around another valley spur we will come to another junction, pay close attention to map & GPS, as this one could be tricky to navigate. We need to turn left, then straight ahead & around a left-hand corner, before keeping left to remain upon the fire-road that we desire.

After rounding the next spur of the hillside, we will shortly come to a minor junction, where a smaller & slightly rougher track leaves downhill & to the left. We need to take this smaller track, which acts as a link for the old bridlepath. The track soon turns left and loses height to a gateway that opens on to farmland & a farm track. Be sure to turn right (left is private property) along this track that is the old bridlepath.

Keep an eye open for wildlife along this entire adventure, you never know who you might see, Birds of Prey, small & medium mammals, butterflies & songbirds, wildflowers on the verges.

This track / bridlepath will soon lead you to a gateway, beyond which the track becomes tarmacked. Follow the tarmac track down to re-join a lower section of the Aberangell - Aberllefenni lane. Keep ahead (don't turn left) when you meet the lane and follow it downhill back to Aberllefenni.

Follow the lane through Aberllefenni, making sure not to turn right towards the old slate quarries. Finally, you will see the entrance way to the picnic site on your left - congratulations you have finished the loop; I hope you've enjoyed it. Perhaps you can follow it the other way around on a different morning.

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