Clocaenog Forest - Bod Petryal, near Ruthin

What's here

Timber haulage is ongoing on the forest roads - please be aware and follow any instructions on site.


Bod Petryal is one of several car parks in Clocaenog Forest, a huge area of woodland, open moorland and rivers.

Bod Petryal means "rectangular dwelling" in Welsh and it is named after the old gamekeeper’s cottage, which was part of the Pool Park Estate.

This peaceful lakeside picnic site has a short walk and a cycle trail and makes an ideal starting point to get a taste of the forest.

Walking trails

The walking trails are waymarked from start to finish.

Look out for the information panel at the start of the trail.

Find out about walking trail grades.

Keeper’s Stroll

  • Grade: Easy
  • Distance: ½ mile/1 kilometre 
  • Time: 30 minutes

This short walk goes past huge trees, the old gamekeeper’s cottage and the beautiful lake.

Animal Discovery Trail

  • Grade: Easy
  • Distance: ½ mile/1 kilometre 
  • Time: 20 minutes

The Animal Discovery Trail sets off on the same route as the Keeper’s Stroll.

The Animal Discovery Trail leaflet gives clues to help children find the hidden animals in the woods - you can download a leaflet from the bottom of this page.


Multi-user trail

All our mountain bike trails are waymarked from start to finish and have been graded for difficulty.

At the start of the trail there is an information panel – please read this before setting off.

Bod Petryal Trot

  • Grade: Easy
  • Distance: 2 miles/3.3 kilometres 
  • Time: 1 hour on horse, 1¼ hours walking, 20 minute cycle
  • Trail information: This trail may be used by cyclists and horseriders as well as walkers.

This route meanders through the forest on forest roads and is suitable for the whole family.

Keep an eye out for woodpeckers whilst you’re having your picnic by the lake.


Clocaenog Forest

Clocaenog is a huge conifer forest which is the size of 10,000 rugby pitches (100km2).

It lies at the southern end of Hiraethog Moor and was first planted in the 1930s by the Forestry Commission.

Although still a working forest, it is now a place for people to enjoy and home for a wide variety of wildlife.

Red squirrels live in Clocaenog Forest but you will be very lucky to see one as they move over large areas and are quite secretive.

Rare black grouse, known for their flamboyant courtship display, known as ‘lekking’, live on the forest edge.

In addition to Bod Petryal, waymarked trails start from several other Natural Resources Wales car parks in Clocaenog Forest:

  • Boncyn Foel Bach - scenic viewpoint with a picnic area and short woodland stroll
  • Coed y Fron Wyllt - ancient woodland with riverside walk and wildlife viewing hide
  • Pincyn Llys - short walk uphill to a monument with far-reaching views
  • Pool Park - easy to find woodland with short walk
  • Rhyd y Gaseg - short woodland walk to waterfall

National Forest for Wales

Clocaenog Forest forms part of the National Forest for Wales.

The National Forest will:

  • create areas of new woodland
  • enhance existing woodlands
  • restore Wales’ irreplaceable ancient woodlands

It will form a connected ecological network running throughout Wales, bringing social, economic and environmental benefits.

Parts of the network will eventually form a trail running the length and breadth of Wales, so anyone can access it wherever they live.

For more information go to the National Forest for Wales website.

Visiting safely

We want you to return home safely after your visit here.

You are responsible for your own safety as well as the safety of any children and animals with you during your visit.

For advice and tips to help you plan your visit here go to Visiting our places safely.

Changes to visitor facilities

See the top of this webpage for details of any planned closures or other changes to visitor facilities here.

For your safety, always follow instructions from staff and signs including those for trail diversions or closures.

We may divert or close trails whilst we undertake maintenance work or other operations and we may need to close other visitor facilities temporarily.

In extreme weather, we may close facilities at short notice due to the risk of injury to visitors and staff.

Organising an event on our land

You may need permission from us to organise an event or to carry out some activities on our land.

Check if you are allowed to use our land.

How to get here

Bod Petryal is 8 miles south west of Ruthin.


The postcode is LL15 2NN.

Please note that this postcode may not take you to the car park if you use a sat nav or navigation app.

We suggest you follow the directions below or use the Google map on this page which has a pin on the car park’s location.


Take the B5105 from Ruthin to Cerrigydrudion.

Go through the village of Clawddnewydd.

Shortly after passing the Boncyn Foel Bach car park, the Bod Petryal car park is on the left.


View this place on the What3Words website

Ordnance Survey

The Ordnance Survey (OS) grid reference for the car park is SJ 036 512 (Explorer Map 264).

Public transport

The nearest mainline railway station is in Buckley.

For details of public transport go to the Traveline Cymru website.


Parking is free of charge.

Overnight parking is not permitted.

Contact details

There are no staff at this location.

Contact our customer team for general enquiries during office hours, Monday to Friday.

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