Dyfi Forest - Coed Nant Gwernol, near Machynlleth

What's here

The Cascades Trail and the Quarryman’s Trail are closed due to a landslide.

Welcome

Coed Nant Gwernol is a woodland on the edge of Abergynolwyn village.

The woodland takes its name from a rocky river gorge with cascading waterfalls.

On the plateau above the river gorge lie the remains of Bryn-Eglwys Slate Quarry which is now part of the Slate Landscape of Northwest Wales World Heritage Site.

Our waymarked walking trails from Nant Gwernol station follow the river and explore the remains of Bryn-Eglwys Slate Quarry.

You can discover what life was like for the quarry workers and their families by listening to our audio trail which has been designed for use along the Quarryman’s Trail.

The Talyllyn narrow-gauge railway runs through Coed Nant Gwernol and the walking trails can be started from two of the stations along the line.

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.

Stations Link Trail

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  • Grade: Moderate
  • Distance: 1.1 miles/1.7 kilometres
  • Time: ¾ hour
  • Trail information: There is a steep climb to Nant Gwernol station and a steep descent to Abergynolwyn station. Look out for trains when walking over the level crossing along the trail. 

The Stations Link is a linear route between Nant Gwernol station and Abergynolwyn station which are both on the Talyllyn railway.

There are views of the surrounding mountains, steam trains on the Talyllyn railway and the historic Allt Wyllt incline, part of the former quarry.

Starting points for the Stations Link Trail

  • Nant Gwernol station (Talyllyn railway)
  • Abergynolwyn station (Talyllyn railway)

Cascades Trail

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  • Grade: Moderate
  • Distance: 1.1 miles/1.7 kilometres
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Trail information: Please take care not to stray from the paths as the old works are dangerous.

The Cascade Trail climbs uphill, closely following the cascading river.

It then crosses a wooden bridge onto the old tramway and descends steeply alongside part of the old Allt Wyllt incline back to Nant Gwernol station. 

Look for the remains of the drumhouses for the winding gear, or winch, at the top.

Starting points for the Cascades Trail

  • Abergynolwyn village hall (Y Ganolfan): see the map in the car park and follow the link route to Nant Gwernol station
  • Nant Gwernol station (Talyllyn railway)
  • Abergynolwyn station (Talyllyn railway): follow the Stations Link Trail from Abergynolwyn station to Nant Gwernol station

Quarryman’s Trail

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  • Grade: Strenuous
  • Distance: 3.2 miles/5.1 kilometres
  • Time: 2½-3 hours
  • Trail information: There are long climbs and steep descents on this trail. Please take care not to stray from the paths as the old works are dangerous.
  • Audio trail: We have produced an audio trail to listen to along the Quarryman’s Trail - go to the audio trail section below to find out how to download and use it.

Highlights of this trail include the wide views, waterfalls and quarry remains.

Look out for the panels and wind-up listening posts that tell the story of the Bryn-Eglwys quarrymen and their families.

Starting points for the Quarryman’s Trail

  • Abergynolwyn village hall (Y Ganolfan): see the map in the car park and follow the link route to Nant Gwernol station
  • Nant Gwernol station (Talyllyn railway)
  • Abergynolwyn station (Talyllyn railway): follow the Stations Link Trail from Abergynolwyn station to Nant Gwernol station

Audio trail

Discover what life was like for the Bryn Eglwys Quarry workers and their families by listening to our audio trail.

The audio trail has been designed to be used along the Quarryman’s Trail, a waymarked walking route through Coed Nant Gwernol.

We recommend that you download the audio trail to your smartphone before your visit as mobile network coverage can be limited in rural areas.

How to use the audio trail

  • Download the audio trail mp3 file from the downloads section at the bottom of this page (please note that the file will start to play when you click on the link and you will then need to click the three dots to download it to your device).
  • Start to play the audio trail outside Y Ganolfan (Abergynolwyn village hall) in Abergynolwyn village.
  • Then follow the waymarkers for the Quarryman’s Trail.
  • Look out for the information panels along the route which indicate which audio track to play next.

You can also download a PDF file of the audio trail’s script from the downloads section at the bottom of this page.

Dyfi Forest

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Coed Nant Gwernol is part of Dyfi Forest.

Situated between the towns of Machynlleth and Dolgellau Dyfi Forest lies in the shadow of Cadair Idris.

The woodlands cling to the steep hillsides of the Tarren and Dyfi mountain ranges cut through by the Dysynni, Dulas and Dyfi rivers heading west to the nearby sea.

The whole area was once filled with thriving slate mines, employing hundreds of people.

The finished slate was moved to the coast via a system of tramways and steam trains for export.

The remaining trains now carry holidaymakers through the countryside.

Other walking trails in Dyfi Forest

In addition to Coed Nant Gwernol, there are walking trails in these other Natural Resources Wales woodlands within Dyfi Forest:

Eryri (Snowdonia) National Park

Most of Dyfi Forest is in Eryri (Snowdonia) National Park.

Snowdonia is the largest National Park in Wales and is home to picturesque towns and villages and the highest mountain in Wales.

It is looked after by the Eryri National Park Authority.

For more information about visiting Eryri go to the Eryri National Park Authority website.

National Forest for Wales

Dyfi 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.

Talyllyn Railway

The Talyllyn Railway runs through Dyfi Forest on its route between Tywyn on the coast to Nant Gwernol station near the village of Abergynolwyn.

The line was originally opened to carry slate from the quarries at Bryn-Eglwys to Tywyn and it is now a heritage railway.

Our walking trails can be started from the stations at Abergynolwyn village or Nant Gwernol on the Tallyllyn Railway.

For more information go to the Talyllyn Railway 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.

Please note:

  • Take care not to stray from the paths as the old works are dangerous.
  • Do not enter any mine workings or buildings as they may be unsafe

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.

How to get here

Coed Nant Gwernol is 12 miles south of Dolgellau.

Postcode

The postcode is LL36 9UU.

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.

Directions

Take the A487 from Machynlleth towards Dolgellau.

Turn left onto the B4405 just after Corris for Abergynolwyn.

Follow this road and the car park for Abergynolwyn village hall (Y Ganolfan) is on the left.

See the map in the car park and follow the short but steep link route to Nant Gwernol station which is the start of the walking trails.

What3Words

View this place on the What3Words website.

Ordnance Survey

The Ordnance Survey (OS) grid reference for the start of the walking trails at Nant Gwernol station is SH 681 067 (Explorer Map OL 23).

Public transport

The nearest mainline railway station is in Tywyn.

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

Parking

There is a car park at Abergynolwyn village hall (Y Ganolfan).

See the map in the car park and follow the short but steep link route to Nant Gwernol station which is the start of the walking trails.

There is no parking at Nant Gwernol station itself.

Contact details

There are no staff at this location.

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

Downloads

Related document downloads

Dyfi Forest leaflet PDF [4.8 MB]

Other places in North West Wales

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