Coed y Brenin Forest Park - Pont Cae’n-y-coed, near Dolgellau

What's here


Pont Cae'n-y-coed is a small car park in Coed y Brenin Forest Park.

It is the starting point for the Volcano Trail, a long walk past many key features in the forest.

Once a temporary Bailey bridge stood here to take out timber from the other side of the Afon Mawddach.

Nowadays mountain bikers and walkers use the new bridge as a crucial link to the wilder country on the east side of the river.

Walking trail

The walking trail is waymarked from start to finish.

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

Find out about walking trail grades.

Volcano Trail

  • Grade: Strenuous
  • Distance: 6¾ miles/10.8 kilometres
  • Climb: 300 metres
  • Time: 5 hours
  • Trail description: The trail is on a combination of forest roads and steep narrow paths, often less than 50cm wide in places, on an unmade, uneven surface, where you can expect mud, rocks and tree roots along some of the roughest terrain in the forest. There are steps on the steep ascent up to Moel Hafod Owen where you will find a bench at the top for a well-deserved picnic whilst admiring the view. If you want to experience a real adventure, ensure you go well prepared for a long day in the woods.

On this challenging circular walk, you will visit many key features in the forest, including the copper bog and the highest point of the forest park – Moel Hafod Owen.

Take in the five information panels to help you explore Coed y Brenin’s violent volcanic history and enjoy views of the surrounding Meirionnydd mountains.

Coed y Brenin Forest Park 

Explore Coed y Brenin on a waymarked walking trail from one of our other car parks in the forest park:

  • Coed y Brenin Visitor Centre - the gateway to the forest park and the starting point for a range of walking, running and mountain biking trails. There is also a café and bike shop
  • Tyddyn Gwladys – a picnic site by the rolling Mawddach river and gateway to the Waterfalls and Goldmines walk
  • Forest Garden – a choice of routes through trees from all over the world in the forest garden, one of which is suitable for all abilities
  • Glasdir – an old copper works in a quiet rural setting with an accessible trail to a viewpoint over the mine workings
  • Pont Ty'n-y-groes – riverside picnic area and gateway to an accessible riverside walk and a rugged mountain trail with great views over Eryri

Eryri (Snowdonia) National Park

Coed y Brenin Forest Park is set in Eryri (Snowdonia) National Park.

Eryri 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

Coed y Brenin Forest Park 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.

How to get here


Pont Cae'n-y-coed car park is just off the A470, near the village of Ganllwyd. 

It is in the county of Gwynedd.

Ordnance Survey (OS) map

Pont Cae'n-y-coed is on OS Explorer OL18.

The OS grid reference is SH 733 251.


Take the A470 north from Dolgellau.

After passing through the village of Ganllwyd, turn right just after the school.

Follow this minor road over a stone bridge and continue following the road on the right with the Afon Mawddach river below.

The car park is on the right after about a quarter of a mile.

Public transport

The nearest mainline railway stations are in Barmouth (Cambrian Coast line) and Blaenau Ffestiniog (Blaenau Ffestiniog-Llandudno line).

For details of public transport visit the Traveline Cymru website.


Car parking is free of charge.

Overnight parking is not permitted.

Contact details

Coed y Brenin Visitor Centre

01341 440747

Related document downloads

Volcano Trail guide PDF [1019.4 KB]

Other places in North West Wales

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