Dyfi Forest - Tan y Coed, near Machynlleth

What's here


Tan y Coed is an easy-to-find woodland located immediately off the A487.

It is the starting point for a walking trail to a waterfall and an animal discovery trail for children.

The Forestry Commission began planting the woodland after the First World War to boost Britain's timber reserve.

Planting continued through the Second World War with Land Army Girls, known as Timber Jills, carrying out the work. 

There is a picnic site with tables amongst huge Douglas fir trees in the large grassy area around the car park.

The toilet block is in the car park.

Walking trails

The walking trails are waymarked from start to finish.

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

Find out about walking trail grades.

Animal Discovery Trail

  • Grade: Moderate
  • Distance: 1 mile/1.8 kilometres
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Trail information: Follow the red waymarkers through conifers and beautiful beech trees before dropping down to the riverside on narrow paths often less than 80cm wide in places, on an unmade, uneven surface, where you can expect mud, rocks and tree roots. There are several flights of steps. There are two benches and two picnic tables.

Be a nature detective on this special trail for children.

Pick up a leaflet from the dispenser outside the toilets or download a copy from the bottom of this page.

Then set off through the woodland and work out the clues to find the hidden animals in the trees.

This trail uses some of the same paths as the Tan y Coed Trail and goes past the waterfall and through the rock passage.

Tan y Coed Trail

  • Grade: Moderate
  • Distance: 1½ miles/2.3 kilometres
  • Time: 1½ hours
  • Trail information: Follow the green waymarkers along a trail which zig-zags through the trees climbing the steep hillside on a narrow path less than 80cm wide in places, on unmade, uneven surface, where you can expect mud, rocks and tree roots. There are steps down to the waterfall.

Set off through the trees on the longer of the two trails through the woodland.

The route takes you to the waterfall and alongside the river.

Then squeeze through the rock passage and enjoy views over Dyfi Forest on your return to the car park.

Accessibility information

  • parking for Blue Badge holders
  • accessible toilets
  • accessible picnic bench

Dyfi Forest

Tan y Coed 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

Try our waymarked trails for a taste of the area's history and culture and experience the cascading rivers and majestic trees.

In addition to Tan y Coed, 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.

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

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.

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

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

Closures and diversions

Sometimes we need to close or divert trails for your safety whilst we undertake maintenance work or other operations.

We may have to close a site in extreme weather, such as high winds or snow and ice, due to the risk of injury to visitors or staff.

Please always follow any instructions on site and any temporary diversion signs.

How to get here


Tan y Coed is 3½ miles north of Machynlleth.

It is in the county of Gwynedd.

Ordnance Survey map

Tan y Coed is on Ordnance Survey (OS) Explorer map OL 23.

The OS grid reference is SH 755 053.


Take the A487 from Machynlleth towards Dolgellau.

After 3½ miles, the Tan y Coed car park is signposted on the left.

Public transport

The nearest mainline railway station is in Machynlleth.

For details of public transport visit Traveline Cymru's website


Car 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.

Related document downloads

Dyfi Forest leaflet PDF [7.7 MB]

Other places in North West Wales

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