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Ystwyth Forest, near Aberystwyth

Experience the spectacular landscape of Ystwyth Forest in the peaceful county of Ceredigion

Crossing the miner's bridge at Maenarthur

The Arch car park and the Arch Woodland Trail will be temporarily closed from 23/10/17. We are felling trees infected with a fungus-like disease called Phytophthora ramorum, commonly known as Larch disease. The work is expected to take around five months.

Overview 

Ystwyth Forest is near the coastal town of Aberystwyth and sits within a spectacular landscape which is characterised by river valleys.

Waymarked walking trails start from these parts of Ystwyth Forest:

  • Gogerddan Woodland: an ancient semi-natural woodland that is gradually being restored to its original native broadleaved condition
  • The Arch: an historic site near Devils Bridge which offers some of the best panoramic views in mid Wales
  • Coed Maenarthur Woodland: a woodland nestling in the Ystwyth valley and home to an Iron Age hillfort and spectacular waterfall
  • Grogwynion Woodland: a pleasant picnic site in a glade of willow and birch near the banks of the beautiful River Ystwyth
  • Black Covert Woodland: a peaceful picnic site by the River Ystwyth in the shelter of large ash, birch and sweet chestnut trees

The nearby Hafod Estate, famous for its “Picturesque” landscape, offers five waymarked trails. 

Closures and diversions

Please note:

  • Sometimes we need to close or divert trails for your safety whilst we undertake maintenance work or forest operations
  • Occasionally 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 onsite and make sure you follow any temporary diversion signs in place

Walking trails 

All of the walking trails are waymarked and circular.

Gogerddan Walk

1.5 miles, 2.4 kilometres

This trail from Gogerddan car park includes numerous climbs and steep descents as it passes by veteran trees and several viewpoints.

The Arch Woodland Trail

1 mile, 1.6 kilometres

This trail from The Arch car park is named after the spectacular old masonry arch which was built in 1810 to mark the Golden Jubilee of King George III.

Maenarthur Trail

2.5 miles, 4 kilometres

This trail starts near the water wheel in the village of Pontrhydygroes and passes over the miners’ bridge high above the Ystwyth gorge.  It then climbs a hill overlooking the Castell Grogwynion hill fort – one of the largest in Wales – before passing a spectacular waterfall and returning via a path along the bottom of the gorge.

Craig yr Ogof Walk from Grogwynion

0.5 mile, 1 kilometre

This trail, which include a short climb, goes from Grogwynion picnic site through part of the Ystwyth valley overlooking old lead mine workings.  There are two wooden benches along the route where you can enjoy views of the surrounding countryside.

Ty’n y Bedw Trail from Grogwynion

2.5 miles, 4 kilometres

This trail starts at Grogwynion picnic site and leads through beautiful mixed woodland with some huge Douglas fir trees. It is a moderate walk with numerous long climbs and steep descents. 

Riverside Walk from Black Covert car park

One and a quarter miles, 2 kilometres

This trail offers a gentle walk from the picnic site and alongside the River Ystwyth returning through woodland filled with the scent of resin.

Birchgrove Walk from Black Covert car park

2 miles, 3.2 kilometres

This trail includes numerous long climbs and steep descents as it passes an attractive pond and the 2000 year old hill fort of Allt-Fedw. There is a viewpoint with panoramic views over rolling hills and valleys.

How to get here

Download the location map.

Ystwyth Forest is nine miles east of Aberystwyth.

There are four car parks managed by Natural Resources Wales in Ystwyth Forest:

  • Gogerddan Woodland car park
  • The Arch car park
  • Grogwynion Woodland car park
  • Black Covert Woodland car park 

See below for directions to these car parks and for parking advice in the village of Pontrhydygroes (which is the starting point for the Maenarthur Trail).

Parking is free of charge at these car parks.

Gogerddan Woodland car park

Take the A44 from Aberystwyth to Llangurig. After approximately five kilometres take the left hand turning at Lovesgrove onto the A4159 for Machynlleth. After going through Capel Dewi you will climb a hill. When descending look for a crossroads at the bottom and turn right for Penrhyncoch. Go past huge greenhouses on your right and pass a row of houses on the left. The car park entrance appears suddenly on the left after the last house.

The OS grid reference is SN 634 837.

The Arch car park

Take the B4574 from Devil's Bridge to Cwmystwyth. Approximately three kilometres from Devil's Bridge, you pass a stone arch on the left and the car park and picnic area is just after it. 

The OS grid reference is SN 765 756.

Pontrhydygroes - the starting point for the Maenarthur Trail

Take the B4340 from Aberystwyth to Trawsgoed. Follow this road through Trawsgoed until the road crosses the River Ystwyth and then turn immediately left, following the river towards Pontrhydygroes. At the entrance to Pontrhydygroes village, park sensitively on the left-hand side of the road by the Miners’ Bridge (opposite the mill wheel). Go through the footpath gate to get to the walk.

The OS grid reference is SN 738 722.

Grogwynion Woodland car park

Take the B4340 from Aberystwyth to Trawsgoed. Follow this road through Trawsgoed until the road crosses the River Ystwyth and then turn immediately left, following the river. The car park and picnic site is on the left a few hundred metres after the saw mill.

The OS grid reference is SN 694 715.

Black Covert Woodland car park 

Take the B4340 from Aberystwyth to Trawsgoed. Turn right over the bridge (signed Llanilar B4575) then turn immediately left and left again into the car park.

The OS grid reference is SN 667 730.

Public transport

The nearest train station is in Aberystwyth.

Buses pass near the car parks at Gogerddan and Black Covert. For details of public transport visit www.traveline.cymru

Find out more

Contact details

Tel: 0300 065 3000

Email: enquiries@naturalresourceswales.gov.uk

Related document downloads

Ystwyth Forest Location map PDF [158.8 KB]

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