Dyfi Forest (Foel Friog), near Machynlleth

Off-the-beaten track woodland with riverside picnic site and a walk with superb views

What's here

This site and visitor facilities are open – please see more details on this web page.


Coronavirus update


There are coronavirus local restrictions in some areas of Wales.


Our sites remain open in areas with local restrictions but you should not travel from outside the area to visit them - this site straddles the county borders of Gwynedd and Powys.


We have changed the normal route for some of our trails to help you maintain social distancing – please follow signs on site.


You need to wear a mask when going inside one of our buildings.


You can check-in via the NHS app when entering one of our buildings – scan the QR-code on the NHS Covid-19 poster on site.



Foel Friog is set within the spectacular landscape of Dyfi Forest, near the village of Aberllefenni, and is easy to find from the A487.

The pretty picnic site is next to the river and there is a circular waymarked walking trail to the top of Pen y Bryn hill.

During the late 18th century, slate quarrying was the major occupation locally but, when the quarries began to close in the 20th century, the Forestry Commission planted the hillsides.

The trees have transformed the landscape but, if you look carefully, you can see ruins of the quarry buildings.

Walking trail

The walking trail is waymarked and starts from Foel Friog car park.  

Pen y Bryn Trail

2 miles/3.2 kilometres, strenuous

The Pen y Bryn Trail goes up a steep path through the trees before joining a forest track.

It passes by derelict farmsteads and quarry remains, and offers superb views.

It descends through an ancient oak woodland and returns to the car park on a bridleway along the river valley.

Visiting Dyfi Forest

Foel Friog is part of Dyfi Forest.

Dyfi Forest lies mainly to the north of the River Dyfi between the towns of Dolgellau to the north and Machynlleth to the south.

Rugged peaks loom above the forested hillsides that are dotted with atmospheric ruins and slate spoil heaps. 

Steam trains chug along the hillsides, now carrying holidaymakers, but originally carrying slates from the quarries to the coast. 

As well as the walk at Foel Friog, there are also waymarked trails in Nant Gwernol and Tan y Coed. 

Download our leaflet about visiting Dyfi Forest.

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

How to get here 


Foel Friog is on a minor road signed for Aberllefenni off the A487 between Dolgellau and Machynlleth.

This site straddles the county borders of Gwynedd and Powys.

Car parking is free of charge.

Download the location map.

Directions from Machynlleth

Take the A487 towards Dolgellau and immediately opposite the Braich Goch pub turn right signed for Aberllefenni. Foel Friog picnic site is two miles down this road on the right immediately before the Aberllefenni village sign.

Directions from Dolgellau

Take the A487 towards Machynlleth and just after the Corris Craft Centre turn very sharply left signed for Aberllefenni. Foel Friog picnic site is two miles down this road on the right, immediately before the Aberllefenni village sign.

Ordnance Survey map

Foel Friog is on Ordnance Survey (OS) map 215.

The OS grid reference is SH 769 092.

Public transport

The nearest train station is in Machynlleth.

For details of public transport visit Traveline Cymru's website

Contact details

Tel: 0300 065 3000

Email: enquiries@naturalresourceswales.gov.uk 


Related document downloads

Dyfi Forest leaflet PDF [4.6 MB]

Other places in Mid Wales