Alwen Reservoir, near Denbigh

What's here

Please be aware that there are minor trail repair works happening along the Alwen Trail.

 

Timber haulage is ongoing on the forest roads.

 

Please be aware and follow any instructions on site.

Welcome

Alwen Reservoir and its huge dam were constructed in the early 20th century to provide water for the port of Birkenhead.

The car park is the starting point for several trails which can be used by walkers and cyclists.

The route around the Alwen Reservoir is suitable for families and has forests and folklore to discover.

There is a choice of two trails that go around both the Alwen Reservoir and nearby Llyn Brenig, or for a shorter route between the two lakes follow the link path.

There is a visitor centre with café and toilets at Llyn Brenig.

Walking and cycling trails

These trails may be used by walkers and cyclists.

Most of the trails must be followed anti-clockwise by cyclists and clockwise by walkers – please follow the waymarkers.

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

Alwen Trail

  • Grade: Moderate
  • Distance: 6¾ miles/10.9 kilometres
  • Climb: 110 metres
  • Time: Cyclists 1½-2 hours; walkers 2½-3½ hours
  • Trail information: This is a shared use trail and may be used by walkers and cyclists. It must be followed anti-clockwise by cyclists and clockwise by walkers – look out for the waymarkers. Picnic benches along the trail.

This family friendly trail runs through forest, moorland and along the water’s edge on surfaced paths and forestry tracks – with ever-changing views across the reservoir and to the mountains of Snowdonia.

Illustrated panels at the side of the path explore the wildlife, culture and folk tales of this historic upland landscape.

Lakes Circular

  • Grade: Moderate
  • Distance: 9½ miles/15.3 kilometres
  • Climb: 120 metres
  • Time: Cyclists 2-3 hours; walkers 4-5 hours
  • Trail information: This is a shared use trail and may be used by walkers and cyclists. It must be followed anti-clockwise by cyclists and clockwise by walkers – look out for the waymarkers.

Follow this trail around the inner shores of both Llyn Brenig and the Alwen Reservoir.

Two Lakes Trail

  • Grade: Moderate
  • Distance: 14 miles/22.7 kilometres
  • Climb: 220 metres
  • Time: Cyclists 3-4 hours; walkers 4-5 hours
  • Trail information: This is a shared use trail and may be used by walkers and cyclists. It must be followed anti-clockwise by cyclists and clockwise by walkers – look out for the waymarkers.

Enjoy the open views and diverse scenery around both Llyn Brenig and the Alwen Reservoir.

Lakes Link

  • Grade: Easy
  • Distance: 2 miles/3.1 kilometres (one way)
  • Climb: 40 metres
  • Time: Cyclists 20-30 minutes; walkers 1 hour
  • Trail information: This path connects Llyn Brenig and the Alwen Reservoir.

Use this link route to join up the other trails or to take a shorter route between the two lakes.

Hafod Elwy Moor National Nature Reserve

The Lakes Circular and the Two Lakes Trail both go through Hafod Elwy Moor National Nature Reserve.

Hafod Elwy is a patchwork of high heath, moorland and bog, nestled between conifer forests and reservoirs.

This landscape is a haven for some of our rarest birds and Mynydd Hiraethog, which Hafod Elwy is part of, is one of the few remaining locations in Wales where you can still find both red and black grouse.

Many other native and visiting birds find shelter among Hafod Elwy’s heather and in spring skylarks return to nest here.

In summer the pinks and purples of heather carpet the moorland, while the white tufts of hare's tail cotton grass dot the areas.

You will also see the numerous bog mosses as 'lawns' of varying shades of green amongst the mounds of bilberry.

To find out more about what to see at the reserve look out for our information panel.

Llyn Brenig visitor centre

The entrance to Llyn Brenig car park is off the B4501, one mile from the entrance of the Alwen Reservoir car park.

It has a café, toilets, fishing shop, play area and bike hire.

The Llyn Brenig visitor centre is managed by Dŵr Cymru/Welsh Water.

For more information see the Llyn Brenig website 

National Forest for Wales

Alwen 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.

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

Location

Alwen Reservoir is 11 miles south west of Denbigh.

This site straddles the county borders of Conwy and Denbighshire.

Ordnance Survey map

Alwen Reservoir is on Ordnance Survey (OS) Explorer map 264.

The OS grid reference for the car park is SH 956 529.

Directions

From the south

Take the B4501 from Cerrigydrudion towards Denbigh, following the brown and white signs to Llyn Brenig.

After 3 miles, turn left down a stoned track to the Alwen Reservoir car park.

From the north

Take the B4501 from Denbigh towards Cerrigydrudion.

After 10 miles, go past the Llyn Brenig Dŵr Cymru/Welsh Water visitor centre car park and continue for 1mile.

The turning to Alwen Reservoir is on the right and the car park is at the end of a stoned track.

Public transport

The nearest mainline railway station is in Rhyl.

For details of public transport visit the Traveline Cymru website.

Parking 

The car park at Alwen Reservoir is operated by Dŵr Cymru/Welsh Water.

The parking charge is £2.50.

You need to pay the parking charge with the correct cash as the machine does not give change.

Contact details

There are no staff at this location.

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

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