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

Start of the rugged Volcano Trail

What's here

Coronavirus update


The Welsh Government is implementing a national coronavirus firebreak from 6pm on Friday 23 October until Monday 9 November.


The firebreak regulations replace the local restrictions which were in force in some parts of the country. They apply to everyone living or travelling in Wales.


Our sites and most visitor facilities remain open during this firebreak period but people are advised to stay at home and only visit sites in the local area to take exercise.


Visiting your local site safely


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.



Pont Cae’n y Coed is a small car park in Coed y Brenin Forest Park.

Cae’n y Coed means ‘field in the woods’ and is named after a nearby smallholding.

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.

This is the starting point for our challenging Volcano Trail.

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/10.9 kilometres
  • Total 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 Forest Park 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, running shop 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
  • Ty'n y Groes – riverside picnic area and gateway to an all-ability riverside walk and a rugged mountain trail with great views over Snowdonia

Snowdonia National Park

Coed y Brenin Forest Park is set in the heart of Snowdonia National Park.

Snowdonia is the largest National Park in Wales and is home to picturesque towns and villages and the highest mountain in Wales.

For more information about visiting Snowdonia go to the Snowdonia National Park Authority website.

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.

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.

Contact details

Coed y Brenin Visitor Centre

01341 440747

Related document downloads

Other places in North West Wales