Gwydir Forest Park - Llyn Sarnau, near Llanrwst

Picnic spot with a walk to two scenic lakes

What's here

Coronavirus update

 

Our sites and most visitor facilities are open.

 

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

 

Welcome

Llyn Sarnau means “lake of the old tracks” in Welsh and it is a lovely place for a picnic at one of the tables around the car park.

The lake is fairly shallow and so it often dries out in summer - even though it may not be much to look at during warmer months, it's a valuable home for wetland loving wildlife.

Discover beautiful mountain and valley views, scenic lakes and old disused lead mines on the walking 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.

Forest Lakes Walk

  • Grade: Moderate
  • Distance: 2¾ miles/4.3 kilometres
  • Time: 1-2½ hours
  • Trail information: Most of this trail is on forest roads connected by rough narrow paths less than 50 cm wide in some places, on unmade and uneven surfaces, where you can expect mud, rocks and tree roots. There are three benches on the trail, and a wheelchair accessible picnic table in the car park. 

Head out from the car park and take your time to appreciate the view from the benches.

Reach a path that goes around then down the middle of a small lake.

Meander through the old High Hafna Mine, once a hive of industry, then continue along an undulating path through the woods, taking in a viewpoint on top of a cliff edge.

Gwydir Forest Park

Llyn Sarnau is in Gwydir Forest Park.

Gwydir Forest Park lies in the heart of the Snowdonia National Park and encircles the village of Betws-y-coed.

Lead and zinc mining once dominated the area and the legacy of old engine-houses, waste tips and reservoirs are characteristic features of the forest landscape today.

Several of the most important mines have been partially restored and made safe for visitors.

Waymarked walks start from several Natural Resources Wales car parks in Gwydir Forest Park.

Two red graded mountain bike trails, Gwydir Mawr and Gwydir Bach, start from the car parks at Sawbench and Hafna.

Accessibility information

Facilities for visitors with disabilities at Llyn Sarnau include:

  • car parking spaces for Blue Badge holders
  • dusted paths lead from the Blue Badge car parking spaces to wheelchair accessible picnic tables with beautiful views

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

Location

Llyn Sarnau is two miles west of Llanrwst.

It is in the county of Conwy.

Ordnance Survey map

Llyn Sarnau is on Ordnance Survey (OS) map OL 17.

The OS grid reference is SH 778 592.

Directions

Take the B5106 from Llanrwst towards Betws-y-coed.

After turning left at the brown and white sign for Gwydir Castle, turn immediately right onto a minor road.

Go past the car parks for Sawbench and Hafna and the Llyn Sarnau car park is on the left.

Public transport

The nearest mainline railway station is in Llanrwst.

For details of public transport go to the Traveline Cymru website.

Parking

Car parking is free of charge.

Contact details

0300 065 3000

enquiries@naturalresourceswales.gov.uk 

Related document downloads

Forest Lakes Walk guide PDF [317.2 KB]

Other places in North West Wales