Activities around Cae Gwyn

We would like to thank Dave Lowe & his friends (mountain biking photo) and Kevin Borg (nuthatch and stream photos) for kindly providing their pictures for our gallery

There is an abundance of natural as well as cultural activities and opportunities around and near Cae Gwyn all year round. There are numerous footpaths in the mountains, including the Cambrian Way and Precipice Walk, and mountain biking tracks in the Coed-y-Brenin forest. The forest also offers family walks, GoApe tree-top adventure, Geocaching. Orienteering, running trails and children's playgrounds. You can also enjoy walking and cycling along the Mawddach river and estuary, the white sandy beach at Barmouth, exploring nearby RSPB sanctuaries or visiting ancient castles and slate caverns. River/lake/sea fishing, wind-surfing, climbing, bird-watching, golfing, pony trekking/horse riding, canoeing, water-rafting, pottery workshops, are also some of many activities to be found in the near vicinity of Cae Gwyn. Please refer to the Links page for useful weblinks on various activities.

 

Mountain Biking

Cae Gwyn lies to the northern end of the Coed y Brenin forest and is just a mile and a half from the Visitor's Centre where all the trails start and finish. At the Centre there is ample parking (small charge), a cafe, bike shop and toilets/showers. We provide drying facilities, a secure bike lockup and bike wash area back at the farm.

Coed-y-Brenin mountain bike trails are some of the best in Europe and vary in type and level of challenge, catering for mountain bikers of all abilities. You consequently need to come equipped with appropriate clothing, safety wear and bike maintenance equipment. There are 8mountain bike trails ranging from the 11km family trail to the 38km Beast of Brenin for the very experienced mountain bikers, and a skills area.

For further information about the cycle trails, visit www.mbwales.com or contact Coed-y-Brenin Forest Centre (01341 440747).

If you wish to hire a bike locally rather than bring your own, contact 'Beics Brenin' (01341 440728) hire@beicsbrenin.co.uk next to the Coed-y-Brenin visitor centre.

For emergency repair and spares for your bike, Beics Brenin in the forest or Greenstiles (01341 423332) in Dolgellau can help you.

 

Walking, climbing and Duke of Edinburgh's Award Expeditions etc.

A number of options are available for those wishing to set out on foot from our farm.

The Mawddach river can be reached easily from the farm via quiet paths and lanes neighbouring Coed-y-Brenin forest. Just above the eastern edge of the farm, with excellent views of the Rhinog mountains you may follow the Roman road north or south as you wish. The western edge of the farm reaches up close to the Rhinogs themselves with a variety of walking options all offering fine mountain and sea views especially over Porthmadog and the Lleyn peninsula. Some of these are itemized in the Cambrian Way. Some of these walks are easy (i.e. Roman Steps exploration) and some more challenging in length and nature - but all with splendid views! The more adventurous may walk across to Barmouth in one day where we can arrange to pick you up.

In any case it is very important that walkers are equipped with appropriate clothing, guide-books, and ordnance survey maps as some of the paths are not always so visible to walkers unfamiliar with the terrain. Another option is to drive to the nearby village of Trawsfynydd, situated on lake Trawsfynydd. Several interesting walks of varying length are possible here using a series of guides written by Angela Morgan available from our local paper shop. Other walks in the valley and vicinity are possible to suit various needs and we will be pleased to discuss possible itineraries with you. Our campsite is also an ideal base for Duke of Edinburgh's Award expeditioners, the Scouts, the Guides and other youth groups. We have a discount for participants in large group activities so please ask.

 

Fishing

There are a number of options that present themselves. You may try your hand in the river Eden that runs through our farm where salmon and trout (Wild Brown Trout) are present at certain times of the year.

The nearby Mawddach river presents similar opportunities, but for a wider range of catches the nearby lake Trawsfynydd ('Llyn Trawsfynydd') provides a variety of excellent angling experiences and very good catches. In this 1200 acre lake you will find wild native Brown trout and (stocked) Rainbow trout, Grass Carp, Perch & Rudd. We can vouch for the quality of the catch, having ourselves dined on fresh trout from the lake! You may hire a fishing boat with a motor and other angling equipment and try your hand at fly fishing from both from the boats and banks. A water Board Licence is required for all types of fishing before a permit will be issued. If you do not have one it can be obtained from Trawsfynydd village paper shop (01766 540234) where you can also get advice on the best fishing spots suited to your needs.

Sea angling on the coast at Barmouth is available depending on various types of trip available according to the season. In summer you can hope for good Tope and Thornbacks. There are many charter boats that operate along the Barmouth coast.

 

Bird watching and Nature Reserve

There are various bird reserves and good bird-watching opportunities in Snowdonia. One of the nearest is the R.S.P.B. centre at nearby Penmaenpool on the beautiful Mawddach estuary where a variety of birdlife can be seen. There you can talk to rangers and use telescopes free of charge to spot Red Kites. Next to the R.S.P.B. site is a lovely old wooden toll bridge across the estuary and a pub (George III) with reasonable food and great views over the estuary and mountains.

Cae Gwyn Farm is also a part of the Cors Goch Trawsfynydd (Special Area of Conservation, Site of Special Scientific Interest) nature reserve which can be explored directly from the farmyard. The heart of the Cors Goch reserve is the river, Afon Eden, that runs through the farm. The reserve is intended to protect and promote rare and sensitive wildlife such as otters, salmon, owls, bats, Floating Water-Plantain and wild orchids. Perhaps the most important natural asset of the reserve is the Fresh Water Pearl Mussel, and the reserve hosts the last breeding colony in Wales. The life cycle of the mussel is almost too strange to be true - more information available on the farm. Fore more information on the Cors Goch Trawsfynydd, visit http://www.jncc.gov.uk/ProtectedSites/SACselection/sac.asp?EUCode=UK0030075

Recently sighted birds and ducks on our farm and nature reserve include the following;

Barn Owl
Blackbird
Bullfinch
Buzzard
Blue tit
Carrion crow
Common gull
Chaffinch
Cuckoo
Chiffchaff
Carrion crow
Dunnock
Great tit
Greater Spotted Woodpecker
Goldfinch
Greenfinch
Grey wagtail
Herring gull
House sparrow
Jay
Kestrel
Lesser black-backed gull
Lesser redpoll
Long-tailed tit
Magpie
Meadow pipit
Mallard
Mistle thrush
Nuthatch

Pied flycatcher
Pied wagtail
Raven
Redstart

Red kite
Robin
Siskin
Snipe

Swallow
Stonechat
Skylark
Song thrush
Stonechat
Sparrow hawk
Tree pipit
Wheatear
Willow warbler
Wren
Wood pigeon 
 

   

We have also seen evidence of otters along the river and regularly see bats on summer evenings.

Waterfall
Waterfall on the nearby Goldmine walk in Coed Y Brenin

 

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