Croesor Circular Walk
How about a walk offering beautiful views of land and sea? This circular walk will take you down from the remote village of Croesor on the foothills of Cnicht, to the lowlands near the Glaslyn estuary, before following Afon Croesor back up to Croesor. This moderate walk leads over public footpaths and permissive paths. Some sections along the walk will be wet and steep, and crossing agricultural land so keep your dog on a lead.
Distance: 3.5 miles / 5.5km
Time: About 3-4 hours
Grade: Moderate Leisure Walk
Start/Finish: Car park at village of Croesor
Grid Reference: SH 631 446
Postcode: LL48 6SR
Relevant Map: OS Explorer OL18 (Harlech, Porthmadog & Bala).
Parking: Car park, Caffi Croesor & one unisex toilet
This map is intended as a rough guide only. You should use the most recent version of the relevant Ordnance Survey map (see above) when walking the route.
1. Walk out of the car park and turn left, walking along the tarmac road towards the junction. On reaching the junction, turn right following the road downhill out of the village. After walking some distance downhill, you’ll come to a sharp left turn in the road. Walk straight ahead off the tarmac road and onto a track, making your way through a gate on your left.
2. Walk along the track for around a hundred yards and then follow the way marker to the left down the footpath. To your left is Afon Maesgwm. Keep walking downhill making your way through a gate, keeping left alongside the river. Be careful here as this section can become wet and boggy.
3. You’ll shortly come out into a brief clearing. Keep left here. Down on your left you’ll see the remnants of the old Parc Quarry.
Parc Quarry opened in 1870, coming under the management of engineer Moses Kellow. Both Parc Quarry and Croesor Quarry were jointly operated, producing around 5,000 tonnes of slate each year. Both quarries were famous for being underground and their use of technical innovations such as electric locomotives and a patented rock drill. In their heyday 50 men were employed between both quarries but the mines declined with Parc closing in 1920 and Croesor in 1930.
4. As you pass the quarry you’ll arrive at a house, locally known as Office Ceunant. Walk past the house and make your way through the gate. Follow the footpath as it rises above the river. Take care on this section as it can get quite slippery and beware of the drop on your left. As you rise above the river, make your way towards the kissing gate. After passing through the kissing gate, deviate right and walk through the field, following the way marker.
5. You’ll shortly reach a track and from here, on a clear day you’ll be rewarded with views of Porthmadog and the Glaslyn estuary. Follow the track downhill until you reach a small stone bridge that crosses Afon Maesgwm. Walk over the bridge and turn right along the public footpath with the river now on your right. Follow the footpath along the rivers’ edge.
6. Continue along the footpath with the river on your immediate right. Halfway along, the public footpath becomes a permissive path, thanks to the cooperation of the landowner. Follow the footpath towards the main road (it can be very muddy in places). Make your way through the gate onto the A4085 main road. Take extra care as you approach the road which can get busy with traffic. Turn right and walk over the bridge, turning right again onto a track towards Felin Parc.
The bridge which you have just crossed is Garreg - Hylldrem Bridge and this is where the rivers Maesgwm and Croesor meet before joining the river Dylif which flows into the Glaslyn further down the valley. Standing on the bridge on a clear day you will be rewarded with spectacular views of Cnicht, rising above the village of Croesor. Its distinctive shape has earned Cnicht the sobriquet ‘Matterhorn of Wales’ and this mountain forms part of the Moelwynion mountain range.
7. Walk along the track, now keeping the river Croesor on your right. On your left you’ll pass Tan-y-Clogwyn house. Keep walking uphill past Felin Parc on your right hand side. Follow the way marker off the track and onto a footpath, past Gelli house on the right.
8. Make your way uphill through the woods taking care on this steep section of footpath as it can become quite slippery in places. You will shortly come to a clearing. Walk uphill through the gap in the wall making your way on to the ridgeline.
9. Follow the footpath along the ridge until you reach a gate in a stone wall ahead of you. Proceed through the gate and head towards the fallen tree and through a gap in the wall. Walk on, and follow the footpath to the left, avoiding the gap in the wall on the right and walk towards Garth y Foel house ahead of you. Follow the path to the left of Garth y Foel towards the outbuildings. Follow the way marker on the stone shed between the two outbuildings, making your way up towards the wooden gate.
10. Go through the wooden gate and make your way uphill through the rhododendrons, turning right at the top of the hill. From this location you can see Drum House on the opposite ridge.
11. At the far end of the field you’ll notice a wooden stile; make your way towards the stile and then proceed over it and through the tree plantation, and follow the faint path until you reach a wooden gate. Keep walking ahead until you reach a metal gate and proceed through it into the next field. If you look to your left you’ll notice an old stone stile, once used to cross from one field to the next.
12. After making your way through the gate, bear right towards Cae Glas house ahead of you. Walk through a gate on your right and proceed through another gate past the outbuildings taking you past the front of the property. Follow the permissive path along the track until you reach the gate with ‘Cae Glas’ written on it. Turn right here and walk along the road back into the village of Croesor and the car park to complete your walk.
Cnicht (© Crown copyright (2014) Visit Wales)