Snowdonia National Park
The park is good territory for birdwatchers, with the curlew, raven, buzzard, kestrel, merlin, sparrowhawk, and peregrine just some of the species to be found. By night polecats and pine martens prowl, and there are otters in the rivers and lakes that sprinkle the park.
There are two ways to reach the top of Mount Snowdon. You can ride in comfort on the Mount Snowdon Railway from Llanberis, or you can follow one of the 5 main trails that reach Snowdon's summit from different sides. The most popular, and one of the easiest, climbs is the path from Llanberis itself. For much of its rout the trail follows beside the track used by the Mount Snowdon Railway. Expect the ascent to take about 3 hours, and, despite what the guidebooks say, a solid 2 hours to descend.
The shortest, and probably steepest climbs, starts opposite the youth hostel at Pen y Pass. There is a car park at Pen y Pass, but it can fill up very quickly in the summer months. Alternatively you can park at the bottom of the pass and take a park and ride bus to the trailhead. Once at Pen y Pass there are two trails to choose from. The Miners Trail is the one I've personally taken. It offers quite easy walking past several old miner's buildings and mountain lakes to the base of Snowdon. From there the climb is quite steep and rough in places, but the reward for your effort is wonderful views from final ridge leading to the summit of Snowdon. Allow 1 1/2 hours for the ascent from Pen y Pass.
Castell-y-Bere: a ruined castle in a lovely valley location, built by Llewelyn the Great.
Coed-y-Brenin: a managed forest of some 16,000 acres, dissected by numerous walking trails.
Rhaiadur Ddu: (Black Waterfall) - a spectacular falls near the village of Ganllwyd
Snowdon: the highest peak in England and Wales. The summit can be reached by 5 paths or the Snowdon Mountain Railway - a memorable trip.
Ordnance Survey maps covering Snowdonia National Park:
(Scale: 4cm = 1 km / 1: 25000) - best for walking
EX018 Harlech, Porthmadog/Bala
EX023 Cadair Iris & Lyn Tegid
(Scale: 2cm = 1km / 1: 50000)
LR115 SNOWDON AND CAERNARFON
Snowdonia National Park Authority
National Park Offices
Tel: 01766 770274