From the Door
1. Hepste Fechan walk: – 4 hours, 9.5km, moderate. This route takes you from Beili Helyg over a ridge and down to the river Hepste that is crossed by stepping stones. The route follows the river upstream, and at Hepste Fechan, an old farm holding, the path fords the river again (not recommended if the river is high) and takes you to the top of Cadair Fawr.
From here you drop back into the Cwm Cadlan and walk down hill to Beili Helyg.
2. Pwll y Felin walk: – 5 hours 30 mins, 17.1km (10.6 miles), height gain 235m, moderate.
3.Ogof Fawr walk: 3 hours 30 mins, 13.8km moderate. This route takes you over the sychbant ridge into the Cadlan valley. The Cadlan river travels underground here in places, and you follow the route and see it disappear into caves and reappear further along. Ogof Fawr (Big Cave) is one of the spots where the Cadlan disappears into the ground.
The cave is at the bottom of a large depression in the ground. From Ogof Fawr, the route takes you into the forestry and follows forest paths until it reaches the open moor again above the Garwnant centre. From here the walk takes you to the top of Cadair Fawr before dropping back to the road above Beili Helyg.
4. Cwm Cadlan site of special scientific interest (‘SSSI’) and National Nature Reserve walk. The starting point is a 15 – 20 minute walk away. The Cwm Cadlan SSSI is a mosaic of wet grassland in the Cadlan valley. Lime-rich water cascades through the reserve and sustains the unique marshy grassland habitat, as well as the great variety of specialised plants and animals that live there. We see particularly unusual butterflies. Wetland like this is now an uncommon feature of the countryside, many areas having been drained for use in agriculture.
From Cwm Porth – About a 10 minute drive
5. The Waterfall walk: this is a full day’s walk and circuits a large part of Waterfall Country. 5 hours 30 minutes – 6 hours 30 minutes; 10 miles; Height gain 400m. Moderate.
From the car park the route takes you along ancient lanes to the Nedd-fechan river, which you follow closely all the way to Pontneddfechan after a small deviation to Sgwd Gwladys (Lady Falls). Pontneddfechan is a good place for lunch; it has some good food pubs and the waterfall visitor centre is also here. The Nedd-fechan river has a multitude of pools for wild swimming and paddling, waterfalls like Sgwd Ddwli (Gushing Falls) and Sgwd y Bedol ( Horseshoe Falls), some lovely picnic spots, and places to admire the view. After lunch the route takes you along the gunpowder trail which follows the River Mellte, over a bridge and uphill through woodland until you drop down to the waterside of the Hepste river. Here you have to cross the river behind Sgwd yr Eira waterfall. This is passable even in heavy rain as the path is in a shallow cave behind the curtain of the water. From here the route follows forestry paths and the banks of the River Mellte, back to the car park.