The Mawddach Trail
The Mawddach Trail follows nine miles of the old railway line from Dolgellau to Barmouth. This was in operation from 1865 until it fell victim to the Beeching cuts exactly a hundred years later in 1965. It is, without doubt, one of the most popular walks/cycle paths in Southern Snowdonia.
The whole of The Mawddach Trail is FLAT (a rarity in this area), which makes it suitable for all the family, whether on foot or two wheels. It also has beautifully varied scenery with tree-lined sections, rivers, mountain views, reed beds, wooden bridges, birds galore, an estuary, sea views and even a pub at Penmaenpool.
There is a bus service from Barmouth to Dolgellau, so many people park the car in Barmouth, catch the bus back to Dolgellau (the T3 Barmouth to Wrexham service) and walk back to Barmouth.
The Mawddach Trail (or “Llwybr Mawddach” in Welsh) was featured on Julia Bradbury’s “Railway Walks” series on the BBC a few years ago and is often mentioned as one of the best walks in Wales.
The best starting point for cycling is the main Dolgellau town car park (next to the Marian playing fields). You can, of course, start from Barmouth, but I think walking towards the sea is better than walking away from it. In fact, I’ve never even done it that way.