The Mawddach trail is a roughly 9-mile-long tail that goes long an abandoned railway line that is on the edge of the Mawddach Estuary, this area provides spectacular views of the area and is a very popular trial for both beginner and experienced hikers alike. The trail is most definitely the most popular trail in the area, this is because it is flat and easy and because of the amazing scenery that it is surrounded by. It is a great hike for families and new hikers alike. Lined with beautiful tree sections, river and mountain views, reed beds, wooden bridges, birds galore, sea views a pub and even an estuary makes it more unique.
The trail goes on for about 15km and it can be joined at several points which include Pont Y Wernddu, Penmaenpool, Arthog and Morfa Mawddach. If you want more of a challenge and a longer trail, the Mawddach trial section of the South Snowdonia Greenway which is about 43km route that starts from Llyn Trawsfynydd and travels along the moorland and forest, reaching down to the Barmouth Sea. The Mawddach trail also known as Llwybr Mawddach in Welsh, was featured years ago on the BBC series “Bradbury’s Railway Walk”, and it is always mentioned as the best walks in Wales. Starting from the main Dolgellau town is the best option, although a walk from Barmouth is also possible and good, but one may consider walking towards the sea better than walking away from it.
The A494 is the first section of the walk, and it is usually beside the old railway line. One can start by leaving the car park taking the signed path beside the river Wnion till one gets to the new pedestrian bridge (a bridge built in 2012). After crossing the bridge, and turning left, you will move on till you reach the main Tywyn road which should be crossed carefully, leading to the Bont Y Wernddu car park where you will begin to see signs of the old railway lines. One of the first sign you will see is that bridge crossed before reaching the gate, and if ever you want a detour, there is a little path to the right which follows the river for about a hundred meters just before the bridge. Stopping and peering down the river on this bridge is always worth it.
The cycle gate at the end of this section leads directly to Penmaenpool, which is the home to an old wooden toll bridge built as far back as 1879, worthy of a short diversion and a walk to the other side. After walking past the Penmaenpool, you will enter into a very large cutting which precedes a dead straight section that ends with the first glimpse of the final destination which is the Barmouth Bridge. Moving along this route, you will see the estuary opening up with herons and oystercatchers, and probably a little view of an osprey. The hike as a whole is a gorgeous walk.