From high level to low level, Ffestiniog offers all kinds of walking. From Moelwyn Bach in the south to the high peak of Moel Siabod you have over 90 square kilometers of wild country to explore. In the wilder areas the use of a map and compass is essential. To the south of Blaenau and towering above it are the Manods. Although the north peak of Manod Mawr is heavily quarried, the south peak is relatively untouched and wild. Its smaller brother - Manod Bach is wild and untouched by paths. Nestling between the peaks is the beautiful Llyn Manod, ideal for a picnic.
For those not into high tops or wilderness areas, look for the village and woodland walks e.g. Cwm Bowydd, and Cynfal on the edge of Llan Ffestiniog is breathtaking for its waterfalls. Or walk through the Maentwrog woods where old ancient oaks dominate and woodpeckers can be heard and seen. It’s also the haunt of bats.
The south facing cliffs of the Moelwyn provide some of the best rock climbing in Britain. As they are south facing they dry quickly and as the rock is rough, even when damp it makes good climbing. From easier routes to the extremes all grades are on offer, most are multi-pitch.
Blaenau Ffestiniog was one of the six major slate production areas of North Wales, and it was slate that made Blaenau famous. Blaenau slate was exported the world over and is renowned for its strength and durability. This great industry has left a permanent mark on the landscape, above ground in the tips, tramways and ruined mills; but also below ground in the miles of winding tunnels and cathedral sized chambers that were carved by hand in the mountains around the town.
Slate extraction continues at two working quarries, however the large underground mines, Cwmorthin, Croesor, Rhosydd, Wrysgan and many others are long abandoned. A show mine, Llechwedd Slate Caverns, allows visitors to glimpse the working lives of the Welsh quarrymen; and for the walker or industrial historian there are many routes in the area that allow the remains, and the scenery, to be appreciated. Underground exploration is potentially dangerous and should only be attempted by the suitably equipped and experienced. Your local caving club would be a good first point of contact.
Kayaking and canoeing locally - A Paddlers Dream. Imagine touring the world and bringing back a mountain from the Alps, a steep creek from West Virginia, a river from New Zealand, a waterfall from Norway, an Estuary from Devon, a rocky coastline from the West of Ireland and a tidal wave from Pembrokeshire. Add a lake from Austria and a valley from the Rhine. Finally a dam controlled playground from Colorado. Now imagine all of this within 5 to 45 minutes drive away. Open your eyes you’re in Blaenau Ffestiniog!
One of the most prolific areas for lakes containing brown trout from the lakes of the Moelwynion, Cwmorthin, Corsiog, Conglog and Llyn Adar, to the lakes of Ffestiniog, Gammallt, Morwynion to name just a few with the rivers Teigl, Cynfal and Dwyryd. For rainbows and brown trout try Tanygrisiau with easy access and most methods of fishing allowed, for all abilities.
The Cambrian Angling Association offers excellent lake fishing in wild surroundings. Blaenau Ffestiniog, in the centre of the spectacular scenery of the Snowdonia National Park, is undoubtedly a good centre for any angler, who enjoys catching Wild Brown Trout in beautiful surroundings. Any legal method with a single rod and reel is allowed including Float Tube Fishing, (fly only) but as these lakes are natural and sometimes remote, the decision as to whether it is safe to enter the water, is entirely yours. The lakes are mainly located to the west, (in the Moelwyn mountain range) and to the East, (in the Migneint range), of the A470 trunk road that runs through the town. Contact e –mail. firstname.lastname@example.org
An area rich in birdlife. The higher peaks have ravens, peregrins, buzzards, and the remarkable choughs rare in most parts of Britain. In the wooded valleys, woodpeckers, nuthatchers, finch and tits, and always the opportunity to see ospreys fish the estuaries and lakes.