From the end of the 18th Century until the beginning of the 20th Century the slate valley communities of Gwynedd - Ogwen, Peris, Nantlle, Blaenau Ffestiniog and Corris - were dynamic, thriving industrial areas. Between them these areas consisted of over 60 quarries and mines employing over 18,000 people. The quarrymen and their families created distinctive communities, overwhelmingly Welsh speaking and Non-conformist. The slate industry itself dramatically changed the landscape - slate tips, quarry buildings and railways can still be seen today. The network of paths created to link the small villages and hamlets to the quarries, schools and chapels and the surrounding countryside were just as important. Many of the paths are still in use and give walkers an opportunity to explore the valleys,showing that there is more to these areas than just slate. The paths also offer spectacular views of the mountains, and provide a glimpse into the life and work of the quarrymen.