Clocaenog Forest

The Clocaenog Forest occupies 40 square miles of what was once moorland, the coniferous trees were first planted in 1905. The trails are perfect for walking, running & exploring, with dense evergreens that filter the sunlight beautifully.

Taking its name from a small village near the historic market town of Ruthin, Clocaenog is home to a thriving population of red squirrels and many other small birds and animals. The forest has undergone conservation efforts since the 1990s and consequently the wildlife benefits greatly.

The changing seasons effect Clocaenog beautifully, with different elements springing into life throughout the year. We love visiting in the rain, the greens dance vividly, as if the colour saturation has been cranked up to max. The blend of evergreen and deciduous trees mean autumn is a particularly spectacular time to spend in Clocaenog. Deep oranges, reds and pinks pepper the green carpet, a feast of incredible natural colour for the eyes.

Clocaenog Forest Videos

Clocaenog Forest Photo Gallery

Some of our favourite memories and moments from wanderings in this beautiful forest.

Clocaenog Hiking & Running Trail Routes

With over 40 square miles of forest there’s literally an infinite number of ways to hike and run around Clocaenog Forest.

Over many years we’ve found these routes to be ones we revisit again and again.

Every trail route has a link to our own OS Maps plans and the Google Maps show the parking locations. Click here to view all our full Trail Route guides for all across North Wales including Snowdonia National Park.

Craig Bron Barog from Bod Petryal

5.9 miles / 930ft total ascent

Starting and ending at the stunning woodland lake Bod Petryal, this 6 mile loop ascends via the forest tracks to the summit of Craig Bron Barog at 1,632ft. 

There’s a small radio tower at the peak and the views across the forest and beyond are fantastic. The downward journey snakes through the trees, crossing the B5105 road and back to Bod Petryal.

Click to open the Craig Bron Barog route on OS Maps

Pincyn Llys Loop

5.2 miles / 673ft total ascent

A lovely one with family & friends, for a gentle & peaceful wander or a fairly level comfortable forest run.

5 miles and only 673ft of ascent, lovely rolling trails throughout although the short steep descent from Pincyn Llys summit back into the forest can be slippy fun in wet weather conditions.

Click to open the Pincyn Llys route on OS Maps

Foel Goch Circular

6.8 miles / 809ft total ascent

This trail route offers a great varied tour around the northern side of Clocaenog Forest, with stunning views towards Llyn Brenig lake from the 1,694ft summit of Foel Goch. 

There are now many wind farms in this area, and it’s breathtaking to see just how huge they really are when you walk right underneath them!

Click to open the Foel Goch route on OS Maps

Bron Barog from the North

6 miles / 727ft total ascent

Different trail to summit Craig Bron Barog, starting at the same car park as the Foel Goch route so it’s easy to tie both trail routes together to make a larger 12- 15 mile loop of the forest.

Click to open the Bron Barog from the North route on OS Maps

Bod Petryal SHORT LOOP

1.8 miles / 233ft total ascent

We love this sub 2 mile wander for a quick dose of forest goodness. Plenty of free parking by the lake, then a network of tracks and paths to vary the route and make every visit slightly different!

Great in any weather, Bod Petryal is the most accessible area of Clocaenog Forest, perfect for stress free gentle walks with loved ones.

Click to open the Bod Petryal route on OS Maps

Clocaenog Forest Mist Panoramic | The Frozen Divide

Clocaenog Wind Farm

Work was completed in September 2019 to install 27 large wind turbines in Clocaenog Forest. This renewable energy source is set to provide energy to over 60,000 homes and has a capacity of up to 96 megawatts, making it the UK’s largest onshore wind farm.

Local firm Jones Bros were the principal contractor, having won a £20m contract from Germany’s leading renewable energy company Innogy, who managed the whole project. With Jones Bros headquarters only 10 minutes drive away in the local market town of Ruthin, this project brought about a lot of work for local people.

Although many trees were removed to allow this project, it’s good to see significant clean energy sources appearing in our area. The consequential benefits for the region via the Community Investment Fund are also positive.

Clocaenog Forest from above with Windfarms | The Frozen Divide