Hiraethog Trail

Hiraethog Trail is set in an area of incredible natural beauty in North Wales, covering ancient traveller paths, moorland, local hills and the magical Clocaenog Forest. Denbighshire and Conwy county councils collaborated to create a 40 mile long distance walking route that starts in Pentrefoelas on the popular A5 road to Betws Y Coed, and ends in the sleepy agricultural village of Bodfari near Denbigh.

This Hiraethog Trail Route blog post includes the full 40 mile trail route, as well as a breakdown into six shorter walks. The start of the trail takes in country lanes and open farmland, before reaching the southern tip of the Clocaenog Forest at Llanfihangel GM. Our favourite section of the Hiraethog Trail is the 13 miles that cross the forest to the tiny village of Cyffylliog. St Dyfnog’s Well in Llanrhaedr’s church grounds is a wonderful place to stop before the splendour of Denbigh Castle on the final section of the route.

Hiraethog Trail Footpath Sign

The Hiraethog Trail project was set up with the Welsh Government, funded by the European Union’s Agricultural Fund for Rural Development. It’s very sad that this kind of investment focus is now gone with Britain’s retarded exit from the European Union. Rural Wales is a very low income area and, until the EU referendum, it received around £680 million of EU funds every year while only paying in around £435 million. This kind of funding helped develop a large number of eco friendly and wellbeing related enterprises in Wales, similar to the Hiraethog Trail.

Full 42 Mile Hiraethog Trail Route

Distance: 42 miles
Start: Pentrefoelas
Finish: Bodfari
Total Elevation: 5629ft
OS Maps Link: Full 42 Mile Trail Route

Description: This incredible 42 mile trail starts in the villages of Pentrefoelas and Cerrigydrudion, taking in a huge stretch of the Clocaenog Forest and the historic Denbigh Castle, before ending in Bodfari.

Hiraethog Trail Full 42 Mile Route

Short Hiraethog Trail Routes

The Hiraethog Trail can be broken down into six shorter individual hiking and trail running routes, covering the 42 miles in manageable sections.

Pentrefoelas to Cerrigydrudion

Distance: 8.1 miles
Elevation: 1056ft
OS Maps Link: Hiraethog Trail 01

Description: The start of the Hiraethog Trail, this comfortable 8 mile walk covers single track lanes with beautiful valley views.

Cerrigydrudion to Llangwm

Distance: 4.4 miles
Elevation: 616ft
OS Maps Link: Hiraethog Trail 02

Description: The single track road wandering continues along the easiest of the six Hiraethog sections.

Llangwm to Llanfihangel GM

Distance: 4 miles
Elevation: 711ft
OS Maps Link: Hiraethog Trail 03

Description: The route begins to take in the footpaths, crossing a rounded hill and down to the cute village of Llanfihangel GM on the edge of Clocaenog Forest.


Llanfihangel GM to Cyffylliog

Distance: 13 miles
Elevation: 1900ft
OS Maps Link: Hiraethog Trail 04

Description: The longest section of the six routes, this incredible walk is also the most memorable and enjoyable by far. Meandering along Clocaenog’s trails amongst the dense woodland is truly one of the best walks in North Wales.

Cyffylliog to Llanrhaedr

Distance: 4.7 miles
Elevation: 707ft
OS Maps Link: Hiraethog Trail 05

Description: A welcome route, most of which is downhill, with a lovely woodland stop off point at roughly halfway.

Llanrhaedr to Bodfari

Distance: 9.6 miles
Elevation: 603ft
OS Maps Link: Hiraethog Trail 06

Description: A comfortable fairly level wander, the climb to Denbigh Castle aside, this final section of the Hiraethog Trail enjoys fabulous views of the Vale of Clwyd.

Hiraethog Photo Gallery

Photos from our own adventures across the Hiraethog Trail Route.