Monday, 16 May 2016

Coed y Brenin - Go Apeless!

Last Thursday I accompanied my exercise-addicted daughter along to Coed y Brenin, a forest a few miles north of Dolgellau, so that she could spend the afternoon mountain biking. As we drove into the car park, I thought that something was missing. It wasn't until we'd parked up and got out of the car that it dawned on me that Go Ape was missing! We'd come as a family or accompanied groups of our daughters' friends to enjoy climbing up into the trees, zipping down zip wires and clambering across precarious looking rope bridges on a number of occasions over the past few years. (Well to be honest I use the term 'we' very loosely - I was always the official photographer, as I have no head for heights).  So what has happened to Go Ape at Coed y Brenin? It always seemed popular enough. Did it not attract enough business? Did their lease with Coed y Brenin run out? There's not a sign that it was ever there now. Whatever happened , it's a real shame.
Anyway Coed y Brenin forest is still a great place to visit, whether you're a couple wanting to exercise your dog (which is what I did for a couple of hours last Thursday), or you're a group of adrenalin junkies wanting to enjoy the buzz of hurtling downhill on two wheels while getting plastered in mud or you're a family who want to enjoy the children's playground followed by a wander round the visitor's centre and a cup of tea and cake in the cafe.
There are a number of biking trails ranging from easy to extreme, as well as a network of running/ walking trails that criss-cross the forest, a running gear shop, bike hire shop (quite pricey but well equipped), toilets and showers, and the visitor's centre and cafe as previously mentioned. You could easily spend all day here but be warned that you have to pay for the car park (I paid £3 for 3 hours) - but at least the trails are free!
It does get very busy at weekends so if you can, go during the week when you can spend a couple of hours wandering or biking the trails (which are very well maintained) away from the crowds , if that's what you want to do. I only passed 4 people and 2 dogs altogether but did hear a cuckoo on my walk last week.
I still want to know what happened to Go Ape!

May 19th - Go Ape have informed me that the high ropes course at Coed y Brenin was destroyed in the storms of 2013. What a shame.