The Mawddach Trail runs between Dolgellau and Barmouth, approximatly 9.5 miles (15km) along the disused Great Western railway line and closely follows the southern edge of the beautiful Mawddach estuary. It is flat with a fairly even surface making it suitable for both cyclists and walkers. There are stunning views across to Diffwys and the Rhinogs, and up the estuary to Y Garn and the Arans beyond Dolgellau. Nearly the whole of the estuary is listed as a site of special scientific interest, there are two RSPB reserves, Taicynhaeaf and Arthog. See the map below for parking etc.
We needed somewhere to test our latest geocaching equipment acquisitions, electric bikes. This trail looked perfect with 2 series of lab caches, 4 traditional, a mystery and virtual cache all on the trail. With a few slight divisions we managed to pick up another 3 traditional caches. We decided to find geocaches on the outward bike ride and lab caches on the return trip.
We parked in the small car park at Pont y Wernddu which is 8 miles from Barmouth and very close to
GC7XVA3 BRIDGE OF RIVETS by Chipshop Traditional D2/T2. ( a cache we had already found)
Our first stop was for a 2009 cache that had been on our solved list for a very long time, a very easy find as at GZ it was laying in full view with the lid partially open. Luckily the cache is double ‘boxed’ so logbook and contents were dry and in good condition. We left it well hidden!
GC1WK0E Mawddach Mystery by Gwyddno Mystery D2/T1
Our next stop was for another even older cache, this time 2005.
GCQKMW Mawddach Trail Cache by Tywyn Team Traditional D3/T3
As it is a short distance off the trail Pete drew the short straw and went up the hill into Coed Garth for the cache while I guarded the bikes.
Here on the information board is a quote from John Ruskin, (Victorian painter, poet and philosopher) “that only one other journey in the world had views to compare with the one from Dolgellau to Barmouth, and that was the journey from Barmouth to Dolgellau”
It was quite a long ride to the next cache, but very easy cycling and surrounded by beautiful scenery.
GC4ADY5 Black Bridge by Linny bin Traditional D1.5/T1.5
So far we had been very lucky with very few other trail users, here it all changed. The bridge was a very popular spot, we managed to find the cache in a lull of cyclists and walkers but it took ages to replace. While waiting we watched a pair of shelducks, little egret and a heron feeding in the mud as well as appreciating the views.
Our next stop was for a recently published cache, there had only been 3 finders before us. The cache is definitely hidden on an old piece of rail track.
GC9QRY8 Mawddach Meander – An Old Rail or a Pole? by CazzaB80 Traditional D1.5/T2
We made a slight detour off the trail for our next find
GC9G4QF Mum and Dad enjoyed the view by svl379 Traditional D1/T1
It was then back the way we had come, through the gate and along the lane to another recently published cache. While I followed the arrow naturesbyte found the cache! A very beautiful spot.
GC9QRZR Mawddach Meander – Secret Houses by CazzaB80 Traditional D1.5/T1.5
Our next cache was back on the Mawddach Trail, the closer we got to Barmouth the busier the trail became. We took far too long to find this cache, our excuse, there was an awful lot of walkers and cyclists. We eventually found it in a ‘traffic’ lull where we both had previously looked!
GC9QRWP Mawddach Meander – Barmouth Junction by CazzaB80 Traditional D2/T1.5
The next cache is one we had already found way back in May 2019 while having a weekend in Barmouth with the Moseleys when there was only 3 of them.
GC7B6PQ Barmouth Bridge by SidAndBob Virtual D1/T1
Here is my log on this cache ‘To walk over this bridge has been on my ‘to do’ list for a very long time, so while spending a long weekend in Barmouth with Team Convoy we took the opportunity to discover this virtual, walk across the bridge and return by train. A great day, beautiful 360 degree views and several caches what more can you ask for. Favourite point awarded for taking me somewhere I had always wanted to go! 3,462nd cache TFTC.’
After navigating the incredibly busy bridge we headed for the ice cream shop in Barmouth for a ‘surprise’!
It was now time to do the return journey and complete the Adventure Lab Mawddach Trail – Western that we started ages ago before attempting the eastern series.
Mawddach Trail – Western created by TAG
Mawddach Trail – Eastern created by Lime Candy
We highly recommend this trail, choose a day with good weather to make the most of the views. CazzaB80 is intending to place more caches along the trail which will give us an excuse to return!