The Mawddach Trail is flat and totally traffic free, making for a superb 18 mile return trip.The route follows the course of the old railway line from Dolgellau to Barmouth. With the Rhinog hills on one side and Cadair Idris on the other, this trail ia a delight for both walkers and cyclists.
The trail has picnic areas, viewpoints and little nature reserves. For birdwatchers the former signal box at the old station at Penmaenpool has been converted into an attractive RSPB observatory.
Approaching Barmouth, the route crosses the three quarter mile long railway bridge over the mouth of the Mawddach estuary
Start: the car park on the right of the bridge at the entrance into Dolgellau
(Grid Ref: 727179 OS map 50,000 No 124 Porthmadog and Dolgellau).
There is also free parking alongside the trail at Penmaenpool and some people may like to start the ride there (Grid Ref: 695185).
The trail finishes at the end of the railway bridge at the beginning of Barmouth. Almost everyone who does the trail visits the resort. Turn Left at the main road, taking care as it is often busy, or one can dismount and walk on the pavement - the harbour is only a few yards away.
After the harbour Barmouth has a long sea front. Cycling is permitted on the promenade, though this is narrow and crowded during the season: experienced cyclists may prefer the road which is not too busy and fairly wide.