The day after our Capelulo walk, we decided to head to Trefriw and walk up to and around Llyn Geirionydd (walk #11 from Walking in the Conwy Valley). Living in the Conwy valley, I feel lucky to go so quickly between coastal walks and more inland, mountainous walks.
The walk started in Trefriw, headed up to Fairy Falls — a waterfall in town that gets its water from the River Crafnant (which also helps power the Trefriw woolen mill).
Passing the falls and heading out of town brought us to an uphill trail climbing up the valley created by the River Crafnant and River Geirionydd. The most magical part of the walk was the carpet of bluebells covering a huge part of the forest we walked through. It was hard to capture how awe-inspiring it was.
As we left the bluebell grove, we found ourselves surrounded by mossy rocks and trees.
At the end of the trail up, we were rewarded with a walk around the edge of Llyn Geirionydd — a gorgeous, big lake full of walkers, kayakers, picnicers, and even some swimmers.
But the lake wasn’t the end! We peeled off the end of the lake and left the holiday-makers behind as we walked into a nearby conifer plantation and out the other end into a field.
The walk continued past sheep, through someone’s front garden (the stiles on each side made it clear we were meant to walk there!) where we said hello to a woman sitting in on a bench in front of her house, and out toward a recently cleared section of Gwydir Forest. I glanced back to see the lake one last time in the distance before we continued on.
The next big landmark on the walk was the Church of Saint Rhychwyn, one of the oldest churches in Wales also known as Llywelyn’s Church (after Llywelyn the Great).
At this point we were pretty much done with climbing up hills — we kept finding ourselves hiking up, sloping down, and then facing another uphill climb. We weren’t quite done, but we really only had one more big uphill. And then … then we had to go all the way back down, all at once. It was the one point where we doubted our choice of walks, as the trail nearly disappeared and the hill sloped straight down.
But we made our way down, found the trail again, and headed back through the forest and into Trefriw. In the end, it was nearly 5.5 hours and 8 miles round trip. A beautiful walk, and well worth it!