The peaceful Porth Penrhyn is a tranquil beginning to this ride, with the Menai Strait stretching out ahead. A railway path through mature broadleaf woodland alongside the River Cegin takes you to the village of Tregarth, with a pub that provides a good rest stop before the exertion to come. (There are some serious climbs in the latter miles, with a particularly steep ascent towards the very end, from Bangor to Llyn Ogwen. For a gentler ride, go only as far as Tregarth, which involves less climbing.)
The ride continues on up through the spoils of the Penrhyn Quarry on a well-designed path with even better views of the mountains of Snowdonia ahead. The slate quarries of Bethesda were started in 1770 by Richard Pennant, the 1st Baron Penrhyn, and were the biggest opencast system in the world, forming a vast amphitheatre. The quarry works railway that the trail follows was constructed between 1870 and 1879 but closed in 1962. The mock-Gothic Penrhyn Castle was built with the fortune made from the slate trade.
From here you ride along the banks of the River Ogwen, thunderous after heavy rain and a popular white-water river for canoeists and kayakers, before joining a quite road to cycle the final few miles amid breath-taking views of the Carneddau and Glyderau mountain ranges. End at the edges of Llyn Ogwen, beneath the craggy slopes of Tryfan – keep out for wild mountain goats nearby.
We have taken all responsible steps to ensure that these routes are safe and achievable by people with a reasonable level of fitness. However, all outdoor activities involve a degree of risk. To the extent permitted by law, Sustrans accepts no responsibility for any accidents or injury resulting from following these routes. Walking and cycling routes change over time. Weather conditions may also affect path surfaces. Please use your own judgement when using the routes based upon the weather and the ability, experience and confidence levels of those in your group.
To make sure everyone gets the most out of their time by the water, please ensure that you follow the Towpath Code.