Trail Running in Snowdonia National Park

img_3515Snowdonia National Park offers fantastic walking and trail running options for everyone. There are plenty of loop trails for runners who are looking to explore new areas of the park. The area is made up of rugged mountains (including the summit Snowdon at 3560ft), lakes and old slate villages. It’s incredibly scenic and is enjoyed by walkers and runners alike.

Trail runners can tackle the summit climb via a number of different routes. The Llanberis Path is popular as it runs parallel to the Snowdon Mountain Railway, but there are other more difficult routes to conquer. The Coed y Brenin Visitor Centre is a natural place to begin as many marked trails begin and finish there. Trail runners can explore shorter 3.7-5-mile paths through forestry grounds, or take on the half marathon trail.

Snowdonia offers plenty of accessible gateways into the park. A natural spot to begin a day’s running is Rhyd Ddu (a train station and plenty of carparking allow for a quick if exhausted getaway). A 12.5-mile trail leads out from there and takes runners around Yr Aran. The trail is well kept but wet in places, and offers a summit climb along the way for an additional challenge.

The lakes provide some impressive vistas as they nestle in below jagged peaks and conifer plantations. There are short routes available but the 10-mile course that starts and ends at Capel Curig is a worthy challenge for those who enjoy pushing themselves. While this particular path does involve running an easy path around the lake, it also asks you to tackle some steady climbs along with a final steep jag before returning down to Capel Curig.

Snowdonia National Park is continually identifying new paths and trails for people to enjoy. The Slate Trail is 83 miles long but takes in many of the historical sites of the park. Maps are available if you’d prefer to explore a segment of the trail rather than the complete length, or go the whole hog and take part in the Snowdonia Slate Trail Ultra. Shorter trails are also being established toward the coast so trail runners who don’t mind crossing paths with villages can explore the ocean views and take in some of the region’s hospitality at the same time.