WHERE IS IT?: A496 near Blaenau Ffestiniog

PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: A good place to park is in the lay by above the put in - 52.978210, -3.949359. The put in is at the bridge just down the road. The get out is just below a set of falls at the next foot bridge, it's a 5 minute walk to the get out lay by - 52.969036, -3.950968.

Access - 52.977137, -3.947771

Egress - 52.969100, -3.951054.


TIME NEEDED: 1-3 Hours.

ACCESS HASSLES: The locals don't seem to mind. You do paddle through somebody's garden at the start so as always, be polite. I think the folk who own the garden on the right at the get on also own the slabs on the left of the Norway type drop.

WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: If the top waterfall looks like it has some flow for it not to be scrapy then it's a good level. If the slabs on the left of the waterfall are covered then it's medium high but fun. If it looks huge, then it probably is. Can still be flowing a couple days after heavy rain because of a dam further up. There is no gauge.


MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: All of it, keep your wits about you and scout everything. Don't drink the water either.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION: This river is rarely paddled but with the right small team its a fantastic short blast. It starts with a bang on a 30ft Norway style slide to drop. Beware of the ledge on river right at the base of the falls. The river then continues going from G2 then cranking up to continuous G3+/4- for 1km before reaching a set of waterfalls. There are few and small eddies above this drop on river right. The first waterfall is around 10ft and is relatively clean but has been known to hold a paddler behind the curtain out of view from friends. Good safety is recommended here, this can also be portaged on river right. Following the 10ft drop is a series of smaller drops and holes. 50m below there is a foot bridge, get out on the left below here and walk up the path to the get out lay by.

OTHER NOTES: There's a very large waterfall which lands on rock above the get on, don't be mistaken and get on here. The river continues further down into a very dangerous, and dare I say, unpaddleable gorge.


Ieuan Peace on the Norway style drop at the start. (Photo by Pete Sanger).

Ieuan Belshaw on the Norway style drop at the start. (Photo by Joe Rae-Dickins).

Joe Rae-Dickins on the last drop, see photo below for scale. (Photo by Chris Griffiths).

The falls at the get out.


Community Forum Comments on this Article
Re: Afon Goedal -- Ieuan Belshaw
2013 Feb 27 11:51:06 PM
The Goedal is defiantly worth doing, only ever done the top section but its a favorite. Never had any problems on it and the walk out from half way is short enough :).

Next time I'm in the area I'll have a play on the lower section and see what happens, hopefully nothing bad..! Thanks for the heads up on where to portage.
Re: Afon Goedal -- Dan Yates.
2013 Feb 27 07:32:06 PM
I think there is a debate locally of whether the Goedal is worth doing at all . The phrase "something bad always happens" has been used to describe it . However if you are going to do it , you might as well do it all. In good flows the rapids from the bottom of the first gorge to the top of the second are all pretty nice and quite close together making that section good grade 4 all the way. You portage the unrunnables all in one go high on the right bank and it's really not too bad. Go explore , you'll like it (unless something bad happens).
Re: Afon Goedal -- Ieuan Belshaw
2013 Feb 27 04:16:52 PM
Yeah it is where your thinking of, I've walked next to the section you described and it is a stunning gorge, very few venture down there. I've heard mixed opinions about paddling it saying its not worth it and the portages were tricky. I found waking around them hard enough without any gear. Most of the drops looked manky too but that's without water!

The guide includes what I found was the best section with easiest in's and out's and best drops but you've perked my curiosity to go have a further look :-).

I don't have the knowledge for an accurate guide for this section but drop me a message if you think it's worth including.
Re: Afon Goedal -- Dan Yates.
2013 Feb 26 07:58:33 AM
If this is the take out I think it is it is only about half way down. If you carry on downstream the drops get increasingly exciting until you need to portage 2 or may be 3 all in one go on the right hand bank . The portage is easier than it looks and only takes about 15mins and doesn't require any ropes or anything . You can then get back in for one final rapid which leads to a footbridge with a public footpath. Take out here river left and follow the footpath to the road , on the opposite side (left hand side ) of the road is a layby by a house with a phonebox (a mile or 2 down the road from the parking spot in the guide). It is well worth doing this 2nd half even if just because of the stunning gorge it runs through , a SSSI and managed by the woodland trust .

Dan Yates
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