GUIDE TO THE AFON LLUGWY
(Pont Cyfyng to Forestry Falls)
NAME OF RIVER: Llugwy.
WHERE IS IT?: It is beside the A5 in North Wales, flowing off the Glyders past Capel Curig to meet the Conwy at Betws y Coed.
PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: This section begins below Pont Cyfyng falls. There is also a good section above the falls. Get in below Pont Cyfyng falls (don't forget the honesty box, it's only about 20p). Get out at the road after the last rapid described below.
APPROX LENGTH: 3 miles.
TIME NEEDED: An hour to an hour and a half.
ACCESS HASSLES: Unknown, but you are expected to put money in an 'honesty box' whilst getting out above Pont Cyfyng.
Kev Roberts (Dec 2004)...'We paddled this section of the Llugwy yesterday and found that the access situation for this stretch seems to have changed. Access is fine for members of the WCA but everyone else must pay 1 a head in the cafe across the road from the lay-by with gate down to the put in. We didn't know this and were challenged quite vigorously (but politely) by the woman from the cafe. We asked about the changes and were told that the WCA has come to an agreement with the farm that owns the field for access to the put in, but the BCU has "declined to be part of this agreement". Don't know the full details of this but the upshot is that welsh paddlers are OK, but those of us that live outside of Wales (and hence are barred from joining the WCA) must pay for access. Seems very strange, and sounds like the BCU and WCA are falling out.'
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: There is a wall by the side of the river. If the water does not reach the bottom of this then the river will be OK. If there is a vast amount of land beyond the wall go home; the run will destroy your boat and be very dull. If up to the wall and higher it should be a good run.
GRADING: Grade 3. Pont Cyfyng is Grade 5 with a bit of 6 thrown in, but start below this
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS:Pont Cyfyng would rate as major in most people's reckoning...also one rapid near the end ('Forestry Falls')can require inspection due to trees, and there is a general problem with trees everywhere.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: This section is directly below Pont Cyfyng, a horrendous series of waterfalls. The section above the waterfalls begins at Plas y Brenin. You are advised to read the comments on Pont Cyfyng in the guide to the section above.
Get in below Pont Cyfyng falls (don't forget the honesty box, it's only about 20p). In high water a great run. Nothing much gets above grade three. It is mainly just fast and full of fantastic waves. The run can take hours if you take the opportunity of all the waves available to you. It tends to have fast sections with lots of cool waves and then slow through trees. The trees and speed would however cause a few problems to swimmers. The final rapid is a notable grade 3 known as Forestry Falls.
If you continue from Forestry Falls, be aware that Swallow Falls is not far downstream. This is an immense waterfall which has seen descents (mostly low water) but is a portage for anyone with two brain cells to rub together. The section below this is hard but interesting.