5hrs 30 mins
Leave the car park and head up the forestry track passing Trallwm Forest holiday cottages on your right. The track is quite steep and continues for just under a mile. However the terrain is good and once through the trees the view opens up on your left, which will take your mind away from the immediate ascent!
As the track starts to level at the top, you will reach a junction. Take the first left and follow the track to the fence and base off the hill. Go through the gate and climb the hill along the boundary fence line, which will be on your left. When you reach the top of the hill, climb over the gate onto the open moorland. I at this point crossed too soon and had to cross two narrow valleys and streams! Wasn’t fun! Continue south west, using the boundary fence as your guide. The fence should be on your left, otherwise like me you will end up crossing the deep valleys and streams!
It is approximately one mile, from crossing the fence to the Trig Pillar. This area can be very boggy, try to stay on the higher ground. There is no defined path, however I found following the horse tracks helped. You will soon see an area of trees up ahead, the Trig Pillar sits on a rocky platform just opposite these trees. The views are fantastic.
Head north east and again you will be faced with extremely boggy areas. The worst are displayed on the OS map as marsh. I tried to stay on the high points. This also helped as way points. First hill to head towards is Banc Du. At this summit you will see the large cairns in the distance of Drygarn Fawr, this is the next destination. Walk over the summits of Bryn Mawr and Bryn Glas, the ground should start to become much firmer underfoot after the descent of Bryn Glas.
The Cairns of Drygarn Fawr are very impressive and makes for a great photo opportunity. They are also a welcome sight, because for the past two and a half miles it has been open moorland with nothing in view other than white grass and the odd sheep. Approach the cairns from the east side, then follow the marked footpath over to the western cairn and Drygarn Fawr’s OS Trig Pillar.
After the second trig pillar visit of the day, head east along the marked footpath. The terrain becomes much easier for a few miles, it is firmer underfoot. Pass the rocky mound of Carreg yr Ast, which you will pass on your left. Approximately a mile ahead the footpath will cross another path, take this path south until reaching stones at Bwlch y Ddau Faen. At these stones take the path east again towards Gorllwyn, the final trig pillar of the walk.
It is approximately one and a half miles to the summit of Gorllwyn and the OS trig pillar. Once at the trig pillar retrace the path back to the stones at Bwlch y Ddau Faen and continue the path south back towards the forestry. At Carnau’s cairns the path splits. Take the path to your right and down through a grassy field to the forestry gate.
Once through the forestry gate, the track drops down into the forestry loosing the views. Cross over the wooden bridge and the track will take you back to the cross roads at the start of the walk. Walk straight ahead and back down the track to the car park.