The spectacular Rhaeadr Fawr waterfall (also known as Aber Falls) has been a popular beauty spot for many years. In spring, it’s not just visitors who flock to this National Nature Reserve as, at this time of year, migrant birds arrive to join the resident woodland bird population - the pied flycatchers come all the way from West Africa to breed here!
As you walk through the valley to the waterfall, listen out for the distinctive sounds of the Great Spotted woodpecker, Wood warbler and Redstart. Along the way, you’ll pass a foam of white flowers on the hawthorn and crab-apple trees during May and a glorious carpet of bluebells and wood anemone in the woodland. Look out, too, for the remains of Bronze and Iron Age hut circles which are evidence that this valley has been inhabited by humans for over three thousand years.
The main path from the entrance by the bridge at Bont Newydd to the foot of the Rhaeadr Fawr waterfall is approximately 1¼ miles (2 kilometres). There is also a network of footpaths through the reserve, some of which are designated public rights of way.
The main path from the entrance at Bont Newydd to the foot of the Rhaeadr Fawr waterfall is made of compacted stone with some loose stones on the surface. It is generally 1.5 metres wide with no steps and a gradual and continuous climb with a height gain of 100 metres (330 feet).
There are a number of picnic benches on the way. Some of the other paths in the reserve are narrow and pass over rougher terrain.
There are two car parks near the Bont Newydd entrance of Coedydd Aber National Nature Reserve from where the main path to the waterfall departs. The kissing gates from the car parks have RADAR locks to open fully.
There are 16 parking spaces (with one space reserved for disabled visitors) at the Bont Newydd car park and 20 parking spaces at the Natural Resources Wales car park (where there are accessible toilets).
You can download this routes free of charge onto your Apple or Android device from Viewranger or TrailZilla. Both websites offer downloadable route information with the distance, how difficult the route is, ease of access and what can be seen along the way. (We recommend that you download routes and maps before leaving home so that you can use them without the need for a mobile signal).