Hafren Forest

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Hafren Forest is managed by Natural Resources Wales. For full details of the visitor facilities including trail lengths and grades, information about any changes or temporary closures to trails or other facilities please go to the Natural Resources Wales website.

Hafren Forest was planted in the 1930s and is named after Afon Hafren (the Welsh name for the River Severn).

The source of the River Severn is in a peat bog on the slopes of Pumlumon Cwmbiga on the Pumlumon Massif.  In no time at all it becomes a torrent with falls and cascades plunging headlong through the forest.

A walk along one of the trails, which are waymarked from the car park, is a great way to enjoy this beautiful river. The longest route takes you to the source of the Severn, just outside the forest’s boundary. The shorter trails go to waterfalls within the forest, including the famous Severn-Break-its-Neck, and there is a riverside accessible trail.

There is a spacious picnic area near the car park.

Hafren Forest is also home to many public footpaths and bridleways and it is the starting point for two long distance walks (the Wye Valley Walk and the Severn Way).

The Sustrans National Cycle Network route 8 (Lôn Las Cymru) follows the minor road through Hafren Forest.


The walking trails start from the main car park (Rhyd-y-benwch) and are waymarked from start to finish.

The Cascades Walk is a short accessible trail along a riverside boardwalk to a raised platform with views of the cascades.

The Severn-Break-its-Neck Trail sets off alongside the river and goes through a wildflower meadow before crossing a footbridge where the River Severn thunders down a gully to form the famous Severn-Break-its-Neck waterfall.

The Blaen Hafren Falls Trail is a scenic route through the heart of the forest alongside the River Severn to Blaen Hafren Falls.

The Source of the Severn Trail is a long and strenuous trail alongside the river, first through the forest and then onto boggy moorland to the carved wooden post which marks the river’s source on Pumlumon. The trail passes by some heritage features including a standing stone and the remains of a mine and a farmstead - look out for the information panels along the route.

For full details of the visitor facilities here (including trail lengths and grades), information about any changes or temporary closures to trails or other facilities please go to the Natural Resources Wales website.

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  • Disabled access
  • Disabled toilets


  • Picnic site


  • Children welcome


  • Free Parking

Property Facilities

  • Dogs Accepted
  • Public toilets

Target Markets

  • Coach parties accepted

Map & Directions

Road Directions

Hafren Forest is 6 miles west of Llanidloes., in the county of Powys. Hafren Forest is on Ordnance Survey (OS) Explorer map 214. Follow Short Bridge Street out of Llanidloes - there is a brown and white sign for Hafren Forest on the side of the town hall. Cross the river and bear left. Follow this narrow road for 6½ miles, passing through Old Hall, and the Rhyd-y-benwch car park is on the left. The main car park is Rhyd-y-Benwch. The nearest mainline railway station is in Caersws.

Hafren Forest (NRW)

Type:Forest or Woodland

Hafren Forest (NRW), Rhydybenwch Car Park, Old Hall, Near Llanidloes, SY18 6PT

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