A wonderful place for walking, mountain biking, fishing or to just chill and take in the magnificent views, Alwen is a 5 km long reservoir constructed in the early part of the 20th century and located just a short distance from the Llyn Brenig Visitor Centre. The reservoir supplies water to homes across north east Wales producing about 5 million gallons of water a day, but more importantly for visitors, it is a centre for outdoor leisure activities with an extensive network of cycling and walking trails.
Flanked by forest and heather moor, Alwen Reservoir is encircled by the 15.5 km long Alwen Trail opened in 2006, and by a myriad of forest tracks and paths along the shore and up to the moorland of Mynydd Hiraethog (‘hills of longing’), attracting walkers, mountain bikers and horse riders coming to explore this beautiful area. Alwen is also a popular place for fishing - fishing permits can be purchased from the Visitor Centre at nearby Llyn Brenig.
The scenery around the reservoir is wonderfully varied with stunning landscape views from its high position across the moorlands. Rare black grouse, large heath butterfly and red squirrels are just some of the wildlife you might spot along the shoreline.
Six illustrated panels along the route of the Alwen Trail, provide further information on the wildlife, culture and folktales associated with the area, including the story of ‘Freckled Fairy Cow’ - a white and pink freckled cow which had an endless supply of milk, until a wicked witch milked her into a sieve! The local bard - or poet - Taliesin Hiraethog once lived in the area, and the remains of his house can still be seen on the banks of the reservoir.