Land owned by Forestry Commission Wales is dedicated as Open Access Land for walkers, and in addition, visitors are free to cycle and horse ride here. The forest also hosts carriage driving, and national events such as The RAC Rally.
The planting of this huge 100 km2 forest first began in 1905 and it is home for a wide variety of wildlife including some rare species.
Clocaenog holds the largest population of Red Squirrels in Wales and has been the site of a major conservation and research study into the species since 1992. (see Forestry Commission site) Whilst there is a strong population, you will be very lucky to see one as they average one squirrel every 3 to 4 hectares - good luck!
Rare Black Grouse are found on the Forest edge - over the last 15 years a lot of conservation work has been undertaken to manage this area and the adjacent moorland – the breeding and feeding ground for these birds. This has resulted in an 88% increase in bird numbers – an impressive achievement. More information can again be found on the Forestry Commission site.
Follow the links below for places to visit in Clocaenog Forest:
Walks, picnics and wildlife
- Pincyn Llys – a short walk takes you to the Pincyn Llys Monument, erected by Lord Bogot from Llanfwrog in 1830, probably on the site of a Cairn. Great views east from here across the Vale of Clwyd. For more details visit the entry on the Forestry Commission site.
- Boncyn Foel Bach – picnic site with fantastic views across to the Clwydian Hills and the Berwyns. For more details visit the entry on the Forestry Commission site.
- Bod Petrual Car Park – this is near the largest area of preferable habitat for Red Squirrels – you may be in luck! For more details visit the entry on the Forestry Commission site.
- Bontuchel Wildlife Hide – this hide overlooks small ponds and the stream. Look out for Dormice and Dippers. For more details visit the entry on the Forestry Commission site.
- Foel Frech Bird Hide – If you are very lucky you may hear or see Black Grouse lekking from this hide in late April and early May. For more details visit the entry on the Forestry Commission site.
- For mountain biking routes check out www.ridehiraethog.com , or for serious down hill racers there is a challenging track in the North East of the forest - Foel Gasnach – the home of the FoelDHRiders – check out their website for further details - www.foelgasnach.co.uk
For family mountain biking, or more moderate routes check out www.ridehiraethog.com, which includes: