GPS Cycle and Walking Routes

Elan Valley Reservoirs

11 miles (17 km)

This waterside cycling and walking route takes you through the beautiful Elan Valley in Powys.
The traffic free cycle path runs along the Caban-coch, Garreg-dduand Pen-y-garreg reservoirs. It's a very beautiful area with the series of lakes surrounded by lush countryside, attractive woodland, wildflower meadows, streams, waterfalls and the Welsh hills and mountains. Along the way there is the option of climbing high above the Elan Valley on a variety of footpaths. From here you can enjoy stunning views over the reservoirs. Also of note are the spectacular dams including the Garreg-ddu dam which has the appearance of a viaduct and the Caban Coch dam which resembles a magnificent waterfall.
The route starts from the Elan Valley car park near to the Caban Coch dam. Here there is an excellent visitor centre with a cafe, toilets and a wealth of information on the area. You then follow the good, surfaced path along the reservoirs finishing at the dam at Pen-y-Garreg Reservoir. The cycle route can be extended to a challenging 64 mile route as shown on the video below.
You can virtually follow the route by clicking on the google street view link below!
The route can be extended by heading to the bearby Claerwen Reservoir which has a nice cycle and walking trail along the northern side of the water.


LD6 5HP - Please note: Postcode may be approximate for some rural locations

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Elan Valley Reservoirs OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking

Elan Valley Reservoirs Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking


The Elan Valley Visitor Centre is located at the start of the route. Here you will find a nice cafe with a spacious seating area and windows all around to enjoy the wonderful view of the River Elan and Caban Coch Dam. There is also a patio area with picnic tables for people wishing to sit outside in fine weather.
Another option is to head north east along a dismantled railway line into the town of Rhayader. Here you can visit the noteworthy Triangle Inn which dates from the 16th century. There’s a cosy restaurant offering a dog-friendly bar, a wood-burning stove, and an outdoor area with views of the River Wye. You can find the pub next to the River Wye at postcode LD65AR.

Further Information and Other Local Ideas

The Red Kite feeding station is a lovely place to visit in nearby Rhayader. Hundreds of Red Kites feed at the 200 acre family-run working farm every day. It's a wonderful sight with breathtaking feats of aerial piracy the red kites compete with buzzards and ravens for choice pickings. Feeding takes place at 2pm GMT (this changes to 3pm when the clocks change at the end of March, and reverts to 2pm at the end of October when the clocks revert to GMT). There is also acoffee shop& gift shop, a picnic site, and farm trail. You can find the feeding station at Gigrin Farm, South Street with a postcode of LD6 5BL for your sat navs.
The circular Rhayader Dams Walk visits the reservoirs from the nearby town by following the River Elan to the dam at the Caban-coch Reservoir.

Cycle Routes and Walking Routes Nearby


Elan Valley - - 603251

Caban-Coch Reservoir at Elan Valley just before dusk.

Elan Valley - View from Reservoir - - 468524

View from Reservoir

Ruins of Nantgwyllt in the Elan Valley - - 244574

Ruins of Nantgwyllt in the Elan Valley

Penygarreg reservoir - - 338981

Penygarreg reservoir

Claerwen Reservoir - - 209509

Claerwen Reservoir. This reservoir is the largest of the Elan Valley complex and supplies water to Birmingham and parts of Wales. It was opened by HM The Queen in 1952.

Dolymynach Reservoir - - 152365

Dolymynach Reservoir

Craig Goch dam and reservoir, Elan Valley, Wales taken 1965 - - 768761

Craig Goch dam and reservoir, Elan Valley, Wales taken 1965.The dam at Craig Goch, the highest upstream of the series of dams in the Elan Valley, is often referred to as the 'top dam'. It is located at a height of 1040 feet (317m) above sea level. As with all the dams, work started with the arrival of the railway line at the site. In the case of the top dam the line had farthest to go and a rocky outcrop had to be blasted and dug through on the route to the site. Work on excavating the foundations for a secure base for the structure started in July 1897, some three years after the start of work on the lowest dam at Caban Coch. Craig Goch is seen by many as the most attractive of the dams, with an elegantly curved retaining wall and a series of arches carrying a narrow roadway across the top of the dam. It has a domed valve tower and the structure is typical of the 'Birmingham Baroque' style of much of the waterworks scheme.

Elan Valley Aqueduct - - 1801481

Elan Valley Aqueduct


GPS Files

GPX File

Elan Valley Reservoirs.gpx (On Desktop:Right Click>'Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold>Share>Save to Files')

Memory Map Route

Elan Valley Reservoirs.mmo (On Desktop:Right Click>'Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold >Share>Save to Files)