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Moel Famau from Loggerheads
Moel Fammau, nr. Mold, North Wales
This run is about 8 miles long, starting and finishing at the Loggerheads Country Park car park, on the A494 between Ruthin and Mold (Multimap). There is a visitor center with a cafe, toilets, small outdoor equipment shop and 'pay and display' car park. "We Three Loggerheads" pub is just across the road. It's worth noting that the park is very popular in the summer and at weekends, you may have to park a short distance from the start of the run.
This route description is quite detailed but should be backed up with an O.S. map. A compass may be required to find the correct path off Moel Fammau in poor visibility.
Parts of the route are connected by about 1.5 miles on quiet roads, but mostly you will be on footpath or bridleway. The climb up to Moel Fammau involves a very steep section that you may have to walk. From Pontnewydd back to Loggerheads is along the Leete Path, the course of an old mining light railway, which makes a nice finish to the run. A shortcut after Ffrith Mountain reduces the distance to about 6 miles. Expect the route to take around 1.5 to 2 hours.
Leave the car park at the vehicle entrance and turn immidiatley right into a minor road. Slight incline, follow to T junction, turn right. After 10m enter track on left, thru' gate 'private road - do not park in front of gates' (A). Follow track, thru' gates, until track turns left to farm bldgs. Straight ahead into field, then left 100m to style by forest. Down side of forest for 100m, then climb another style and cross the small plank bridge.
Follow the side of the field until you see a finger post to head for (sometimes missing..!), on the crest of the hill (B). From the finger post, a small sheep track leads down to a ford a some gates. Go thru' these onto a better track. After 50m, just before a gate, climb the style on your left. This is the start of the steep climb to the top! Keep going straight over at track junctions. The style at the end of the path is the top...
From the top, head N.N.E. (a finger post pointing to 'Cilcain' is sometimes here, sometimes missing!) A steep path descends with heather on your left, and after 100m, forest on your right. At the next junction there is a four way finger post (C). Turn right along the bridleway, with a wall on your right, pass through various gates. Come to another gate in a wooded area and ignore the path sharp let t(UPDATE - see blue dash line on map for footpath which avoids road section..!). Continue through the gate, past farm buildings, to a tee junction with a tarmac road. Turn left and descend quite steeply on road to another road junction.
Shortcut and return via 'Leete Path' at this point, details at end of route.
Turn left at this junction and follow the road for about 1.5k, see a private track on your right, and 100m after this turn right into a similar looking track - but marked with a bridleway sign. Follow through a gate into a farm, and through the farm buildings. With the farmers house on your left, enter a gate onto muddy and rocky track. Follow easily downhill, thru' another gate, over a small bridge and to a tarmac road (D). TAKE EXTRA CARE ON THIS SECTION OF ROAD !!!
Turn right onto the road, cross the narrow bridge and head up the steep hill. 100m after the salt container and chevrons, turn sharp right onto a signed footpath. This is the start of the 'Leete Path' and heads all the way back to the finish. (There are many small junctions to navigate - keep heading straight over and keep level back to Loggerheads). The path starts with a quarry below you on the right. After some safety railings come to a path junction and head straight over. Cross an alpine bridge over a gorge and come to another junction. Again, straight over, to a junction with a tarmac road.
Cross the road onto a tarmac path leading to dog kennels, at the kennels, bear left back onto the footpath. Keep following the main path, ignoring small junctions, now some signs indicate 'Leete Path'. As you come to Loggerheads Park, the path surface improves. Keep to the main path, with the river on your right, and eventually reach a small bridge into the park visitor area, the car park, and the finish - yippee !!
Shortcut route details.
Shown as orange dash line on map. From the tarmaced road junction, go straight over to a style and narrow footpath. Follow this entertaining downhill path, which is well signposted, to the river crossing. Climb up the other side until you find the 'Leete Path'.
Turn right on this and head back to Loggerheads, as detailed above.
footpath avoiding road