The Bala Challenge Charity Walks

Walk in the stunning scenery of Snowdonia and raise funds for your own good cause (optional)

Date: Saturday, 10 May 2014 - The 10th Bala Challenge!

Choose from:

  • A leisurely guided walk (2 hours)
  • 8 miles along Bala Lake with return by steam railway
  • 14 miles around Bala Lake
  • 20 miles around Bala Lake and more - the challenge!

A range of walks around or along Lake Bala, through forests, over moorland with wonderful views and opportunity to see wildlife. Free car parking, feeding stations, transport if required, refreshments at the finish and a certificate!

You can raise money for your own charity, good cause, or club, or just enjoy the walk. For approved charities or good causes with a minimum entry of 10 walkers, a donation will be made to the charity returning a significant part of the entry fee. Please apply before the event. Runners may participate but start later, the event is not a race.

Important: the route is over farmland - dogs must be on a lead. Please be courteous to landowners & farmers.
Again we will be supporting charities and good causes, such as: North Wales Air Ambulance, the Mountain Rescue Service and local good causes.

Bala Challenge Slideshows:

Choose either:

  • A guided walk (2 hours) with a local expert who will provide wildlife and history information, on footpaths with moderate uphill (please pre-register as there is a limited number of places)
  • The Bala Lake Scenic Walk: an 8 mile walk with the option of returning by narrow-gauge railway
  • The Bala Lake Circuit: a 14 mile walk around Lake Bala
  • The Bala Challenge: a 20 mile walk around Lake Bala, including part of the Aran ridge

Important: the walk is over moorland and hills, up to 2,000 ft high (20 miles route), you will need appropriate footwear and clothing. Ask for advice if necessary. Bring a map case (or clear plastic bag) for the route information.

Services to participants include:

  • Free car parking at the start (please register)
  • Route description with local information notes
  • Checkpoint, marshals and signs
  • Return transport where required (cut-off times apply)
  • Certificates for all finishers
  • Feeding station at check-points
  • Light Refreshments at the finish
  • Assistance with problems.

Bala Challenge Charity Walk

The walk goes around the lake

Spectacular views on the Bala Challenge

Route Overview and Highlights

From the start at the leisure Centre in Bala, the walk first goes around the northern end of the Bala Lake (Llyn Tegid, the largest natural lake in Wales), where there is a classic view looking down the length of the lake to the Aran ridge. After an initial flat section the route soon climbs and there are soon excellent views of Bala town, Moel Emoel, Bala Lake and the Arenig mountain range. By now the route has been over farmland, continues over open moorland to a height of 460m/1,500ft (Craig yr Allor) and then enters a forest - some consider this to be a spooky place. After a level path through the forest there is a steep descent through the forest and then along a mountain stream (Afon Glyn) through woods.

The route continues over farmland, then views of the Aran Mountains will appear ahead, and to the right, across the lake, is a view of an impressive igneous crag with the ruins of an early 13th C. Welsh castle Castell Carndochan. Soon you will arrive in Llanuwchllyn with the check-point situated at the Bala Lake Railway Station. This is the finish for the Bala Lake Walk, with the possibility to return using the narrow-gauge steam railway at a discounted price. Refreshments or lunch is available at the Railway Station and the Eagles Inn - a short walk away.

The Challenge walkers then ascend the Aran ridge as far as Moel Ffenigl (603m) where there are excellent views of Lake Bala and surrounding area, with Cader Idris, Snowdon and Tryfan also visible. Walkers then descend to return to the Llanuwchllyn check point and continue the lake circuit.

The Lake Circuit and Challenge route continues, crossing the River Dee and passing the site of a Roman Fort (Caergai) and then over farmland and forest. A "short but sharp ascent" is next - known by some as the "hill of death"! - but you are rewarded with commanding views of the Aran and Arenig Mountains - Red Kites have been seen from here. The walk continues over farmland & moorland. There are views of the Berwyn Mountains & Penllyn Forest across the Lake with the Aran ridge at the bottom of the Lake, Cader Idris can be seen in the distance, while Dduallt and Rhobell Fawr are closer. There are also excellent views of the Arenig Mountains.

The route then descends through picturesque woodland with views of Bala Lake appearing; the last leg follows the edge of the lake back to the start, where refreshments, congratulations, and certificates are waiting.

The Bala Challenge is organised by Bala & Penllyn Rotary Club in accordance with the guidelines of the Long Distance Walking Association


Other Walks:
Rotary Across Wales Walk 2013

Corwen Walking Festival