Small slate towns in Snowdonia could bring a £1.5m tourism boost from a new walking trail, known as ‘The Slate Trail’

The 85 mile circular trail which enables walkers to explore the industrial heritage of the slate villages throughout Snowdonia. The route starts at Porth Penrhyn in Bangor and ends at Bethesda and attracts walkers to villages such as Llanllechid, Bethesda, Dinorwig, Llanberis, Waunfawr, Nantlle, Rhyd Ddu, Beddgelert, Croesor, Ffestiniog and Penmachno

Volunteers have spent the last four years linking up existing paths to create the slate trail which opens on Friday, 10 November. The path passes by a number of social enterprises and community run facilities and provides opportunities for people to gain a better understanding and appreciation of the slate heritage of the area.

The Snowdonia Society said it will help smaller places “off the beaten track”. It was the brainchild of Aled Owen, who lives at Penmachno, one of the villages the new trail visits.

He had the idea after doing the Wainwright Society’s coast to coast 192 mile walking route in northern England.

Aled said: “There are national parks and in the middle there is Danby Wiske, a village nobody would go to except walkers.

“They keep the pub and post office open, B&Bs, while the farmer has a bunkhouse. All because of walking. I thought we could do something like this in the slate areas and help villages here.”

Aled and others volunteers have linked up lanes, paths and walking routes, giving a tour of small villages important to the slate industry.

John Harold of the Snowdonia Society said the trail will help gain exposure for “special places” in Snowdonia people may not otherwise get to visit.

For more information about the Slate Trail and the routes visit: http://www.snowdoniaslatetrail.org/index.php/routes