Afon Tryweryn River
Location: Snowdonia National Park, Wales
The Afon Tryweryn River is dam-controlled with regularly scheduled releases, allowing for commercial rafting trips during the summer months. From it’s headwaters in Snowdonia National Park, to where it meets the Dee River, the Class III Afon Tryweryn River is 19 km. Rafting on the Afon Tryweryn is managed by the Welch Canoe Association which runs the Welsh Canolfan Tryweryn National Whitewater Centre. The whitewater run is naturally occurring, not man-made, although many of the rapids have been modified and boulders have been moved in several spots along the river.
Level of Difficulty: Class II-IV / Beginner – Intermediate
The Afon Trweryn is divided into three sections, the Upper, Middle, and Lower. The Upper is rated Class II-III at normal flows, the Middle is III-IV, and the lower is Class II-III. There are several weirs on the run that create fun playspots and holes.
Upper Section: Class III
The Upper Section is a nice, short, Class III run that begins at the Tombstone Weir, an old broken weir with a big stopper wave. Below Tombstone, Tryweryn whitewater rafters face Factory Falls, a 15 meter Class III rapid that ends with a final plunge into Big Berth, the hole at the bottom of the falls.
Middle Section: Class III & IV
The rapids on the upper section of the Afon Tryweryn are Class III and IV, but there is a good Class II warm-up before rafters enter the Graveyard, a fun Class III+ rapid. The Graveyard has been modified with the addition of a few boulders that make the rapid more exciting. After the Graveyard rapid, rafters enter Ski Jump rapid, a steep drop into a big, sticky hole. The rapid is followed by a long, calm pool, so rafters have plenty of time to recover after their run. Rapids such as International Wave, Fedwr Gog Falls, Fingers Rapid, and NRA Wave require good paddling skills and teamwork. Cafe Wave is the most popular playspot on the river and is aptly named because of the cafe that overlooks the rapid. The grand finale of a Afon Tryweryn River rafting trip is Chapel Falls, an exciting Class IV drop.
Lower Section: Class II-III
The lower Afon Tryweryn River is a wilderness run with classic Class II-III rapids, so it a great beginner run. Although the rapids are not incredibly challenging, they are continuous and require some skilled maneuvering. Bala Mill Falls, the last drop on the Lower Section is a short and technical Class IV waterfall just above take-out.
Season: May – September
Rafting on the Afon Tryweryn River is offered during the summer months.