Keeping out of harms way
Bala & Penllyn Tourism Association have checked the Trails information provided on this website but changes may occur.
Some information is provided by other organisations; please refer to their safety information.
You must be responsible for your own and your group’s safety, please:
- Head warnings given in each Trail leaflet,
- Follow the relevant code of conduct, e.g. Countryside Code, Waterside Code.
- Be aware of guidance given below.
Download guidance documents
The following guidance applies in general to other outdoor activities.
British Mountaineering Council (BMC) statement:
The BMC recognises that climbing, hill walking and mountaineering are activities with a danger of personal injury or death. Participants in these activities should be aware of and accept these risks and be responsible for their own actions.
British Canoe Union (BCU) Participation Statement
“Canoeing and Kayaking are “Assumed risk.” “Water contact sports.” that may carry attendant risks. Participants should be aware of and accept these risks, and be responsible for their own action and involvement”.
Mountain Biking Safety (IMBA – International Mountain Biking Association)
- Like most sports, mountain biking has inherent risks. These risks can never be eliminated entirely. Whenever and wherever you choose to ride, you do so entirely at your own risk. Always ride responsibly and wear a helmet.
- Keep in mind that serious accidents may occur. It is up to you to assess the risks for yourself before you decide to ride any trail. Know your own limits, and understand how the Trail Grading colours relate to your level of riding skills.
- Always respect the safety of other trail users.
- Please check out Trail Essentials for more detailed notes.
Trails Specific information
With Children: some Trails are alongside fast flowing rivers subject to rapid rise in river levels, some are along/crossing busy roads – children must be supervised.
Car Trails: roads are narrow, please only stop in appropriate places. In mountainous areas roads may be steep, narrow and with drops to the side. Please be courteous to other road users, particularly cyclists and walkers.
Cycle Trails: in mountainous areas roads may be steep, narrow and with drops to the side. Please be courteous to other road users, particularly walkers. The routes described in “bike routes around Bala” have been assessed by the Highways Department of Gwynedd County Council.
Walking Trails: many of the trails are in lowland areas on established paths, however, there may be short steep sections and along fast flowing rivers subject to rapid rise in river levels, some are along/crossing busy roads. The area has mountains almost 3,000 ft high, areas of cliffs and steep ground, weather can change quickly.
Canoe Trails (Bala Lake):
- Check for notices warning of blue-green algae
- Wind - take note of it’s direction and strength
- Wear a buoyancy aid & appropriate clothing
- The lake is deep and cold, even in summer
- Paddle in a group
- Be aware of sailing craft
- The SNPA do not provide a rescue service
Mountain Biking Trails:
These are provided by external organisations; please refer to their safety guidance.
Walking sources of information and guidance:
- Mountain Rescue Advice
- North Wales Mountain Rescue Association
- British Mountaineering Council (BMC) Hill Skills and Hill Walking Essentials
- Safe in the Hills (Kirby Stephen Mountain Rescue Team)
- The Country Code
Paddling sources of information and guidance:
Mountain Biking sources of information and guidance:
- It is recommended that you check the suitability of the Trail or activity for your needs, including safety aspects.
- If you are undertaking an adventure activity it is recommended that you consider safety aspects of yourself and your group. If necessary, seek professional advice.
- Use the weather forecast specific to the area, e.g. Snowdonia mountain forercast from the Met Office.
If you need guidance, it is recommended that you use providers of outdoor activities that have appropriate nationally approved qualifications, e.g.
- Mountain guides: Mountain Leader (ML) Training Association.
- Climbing and Mountaineering: Mountain Leader Training, i.e. ML, MIA, MIC, SPA.
- Kayak/canoe coaches those of the British Canoe Union (BCU), coaching award level 1 to 5.
- RYA for sailing.
General Check List (you may adapt to the specific activity)
- Plan your route
- Check the weather forecast
- Let someone know where you are going and how long you expect to be out
- Appropriate kit, e.g.: whistle, map & compass, mobile phone, first aid kit, food and drink
- Wear appropriate footwear, clothing & safety equipment
- Go in a group
- Monitor the weather and your group
Arenig Fawr approach