Snowdonia walking trail to give slate villages £1.5m boost
Small slate towns in Snowdonia could get a £1.5m tourism boost from a new walking trail, it has been estimated.
The 84 mile (135 km) route starts at Porth Penrhyn in Bangor and visits places including Bethesda, Llanberis, Beddgelert and Betws-y-Coed.
Volunteers have spent four years linking up existing paths to create the slate trail which opened on Friday.
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 (309 km) walking route in northern England.
"There are national parks and in the middle there is Danby Wiske, a village nobody would go to except walkers," he said.
"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."
Mr Owen 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.