So we can get to Beddgelert from Blaenau Ffestiniog. Then if we do settle for a route via Cwm Pennant and the cycle track, here is what I walked ten years ago.
From the centre of Beddgelert take the Caernarfon road. At SH 58528 48359 turn left on a metalled lane. This takes you over the river, under and twice over the railway line. At SH 58064 47898 take the track to your right. The path ahead of you goes over the summit of Moel Hebog. For an easier walk, keep to the track, contouring round to the right and into the forest. Just inside the forest, at SH 58064 47898, take the forest track to your left. Once you are inside the forest, at SH 57698 48491, turn left on the forest road and follow this up hill. At SH 56870 48753, cross the Afon Meillionen and take the track to your left. Keep on the right bank of the stream and follow a track through the trees, out of the forest and over Bwlch Meillionen. The old Moel-hebog mine is to your left.
Follow the path down Cwm Llefrith. When you reach Cwrt Isaf farm, do not follow the waymarked footpath to the right but walk down the farm lane to the metalled road. At Pennant Chapel, turn left. In about ¾ km, turn right over Pont Gyfyng. Take the waymarked footpath to the left of Bryn Wern farm. cross a stile and bear to the right up a steep bank through the trees. At about SH 52203 45206 you rejoin the stony track and walk above the slate quarry and up to a stile to the open moorland. Here the paths fan out: take the middle one, passing to the left of the ruined buildings at SH 52040 45210. Just before Cae Amos (this looked derelict when I was there but it’s now a MBA bothy – another reason for going this way), bear left along a (very overgrown in 2008) path through bracken and reeds. At about SH 51575 45404 a waypost marks the beginning of the access land. The track to the left here looks tempting on the map but was impassable ten years ago. Instead, I crossed the wall, bore left across a small stream and up the far bank. (These overgrown paths may be clearer now the bothy is being used.)
I can’t work out the waypoints for the next bit, but from my notes you keep up the slope, cross a stile over a wall, and bear to the left up the next field to a stone wall. The path is stiled and waymarked below the wall but is very boggy and overgrown. I ended up going through the gate and walking above the wall. Eventually you cross back over a stile and walk down a short lane to the stony track leading to Garn Dolbenmaen.
From SH 50750 45528 it should be possible to follow a path to the right, along the stone wall. This becomes a stony track. At SH 49080 45874, take the track to the left and walk down to a minor road. Turn right here, then at SH 48003 46204 turn left, cross the main road and turn right on the cycle track.
This is based on notes from ten years ago, so things may have changed. It would be better in any case to work out a route that goes further to the north. From the ruined farmstead at SH 50237 45545 the map marks a footpath going north over Bwlch Cwmdulyn and down towards Llanllyfni but looking at the aerial photos I can’t see anything on the ground. There must be tracks over the mountains above Beddgelert heading north-west but they need local knowledge – perhaps when we move on to looking at routes through Snowdonia we may get some better ideas on this one.