Touring the area The Taff Trail is a long distance, mainly
off-road cycle and foot path,in part bridleway running from the
City of Cardiff waterfront (20 miles to the south of Merthyr
Tydfil) along the Taff valley into Merthyr Tydfil and the
awe-inspiring Brecon Beacons - one of Wales' three national parks -
and terminating at the town of Brecon itself (20 miles to the north
of Merthyr). Specifically designed for cyclists walkers and in part
horseriders , the Trail passes from the south to the north of
Merthyr Tydfil County Borough and is now part of the National Cycle
Route Number 8.
After leaving Cardiff the Trail enters the Taff valley through
the narrow Taff Gorge guarded by Castell Coch, a splendid Victorian
castle. The Trail follows the valley northwards to Merthyr using
the disused canal banks, tramroads and railroads that once
transported the products of Merthyr's iron and coal industries
southwards to the docks at Cardiff. From Merthyr the character of
the Trail changes as it leaves the valley behind and crosses the
Brecon Beacons. The walker has a choice of following either the Taf
Fawr or Taf Fechan valley, although cyclists follow the eastern Taf
Fechan route which uses forestry tracks, old railway lines and
country lanes to cross the Beacons before travelling along the
peaceful Usk valley and arriving in the market town of Brecon.
Largely traffic-free, the Trail passes through many sites of
interest and industrial heritage either immediately adjacent or
extremely close by. Although basically a countryside trail, it
passes through a number of towns and villages providing facilities
for refreshment, accommodation and shopping. Also associated with
the Trail is a network of linking paths, alternative routes and
circular walks which allow plenty of opportunities to explore the
Taff valley and surrounding areas.
Most of the route follows easy gradients with just the
occasional steeper section and - as you can travel as little or as
much as you choose in one session - is suitable for all ages and
The Trail accommodates a variety of users including walkers,
cyclists, hosersriders and - in a restricted number of places -
motor vehicles. Dogs, kept under control, are welcome but no
evidence of their passing should be left behind!
Taff Trail Warden Service
Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council have succeeded in
obtaining funding to provide a much needed Warden Service for the
Trail, the area covered by the service extends from the Ffynon Dwyn
entrance at Pontsticill through to the County Boundary above
Abercynon including the Celtic Trail at Quakers Yard and also Taff
Bargoed Park Trelewis a length of approxemately 22k.
Some of the responsibilities of the Warden would include,general
maintenance ie.litter collection, removing broken glass or
obstructions,dealing with queries from members of the public, and
generally ensuring that the Trail is maintained to a high
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