The Taff Trail:Cefn Coed Viaduct
Cefn Coed Viaduct
A plaque erected by the Merthyr Tydfil Heritage Traust says "This viaduct stands 115 feet high and was built to carry the Merthyr to Brecon line. The cost of building was £25,000. Notice the curving sweep of the viaduct so built to avoid Crawshay land."
Cefn Coed y Cymmer
This village really did benefit from the new A470 bypass. It was most unpleasant, not to say dangerous, when all the Brecon traffic had to climb up its High Street. It is now much improved. Cyclists need to go straight across High Street.
Cefn Coed Viaduct to Merthyr Tydfil
(approx 1.6 miles 2.5km)
From the Viaduct continuing down the traffic free path towards the former Cyfarthfa Iron Works there is a good view across the valley towards Cyfarthfa Castle.
After the Iron Works we tunr left into a cycle path alongside Swansea Road (dual carriageway) to the traffic lights.
Cross over Cafarthfa Rd and turn left across the river and right into a narrow path running alongside the river through to Bethesda St then turn left. Across the pelican crossing and over into Dixon St turning left. This becomes a path through to the Penry St traffic lights. Cross Penry St to the Pay and Display car park in front of the college.
As an unofficial alternative starting at the Swansea Rd traffic lights turn right and follow the main road (Nantygwaith St, Dynevor St and Penry St) to the college. Some years ago this road was the main A470, but first the bypass, then other town centre roads reduced the amount of traffic using it. Do take care!
Cefn Coed Viaduct to Pontsarn
(approx 1.6 miles 2.5km)
From the end of the viaduct its just a short way to the main road in Cefn Coed y Cummer. This used to be the A470 and the by-pass now take most of the traffic, however care is still needed crossing to New Church Street opposite.
Up to the church then into a narrow path, bridge over the Heads of the Valleys road to join the former Taf Fechan mineral/Brecon and Merthyr railway.
The path is carried across a road on a wooden bridge before reaching Pontsarn.
Cefn Coed Viaduct to Garwnant
This route is more difficult, in several ways, to the main route of the Taff Trail. 1. Waymarking is not as good so you do need a good map and 2. The route uses bridleways which are both steep and often have a poor surface.
From the Viaduct drop down the hill to the western side of the Taff and onto a road passing under the A465 Heads of the Valleys Road and along between the cemeteries to Ffrwd Road which becomes a bridleway. As it runs alongside a new section of the A470, there is a stile. Lift your bike over and cross the main road to junction opposite GR022084.
Here 4 roads and pathways join the A470. From Left to Right 1.Road to Ffrwd Isaf. 2.Asphalt road going steeply uphill and is the cycle route. 3.A Footpath which runs through the Penmoelallt Nature Resrve, but unsuitable for cycling. 4.Another Bridleway.
Taking 2. after a short steep section there are 2 gates then a stoney track going approximately a mile to a junction, then turn right. The track here has mountain bike markings, but destinations are unclear.
Continue down a steady gradient to the edge of the forestry and across two fields, through the farm at Pen-twyn-isaf and down a road to the Llwyn-on Reservoir. Follow the road alongside the reservoir through to Garwnant.