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 abilities.
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 standard. For further information please contact Cyfarthfa Park Office on 01685/386847.