|Trail:||River and Railway Walk Afan Forest Park|
|Contributor:||NatResWales||Activity Type:||Walking||Difficulty:||Average||Distance:||2.376 mi (3.824 km)|
|Description:||The Afan Valley is rich in history. From early monastic estates dating back to the 12 century, the landscape developed into a farming area and later a coal mining valley. The last mine closed in 1970 and the area was designated as a forest park in 1972 because of its great walking potential. Nowadays, waymarked walking, family cycling and mountain biking trails criss-cross the valleys and hillsides through the forest, passing by abandoned mines, former tramways and disused railways.
The River and Railway Walk descends into the valley and crosses the River Afan before following its course upstream on a lovely shaded riverside path. The trail then climbs steeply for 60m to reach a bench beside the old railway line. It passes the sealed Gyfylchi tunnel entrance, which was designed and built by Brunel, and where there is an interpretation panel so you can find out about the area. The route then returns to the visitor centre via a picnic area by the river.
This is a great place to escape the busy south Wales towns nearby. With the shade of the riverside trees, the rushing of the river below and plenty of picnic spots, this is the perfect summer walk.
Length: 3 miles / 5km
Terrain: Mainly level with one steep short ascent. There is a seat at the top of this slope so you can rest after your exertion! Note also that you need to follow the orange waymarkers.
Start and Finish: Afan Forest Park Visitor Centre.
Facilities: We have disabled parking and toilets and wheelchair access to the visitor centre, which is run by Neath Port Talbot Council.
Dogs: Well behaved dogs are welcome in our woods.
Getting there: Take junction 40 from the M4 onto the A4107. After six miles, Afan Forest Park Visitor Centre is signposted, near the village of Cwmafan.
Safety: Please ensure you are prepared for all weather conditions and wear suitable clothing and stout footwear for your walk. This walk can be slippery when wet.
Sometimes we need to close or divert trails for your safety whilst we undertake maintenance work or forest operations.
Occasionally we may have to close a site in extreme weather, such as high winds or snow and ice due to the risk of injury to visitors or staff.
Please always follow any instructions on site and make sure you follow any temporary diversion signs in place.
This walk is supplied by Natural Resources Wales. It is subject to Trailzilla copyright terms and conditions.
It can be found on the Natural Resources Wales website along with other walks in their woods and national nature reserves.
Use the family of Countryside Codes to help you prepare and enjoy safe visits to the countryside. https://naturalresources.wales/out-and-about/planning-your-visit/the-countryside-codes/?lang=en
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