Walks Around Pontsticill
Walk 1 — Pontsticill Village
Distance — Route A = 2.5 Miles — Route B = 1.5 Miles
Leave the station by the gateway at the bottom of the ramp and continue straight ahead along the road to the start of the dam. turn right across the dam, joining the Taff Trail and follow the road around to the left until you reach a road junction. Bear left at the junction, leaving the Taff Trail and you are soon in Pontsticill village. Pass the Red Cow public house on your right and continue to the Butchers Arms. There is a telephone kiosk and public toilets just a few yards further on. The village has no shops.
Return by one of the following routes.
Take the road directly opposite the telephone kiosk and continue down the hill for approximately half a mile. On reaching the river turn left across the bridge and follow the zig zag road up the hill to the road junction.
At the road junction turn sharp left joining the Taff Trail. Continue gently down hill for 600 yards. Where the roads split, take the right fork and climb uphill until reaching the dam. Continue straight ahead leaving the Taff Trail and follow this route until reaching Pontsticill Station.
Retrace your steps passing the entrance to Castell Morlais. Take the next turning to the right and go steeply down hill for about 400 yards. Cross the river Taf Fechan by the stone bridge close to the water treatment works. Immediately after crossing the river proceed straight ahead up the hill. At the road junction turn left joining the Taff Trail and climb uphill until reaching the dam. Continue straight ahead leaving the Taff Trail and follow this route until reaching Pontsticill station.
Walk 2 — The Taf Fechan Reservoir
Distance = 5.5 Miles
Leave the station by the gateway at the bottom of the ramp and continue straight ahead along the road to the start of the dam. Turn right across the dam, joining the Taff Trail and follow the road around to the left until you reach a road junction. Turn sharp right and follow the road.
The road climbs gently up hill, with trees appearing first on the right and then on the left. About 30 yards after entering woodland completely, fork left onto a wide forest track, signposted Taff Trail. Follow the path for 1.1/2 miles to a waterfall on a stream, bear right and proceed down hill through the forest. On reaching the road bear left and continue to the road junction. At the junction continue straight ahead, leaving the Taff Trail and cross the dam of the Pentwyn reservoir, continue along the road until reaching the railway over bridge. Immediately before reaching the bridge turn right onto the bridleway which drops to the shore of the reservoir. Continue on the bridleway close to the railway boundary fence until reaching Merthyr Tydfil Sailing Club.
Continue straight ahead along the track way adjacent to the reservoir. Follow this route until reaching the outward route at the Pontsticill station gateway. Turn sharp left through the station gateway.
Walk 3 — Climbing TO Cefn Yr Ystrad
Distance = 5.5 Miles
This walk follows tracks and bridleways shown on the ordnance Survey 125000 Brecon Beacons national park central area map outdoor leisure 11 grid references are given. It should not be attempted by inexperienced walkers or with young children and stout footwear should be worn. The walk crosses open moorland and involves a climb of 520 feet.
Leave the station by the gateway at the bottom of the ramp and continue straight ahead along the road to the start of the dam. Follow the road ahead, joining the Taff trail and dropping down towards the foot of the dam. At the point where a roadway enters from the right S0061114 turn left leaving the Taff Trail, through the gate and onto the bridleway. Continue straight uphill through another gate and across two tracks. follow the bridleway upwards passing under the railway and through the gate. Follow the track and pass through the right hand gate.
Keep the fence and hedge to your left and continue upwards until reaching a gate in a wall. Pass through the gateway and bear left heading for the broadleaf trees and, keeping these to your left, continue straight ahead climbing until reaching another track S0068123. Bear left onto this track. Continue on the track until reaching a downhill section when the track begins to rise again turn left S0073131.
To your left, below in the valley, is a forestry plantation. Head for the right hand corner of this plantation S0064133 crossing two steep sided streams. Head between the forestry plantation, to your left, and the old farmstead ruins ( just a heap of stones ), to your right and continue straight ahead.
On reaching the brow of the hill S0063133. bear very slightly left and continue downhill to the forest fence. Bear right, passing through the gate S0061132 signposted Bridleway. Continue downhill on the bridleway crossing a track. Bear left under the railway bridge and turn left onto the trackway adjacent to the reservoir S0057134. Follow this route until reaching the outward route at the Pontsticill station gateway. Turn sharp left through the station gateway.