Three Parks Trail

An easy, traffic-free cycle ride through three of Wales’ most stunning parks. Begin at Sirhowy Valley Country Park near Crosskeys, passing over the 16-arch viaduct at Hengoed. Pass through Parc Penallta, between Ystrad Mynach and Gelligaer, enjoying views of across Caerphilly. Finally, ride through Parc Taf Bargoed, near Pontypridd, to end your ride.

Location

The Three Parks Trail is found in south Wales between Crossgates and Pontypridd.

Let’s Pedal

The cycle ride starts at Sirhowy Valley Country Park near Crosskeys. After six miles, cross Hengoed Viaduct, a 37 metre (120ft) high, 16-arch viaduct. Look out for the nearby ‘The Wheel of Drams’, an 8-metre high sculpture.

Continue along the valley passing through Parc Penallta. Parc Penallta was created from a former coal tip. Climb to High Point Observatory which offers spectacular views across the county. From there, you won’t be able to miss ‘Sultan’ the pit pony, the UK’s largest figurative sculpture made from earth. Look out for other sculptures throughout the park.

At Trelewis, leave NCN 47 and follow NCN 476 to Parc Taf Bargoed, a former coal mining area. The river once flowed black and  is now a haven for birdlife including wagtails and dippers.

Route Distance

FromToDistance (Miles)Distance (Km)
Sirhowy Valley Country ParkParc Taf Bargoed1320.9

Refreshments

You will find a number of refreshment stops available along or near the route at:

Crosskeys, Hengoed, Nelson, and Café at the Summit Centre, Taf Bargoed.

Facilities

Toilets are located at:

Sirhowy Valley Country Park, Parc Taf Bargoed

Cycle Hire available at:

Cwmcarn

Tourist information available at:

Sirhowy Valley Country Park, Parc Taf Bargoed

How to get here

By Car

Sirhowy Valley Country Park

The main entrance to the park is signposted off the A4048 and the A467 at Cross Keys. For Ynys Hywel Farm and Activity Centre follow the brown ‘Ynys Hywel’ Tourist signs from the centre of Cwmfelinfach (on the A4048).

Parc Penallta

Follow the brown tourist signs from Tredomen roundabout on the A472 at Ystrad Mynach. The car park is located between Ystrad Mynach and Gelligaer on Penalltau Road.

Parc Taf Bargoed

From the A470 Merthyr Tydfil.

Car Parking

Pay and Display parking available near the trail at these locations:

Car ParkLocationPostcode
Sirhowy Valley Country ParkNear CrosskeysNP11 7JD
Nine Mile PointNear CrosskeysNP11 7RB
Parc Taf BargoedNear Merthyr TydfilCF46 6AP

By Cycle

Three Parks Trail is a part of the National Cycle Network (NCN) route 47 from Trelewis to Crosskeys.

By Train

Crosskeys Hengoed or Quaker’s Yard.

Summary

  • Distance (miles): 13
  • Distance (km): 20.9
  • Start: Sirhowy Valley Country Park
  • Finish: Parc Taf Bargoed
  • Type: Disused railway line
  • Surface: Tarmac, gravel
  • Sat Nav: NP11 7JD
Hengoed
4°
light rain
humidity: 93%
wind: 3m/s NE
H 6 • L 4
9°
Fri
9°
Sat
9°
Sun
7°
Mon
Weather from OpenWeatherMap

Features

  • Car Park
  • Cycle Hire
  • Free Entry
  • Picnic Site
  • Refreshments
  • Toilets
  • Tourist Information

Cycle Hire

PS Cycles

Bridge Street
Abercarn
NP11 4SE

(1 mile from Cwmcarn)

Opening Times

Open all year round except for any temporary closures due to works.

Downloads

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Disclaimer

The information provided on this page is believed to be correct and is given in good faith. Please be aware that it may have changed since our research. Use of the information on this page is at your risk, we cannot accept any liability for any problems or incidents arising. The maps are based on the postcodes of the centres. The postcode provided for Sat Nav is the nearest postcode to the start of the trail or car park and is therefore not 100% accurate to the entrance of the location. Postcodes are provided as a guide only. We recommend that you confirm the location and other details before travelling.

Cycling With The Kids is not responsible for the content of third party websites, and travel times, prices, routes and providers are correct at the time of writing, but may alter at short notice.

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