Waterfall Country Woodlands - Gwaun Hepste, near Ystradfellte

Gateway to the famous Four Falls Trail

What's here

Coronavirus update

 

Our sites and most visitor facilities are open but, under the current coronavirus restrictions in Wales, this is intended only for the use of people who live locally.

 

You are strongly advised – in line with current Welsh Government regulations – not to drive to any of our sites to exercise unless you have specific health or mobility issues.

 

We have changed the normal route for some of our trails to help you maintain social distancing – please follow signs on site.

 

Welcome

The Four Falls Trail sets off from this large car park and picnic area.

The trail leads to the waterfalls known as Sgŵd Clun-Gwyn, Sgŵd Isaf Clun-Gwyn, Sgŵd y Pannwr and Sgŵd-yr-Eira on the Afon Mellte river in the heart of Waterfall Country.

Each of these waterfalls is a dramatic sight but Sgŵd-yr-Eira (which means “fall of snow” in Welsh) is the most well-known one, as you can walk right behind its thundering curtain of water.

Although there’s room to stand well back, the air is very moist and a waterproof is recommended!

Walking trail

The walking trail is way-marked and starts from the Gwaun Hepste car park.

Four Falls Trail

5¼ miles/8.4 kilometres, strenuous

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The Four Falls Trail is a circular trail through woodlands.

The trail is waymarked in red and the paths are generally wide, easy to follow and have a stone surface in most places.

The gradients are gentle and there are very few steps.

There are optional routes off the main trail down to view each waterfall.

These paths are narrow, unsurfaced and slippery in places, with many steps. They are particularly rough and rocky next to the waterfalls.

Other routes

You can also join the Four Falls Trail from the car park at Cwm Porth which is managed by the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority. This is a pay and display car with a staffed information point and toilets.

There is a slightly shorter, direct route to Sgŵd-yr-Eira waterfall from Dinas Rock car park.

Waterfall Country

Gwaun Hepste is in a popular part of the Brecon Beacons National Park known as Waterfall Country.

Waterfall Country has more spectacular waterfalls than any other similar area in Wales.

Waterfall Country lies within the triangle formed by the villages of Hirwaun, Ystradfellte, and Pontneddfechan.

Here, three rivers - the Afon Mellte, Afon Hepste and Afon Nedd Fechan - have carved their way through soft rocks to create steep wooded gorges full of caves and tumbling cascades.

Go to the Brecon Beacons National Park website for more places to visit in Waterfall Country.

Closures and diversions

  • 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 onsite and make sure you follow any temporary diversion signs in place 

How to get here

Location

Gwaun Hepste is three miles north of Penderyn off the A4059.

Waterfall Country woodlands straddle the county borders of Powys, Neath Port Talbot and Rhondda Cynon Taf.

Directions

Take the A4059 from Penderyn north towards Brecon. After two kilometres, turn left towards Ystradfellte. Bear left at the next two junctions, following the waterfall signs to the Gwaun Hepste car park which is on the left.

Download a location map.

Car park

Gwaun Hepste is a pay and display car park, managed by Brecon Beacons National Park Authority.

The parking charge is £4 and the machine only takes coins - please make sure you have the correct money with you (1p and 2p coins are not accepted).

Ordnance Survey map

Gwaun Hepste is on Ordnance Survey (OS) map OL 12.

The OS grid reference is SN 936 126.

Public transport

The nearest train station is in Aberdare

For details of public transport visit Traveline Cymru's website. 

Contact details

Tel: 0300 065 3000

Email: enquiries@naturalresourceswales.gov.uk

Related document downloads

waterfall_map_2016.pdf PDF [1.7 MB]

Other places in South East Wales

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