Afan Forest Park – Rhyslyn, near Port Talbot

What's here

Trail closures and diversions due to major felling operation

 

Some of our trails will be diverted or closed in Afan Forest Park due to a major tree felling operation. Please see information in car parks and follow diversion signs along the trails. Be aware of timber haulage lorries and follow instructions from staff. Find out which trails are affected and learn more about the felling work.

 

Additional changes to trails and other visitor facilities

 

  • Skyline Trail – the Granada, Short n Sweet, Riding High and On The Edge and Rhondda sections are closed due to felling work and windblown trees.
  • The W2 Upper Link path is closed due to harvesting operations.

Please follow the diversions.

Welcome

Rhyslyn is in Afan Forest Park.

It is within walking distance of the village of Pontrhydyfen.

There are two waymarked walking trails here. The easier trail goes alongside the river and the longer trail goes along a ridgeway track with views of Pontrhydyfen viaduct.

The picnic area is next to the car park.

Walking trails

The walking trails are waymarked from start to finish.

Look out for the information panel at the start of the trail.

Find out about walking trail grades.

Rhyslyn Riverside Walk

  • Grade: Easy
  • Distance: 1 mile/1.8 kilometres
  • Time: 45 minutes
  • Climb: Mainly level

Follow the Afan River upstream to a viewpoint and return along a disused mineral railway track.

This is a flat route almost all the way along riverside paths and on forest roads.

Watch out for cyclists on sections of the walk.

Penrhys Walk

  • Grade: Moderate
  • Distance: 3½ miles/5.7 kilometres
  • Time: 2 hours
  • Climb: 600 feet/180 metres

Enjoy panoramic views along the ancient ridgeway track which connected Baglan church on the coast to Craig y Llyn north of Glyncorrwg.

You can see all the way to the Carmarthenshire Fans (peaks) on a clear day.

Mountain bike trails

All our mountain bike trails are waymarked from start to finish and have been graded for difficulty.

At the start of the trail there is an information panel – please read this before setting off.

Y Wal Trail

Boasting some of the best singletrack descents in the UK, this trail traverses the north side of the Afan Valley on singletrack.

It varies from fast, open and flowing to tight, technical and rooty.

Great views of the valley and coastline open out at different points, and in places the steep-sided slopes can feel exposed.

The approach to the singletrack shares a section with the Rheilffordd Low Level Cycleway and the disused railway line, so please ride with consideration for the many other forest users.

For a longer ride, combine with White’s Level Trail via one of the W2 links - see Afan Forest Park Visitor Centre.

Richard Burton Birthplace Trail

Rhyslyn car park is within easy walking distance of the village of Pontrhydyfen where the famous actor Richard Burton was born.

The Richard Burton Birthplace Trail sets off from the car park to Pontrhydyfen and his birth place.

There are information panels along the trail with interesting facts on his childhood and career.

For more information, go to the Discover Neath Port Talbot website

Afan Forest Park

Rhyslyn is situated in Afan Forest Park.

Afan Forest Park is one of Britain’s iconic mountain bike destinations and a popular place for walking.

The forest park is situated in the Afan Valley, a former coal mining valley just a few miles from the M4.

You can discover some of the valley’s heritage features along our trails in the forest park.

Other trails in Afan Forest Park

Explore Afan Forest Park from the car parks at these three other places:

National Forest for Wales

Afan Forest Park forms part of the National Forest for Wales.

The National Forest will:

  • create areas of new woodland
  • enhance existing woodlands
  • restore Wales’ irreplaceable ancient woodlands

It will form a connected ecological network running throughout Wales, bringing social, economic and environmental benefits.

Parts of the network will eventually form a trail running the length and breadth of Wales, so anyone can access it wherever they live.

For more information go to the National Forest for Wales website.

Visiting safely

We want you to return home safely after your visit here.

You are responsible for your own safety as well as the safety of any children and animals with you during your visit.

For advice and tips to help you plan your visit here go to Visiting our places safely.

Changes to visitor facilities

See the top of this webpage for details of any planned closures or other changes to visitor facilities here.

For your safety, always follow instructions from staff and signs including those for trail diversions or closures.

We may divert or close trails whilst we undertake maintenance work or other operations and we may need to close other visitor facilities temporarily.

In extreme weather, we may close facilities at short notice due to the risk of injury to visitors and staff.

How to get here

Location

Rhyslyn is 4 miles north east of Port Talbot.

It is in the county of Neath Port Talbot

Ordnance Survey map

Rhyslyn is on Ordnance Survey (OS) map 165 and 166.

The OS grid reference is SS 800 942.

Directions

Exit M4 at junction 40 onto A4107 towards Cymer.

Follow the brown and white signs for Afan Forest from the roundabout after leaving the motorway.

After 3½ miles, turn left onto the B4287 towards Pontrhydyfen.

Go over a bridge and, as the road bears left, take a sharp right turn onto the access track.

Follow the access track for 350 metres to reach Rhyslyn car park.

Public transport

The nearest mainline railway station is in Port Talbot.

For details of public transport go to the Traveline Cymru website.

Sustrans cycle route

You can cycle to Afan Forest Park Visitor Centre on Sustrans National Cycle Network route 887.

Route 887 provides a link between the towns of Port Talbot, Cwmafan, and Pontrhydyfen and continues onto Afan Forest Park.

For more information go to the Sustrans website.​

Parking

Car parking is free of charge.

Overnight parking is not permitted.

Contact details

There are no staff at this location.

Contact our customer team for general enquiries during office hours, Monday to Friday.

Related document downloads

Y Wal Trail guide PDF [5.7 MB]

Other places in South West Wales

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