This gentle route follows the contours of an 18th-century canal towpath that transported coal and timber in its hey-day.
Closed in 1934, parts of the canal are presently being restored to their former glory and waterway enthusiasts with colourful barges can often be seen making leisurely trips up stream. The canal is home to wide species of fish and pond life including Bream, Carp, and Roach. Otters, Kingfishers and Water Vole have also been spotted.
In the forest glades not far from the start of the route can be found the magnificent 86 foot high Melincourt Falls, once painted in all its glory by landscape artist Turner. The area is a fertile breeding ground for ferns and a wide variety can be spotted in the area. Also evident in this valley is the revival of coal mining, witnessed by the re-opening of collieries including Aberpergwm. Pentreclwydau - found at the end of the route - is a gateway to the waterways and falls dotted around the valley.
Also found near Resolven is 120 acre Rheola Estate, a picnicker's paradise complete with a lake that local historians say was a hunting ground for one of Wales' finest ever fly fishers and dressers Twm Twm, alias Thomas Thomas, who was said to fish for Trout in the pond using flies dressed from his own clothes or bird's feathers. The grade 11 listed Rheola Brook Aqueduct can also be seen against a backdrop of magnificently wooded hillsides. Pentreclwydau- found at the end of the route - is a gateway to the waterways and falls dotted around the valley.
It's also possible to ride/walk in the opposite direction from Resolven, again picking up the canal towpath towards Neath.
We have taken all responsible steps to ensure that these routes are safe and achievable by people with a reasonable level of fitness.
However, all outdoor activities involve a degree of risk. To the extent permitted by law, Sustrans accepts no responsibility for any accidents or injury resulting from following these routes.
Walking and cycling routes change over time. Weather conditions may also affect path surfaces.
Please use your own judgement when using the routes based upon the weather and the ability, experience and confidence levels of those in your group.
To make sure everyone gets the most out of their time by the water, please ensure you follow the Towpath Code.