Starting at Abercynon and ending near Penderyn this route twists and turns its way northwest along sections of the Old Glamorganshire Canal. Amazingly, 16 of the canal's 52 locks were on a one-mile stretch of the River Cynon in this former mining town built around The Navigation House - now a pub - but once the canal's headquarters. It's hard to believe this peaceful waterside retreat where kingfishers dip and cuckoos nest was once at the forefront of the Industrial Revolution and the battleground of a legal wrangle between canal and mine owners - the latter wanting to build railway bridges to replace barges as a quicker way of transporting King Coal and finally winning their day in court in 1851.
Ride on to Mountain Ash past where a statue in honour of local running legend Guto Nyth Bran - a farmer's son born in 1700 - can be discovered. Follow the trail to Cwmbach, famous for its male voice choir, and on to the former mining town of Aberdare - the gateway to 500 acres of stunning countryside at the Dare Valley Country Park. The route is linked to the Cynon River Park where a labyrinth of cycle paths is under development.
The Penderyn Distillery at the end of the route is also well worth a look and is good for a tea stop.
The Abercynon end also connects with the Taff Trail.
Please note that a small section of the route will be closed from 11 April for bridge renewal works at Mountain Ash.
The closure is at the bridge over the Afon Cynon nearest to the George Inn.
To avoid this closure, please use Cardiff Road and reconnect with Route 478 via Fford y Glowyr and Trem y Mynydd.
The closure is necessary for public safety during works to the bridge, and is expected to last six months.
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.