Starting at Forge Hammer in Cwmbran National Route 492 branches from National Route 49 and runs northwards along a traffic-free to Pontypool.
From Pontypool train station continuing along the beautiful Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal, the route then runs along the line of the old mineral railway to Blaenavon and onto Brynmawr.
On this stretch is a lovely potential lunch stop at the barge café at Pontymoile Basin. Beyond here is a long stretch of lovely broadleaf woodland, with dramatic views to the east across the valley of Afon Llwyd. There is plenty of wildlife to be seen along the way and even a chance to spot a steam train or two.
At the end of the route is Big Pit National Coal Museum, a fantastic family attraction, where original features like the Pithead Baths bring life at the coalface vividly into focus. Stopping here offers the chance to go 300 feet underground with a real miner and see what life was like for the thousands of men (and pit ponies) who worked at the coal face. This is an ideal place to refuel for your journey back down the trail.
You can also detour into Blaenavon, a proud World Heritage Site, which played a significant part in the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century and has a great café.
A traffic-free path continues past Blaenavon and onto Garn Lakes. This local Nature Reserve covers 40 hectares and is a diverse habitat and breeding grounds for a wide range of wildlife.
There is a gap in the route when the route nears the B4248. From here the route continues by road into Brynmawr.
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.