Once the last coal mine closed in 1970, many people left the valley to find work elsewhere and it was feared the area would never recover. It was designated as the ‘Afan Forest Country Park’ in 1972 because of its great walking potential. But it was a group of mountain bikers wanting to build a trail here that was the game changer for the valley.
Fast forward a few years, and the Afan Forest Park offers some of the most demanding, but rewarding, riding in the UK across over 130km of mountain bike trails.
The old railway line that once carried passengers and coal the length of the valley is now a gentle cycleway. There’s also a number of waymarked walking trails, some that offer spectacular valley views and others that pass by abandoned mines, former tramways and disused railways.
Afan Forest Park has two visitor centres; Afan Forest Park Visitor Centre in Cynonville and the Mountain Bike Centre in Glyncorrwg. Both have excellent facilities for families, walkers and cyclists including café’s, car parking, bike shops and public conveniences.