Afan Forest Park – Rhyslyn, near Port Talbot

What's here

We are felling trees in Afan Forest Park. Many of our trails will remain open but some will be diverted or closed during this work or for maintenance. Please follow diversion signs and instructions from staff to wait or give way, and be aware of timber haulage lorries.


Trail closures and diversions


These trails are currently closed or diverted:


  • Y Wal Trail: temporary diversion and trail now starts and finishes at Bryn Bettws Lodge (SA12 9SP)
  • Penrhys Walk: closed
  • Gyfylchi Ridgetop Trail: temporary diversion and trail now starts and finishes at Bryn Bettws Lodge (SA12 9SP)
  • River and Railway Walk: closed

More information


White’s Level – Energy – New trail features. Please be aware the jump section has been reinstated so take care on your first roll through.



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.

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

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

Closures and diversions

Sometimes we need to close or divert trails for your safety whilst we undertake maintenance work or other operations.

We may have to close a site in extreme weather, such as high winds or snow and ice, due to the risk of injury to visitors or staff.

Please always follow any instructions on site and any temporary diversion signs.

How to get here


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.


Exit M4 at junction 40 for Port Talbot and follow signs onto A4107 towards Cymer.

After 3¾ miles turn left onto the B4287 towards Pontrhydyfen.

Immediately after the bridge turn sharp right (look out for the brown and white sign) and the car park is straight ahead.

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.​


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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