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One of the best kept secrets in the Valleys, Cwmcarn Forest Drive is just minutes from Newport and not much further from Cardiff, but it brings visitors right into the heart of the beautiful local woodlands. The 7 mile drive is just one of the attractions- there is plenty to keep you busy once you step out of the car. School groups use it as an outdoor education venue and the area is perfect for walking, fishing, or just outdoor play.

There are two walks that start from the visitor centre:

NANT CARN (0.9 miles, 1.5 miles).
This is a short stroll during which you can enjoy the sights and sounds of the stream and lake.

BLUEBELL WALK(1.2 miles, 1.8 kilometres).
This gentle walk takes in woodlands, ponds and streams. Along the way there are fine views of the valley and the pit wheel.

Cwmcarn Forest is also home to one of the best mountain biking trails in South Wales - and there is some stiff competition for that title. Mountain bikers come from across the UK to try their skills against the challenging and adrenaline-packed course, although there are biking options for the less adventurous too!

There are two cross country mountain bike trails and two downhill trails (serviced by the onsite uplift provider) at Cwmcarn Forest.

TWRCH TRAILl (15.5 kilometres, grade red).
The Twrch trail is one of Wales’ hidden gems, a singletrack loop climbing from dense woodland out onto open ridges with clear views of the Bristol Channel. Nearly all the climbing on this trail is done within the first few kilometres. So the start is hard, some of it technical and it will really get your heart going (and test your determination). It’s well worth it though because the descent is very much like a rollercoaster ride; it’s fast, swooping and you’ll be exposed to some very steep hillside.

CAFALL TRAIL (15 kilometres, grade red)
Climbing up to altitudes of over 600 metres, the Cafall Trail is graded red (for proficient riders only). Highlights include some tough climbs, tight hand-built singletrack sections and some fantastic technical descents.

Y MYNYDD DOWNHILLl (1.9 kilometres, grade orange, bike park extreme) currently closed. For more information visit this website www.cwmdown.co.uk

Extreme downhill mountain bike trail for experienced riders only. The trail drops 250m through the steep hillsides of Cwmcarn.
An Uplift pass is available by booking with www.cwmdown.co.uk please note that Private Uplifts are not permitted.

PEDALHOUNDS(1.4 kilometres, 203 metres, vertical drop, grade orange, bike park extreme)
The Pedalhounds downhill course opened in 2014. It follows the line of the old “club track” down a steep sided valley in the forest. It starts off with a handmade rooty section through the trees and soon picks up speed as it flows in and out of the wooded sections. Access to this trail is via the Cavall XC trail or by the uplift service. An uplift pass is available from Cwmdown.
It’s a great place for a picnic. BBQ facilities have been provided for visitor use and there are sculpture gardens and kids play areas nearby, so the whole family will find something to enjoy. Light refreshments are available on site and there is even a designated camp ground for those who want to stay longer.

The best time to do Cwmcarn Forest Drive is probably in late summer or early autumn, just as the leaves are beginning to change colour, or in spring when the new green foliage is just reappearing. It can be spectacular in winter but all roads in this area do get icy so cautious driving is recommended.

The visitor centre provides a place to stock up on refreshments and gifts as well as finding out about what you can do in the area. The cafe is open 9.30am -4pm Sat-Thursday & Friday 9.30am-3.30pm.

The Cwmcarn Forest Visitor Centre is run by Caerphilly County Borough Council and has a spacious information area where you will find walking guides, maps and information on the surrounding area.

Many of the trees in Cwmcarn Forest have been infected by larch disease (Phytophthora ramorum) and 400 acres of these infected trees will be cut down and removed. See the Natural Resources Wales website for the latest information.
http://naturalresources.wales/out-and-about/places-to-go/south-east-wales/cwmcarn-forest/?lang=en

Cwmcarn Forest-Mountain Biking

Trails:
Y Mynydd (1.9km miles) Suitable for expert mountain bikers

Twrch (15km approx. 9 miles)


At the foot of the forest drive is the brand new Visitor Centre, which always has a warm welcome for you. You can find information on walks, cycling activities and other things to do in the area. There is also a gift shop and a cafe with outdoor decking area.

Many of the trees in Cwmcarn Forest have been infected by larch disease (Phytophthora ramorum) and 400 acres of these infected trees will be cut down and removed. See the Natural Resources Wales website for the latest information. http://naturalresources.wales/out-and-about/places-to-go/south-east-wales/cwmcarn-forest/?lang=en

Please note:

Sometimes we need to close or divert trails for your safety whilst we undertake maintenance work or forest operations.
Occasionally 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 onsite and make sure you follow any temporary diversion signs in place.

Book Tickets

Guide Prices

Forest Drive:
Motorbike £3.00, Car £5.00, Minibus £10.00

Facilities

Accessibility

  • Disabled access
  • Disabled toilets

Catering

  • On-site catering
  • On-site light refreshments
  • Picnic site

Children

  • Baby changing facilities
  • Children welcome
  • Pushchairs available

Groups

  • Education/study area
  • Facilities for educational visits
  • Facilities for groups

Parking

  • Parking with charge

Property Facilities

  • Dogs Accepted
  • Gift shop
  • Public toilets

Site Features

  • Regional Tourist Board Member
  • Welcome Host

Target Markets

  • Accepts groups
  • Coach parties accepted

Map & Directions

Road Directions

Cwmcarn Visitor Centre is in Cwmcarn Forest.

Sign posted Forest Drive from M4.

The visitor Centre (run by Caerphilly County Borough Council) is situated about half a mile from Cwmcarn and the drive starts a further half mile on the same road.

Crosskeys and Abercarn are the nearest towns or villages.

OS Grid Reference: ST 229 935

For details of public transport visit http://www.traveline-cymru.info/

Postcode NP11 7FA (for satnav purposes)

Accessible by Public Transport: CrossKeys station is 5 miles away.

Cwmcarn Forest (NRW)

Type:Forest or Woodland

Cwmcarn Forest (NRW), Nantcarn Road, Cwmcarn, Cross Keys, Nr Newport, NP11 7FA

Add Cwmcarn Forest (NRW) to your Itinerary

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Tel0300 065 3000

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