7. The Powder Trail audio trail, Pontneddfechan, Waterfall Country


Start / Finish points: Waterfall Country
Distance: 3.0 km / 1.86 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Facilities at startpoint: Accommodation, Toilets, Pub, Bus Stop, Car Parking, Cafe



The trail follows a former tram road in the wooded, Afon Mellte river gorge - a designated Special Area of Conservation. It passes the ruins of the former gunpowder works and the watermills that once powered the site.

After heavy rain some sections of path can become muddy. There are several walk options for this site which includes a 1km walk to a wide footbridge across the Mellte which overlooks a weir and mill ‘leats’. A 400 metre accessible walk, with a softer surface, is possible upstream. The route is level with a stone-dust surface. At several points along the trail are audio information boxes –just turn the handle and listen to the story of the local industrial heritage and wildlife!


Useful information:

Nearest town/Village: Pontneddfechan, Glyn-Neath

OS Grid Reference: Explorer Map OL 12 or Landranger Map 160 – SN 911 080

Toilets: The closest disabled access toilets are at Cwm Porth car park near Ystradfellte (Grid Ref SN 928 125) or at Aberdare. There is a disabled access toilet located in the community hall (part-time opening hours).


Powder Trail

This audio trail, produced by Forestry Commission Wales, reveals what life was like working at the Gunpowder Works at Pontneddfechan. Hear how the workers had to dress to minimise the risk of explosions, what happened when there was an explosion in the pellet press and the important role that the horses played transporting materials along the tramway.

You can choose to listen to the following audio tracks now, download them individually on to your computer or Download complete audio trail (9.22 MB) on to your computer as zip files, unzip them using appropriate software, and copy the mp3 files on to your mp3 player, i pod or mobile phone.