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Pontsticill Reservoir Walk - Everything You Need To Know
124 views · Apr 10, 2022
Trail Guide:

Pontsticill Reservoir Walk Description

Taf Fechan Forest

From the parking area, head south with the reservoir on your left, first passing the right turn to Talybont-on-Usk. Shortly after, take the next right onto a gravel track, ascending gently in a southerly direction.

Within minutes, some fantastic views of the reservoir open up, well worth spending a few minutes enjoying. From here, the Pontsticill Reservoir walk winds its way inland, in a westerly direction.

Flanked by trees immediately to your right, with forest views to your left, the trail soon veers to the northwest, bringing into view the rolling hills of the National Park.

Shortly, you will reach a wooden footbridge spanning the Nant Car Fach (river), marking the entrance to the forest. 

Now, the trail meanders its way through the peaceful tranquility of the Taf Fechan Forest, with little more to disturb you than the crunching of your soles on the dirt track and the chorus of birdsong reverberating throughout the treetops.

It is now simply a case of following the obvious trail through the woods until it finally links up once more with the road that runs alongside the reservoir. 

Pontsticill Reservoir    

Turn right and follow the road a short distance into the village of Pontsticill. After passing the village sign, take the sharp left turn and within minutes you will arrive at the southern end of Pontsticill Reservoir.

The first thing you will notice upon reaching the reservoir (as long as you are tall enough to see over the reservoir wall) is what appears to be a large, somewhat intriguing, plug hole in the reservoir. 

This is known as a bell-mouth overflow and acts as an overflow hole when the reservoir water level becomes too high. 

As you make your way across the reservoir’s southern edge, make sure you stop to enjoy the northerly view across the reservoir to the distant peaks of Pen y Fan and the Cribyn.

Eastern Edge of the Reservoir

Upon reaching the far side of the reservoir, turn left and follow the small road north up the eastern edge on this next section of the Pontsticill Reservoir circular walk.

In approximately 200 metres, the road narrows significantly when adjacent to Pontsticill Station on the Brecon Mountain Railway. 

A few hundred metres further on, there are no longer any walls or railings off to your left and as a result you now have unobstructed views across the reservoir. 
Before long, the paved road becomes more of a gravel/dirt track but remains firm and even underfoot. 

Further along, the trail breaks away slightly from the banks of the reservoir before climbing to meet the tracks of the Brecon Mountain Railway. Shortly afterwards and alongside the entrance to the Merthyr Tydfil Sailing Club, the trail narrows significantly.

Northern Edge of the Reservoir

The Pontsticill Reservoir walk hugs the side of the railway line for approximately 650 metres before veering off to the left, descending gradually to the water’s edge once more. 

This is a brief encounter, however, as the path briefly skirts the reservoir’s rocky northern bank, before leading off to rejoin paved country road.

Once you join the road, go straight ahead past Plas Dolygaer and then a cottage. Within minutes, you will find yourself at the point marking the northernmost tip of Pontsticill Reservoir and the southernmost tip of the smaller Pentwyn Reservoir, also known as Dolygaer Reservoir.

There is a nice grassy area off the road to your left at this location, giving you the perfect place to take a break whilst soaking up the wonderful views of the reservoir. 

Within minutes of this spot you will be back at the car and your Pontsticill Reservoir walk will be complete!
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