Valleys 100 Section 2 - Cwmcarn to Maesycwmmer

Section 2 of The Valleys Hundred sees the route leave Cwmcarn, cross the Ebbw Valley and enter the Sirhowy Valley. The route follows a disused railway line before climbing out of the valley and dropping into Maesycwmmer, the home of boxing legend, Joe Calzaghe.

From the checkpoint in Cwmcarn, the route contours above the valley floor before reaching the Crumlin Arm of the Monmouthshire & Brecon canal. A short stretch of canal walking takes the route into the town of Risca where it then crosses the River Ebbw and diverts into the Sirhowy Valley. The town below on the right is Cross Keys and is located at the confluence of the Ebbw and Sirhowy rivers.

The route enters the Sirhowy Country Park and climbs gently through the forestry to emerge above the tree line and provide fabulous views north long the Sirhowy Valley. On a clear day, the three main Brecon Beacons peaks will be clear to see, and you will appreciate the narrowness of the Sirhowy Valley from high above.

The route climbs through the woods to the hill of Mynydd y Grug. On approaching the hill, the route follows an avenue of beautiful mature beech trees, a feature that is to be frequently seen in the eastern valleys. The walking along the ridge is easy, and the route passes more evidence of the industrial past. Most spoil tips in South Wales have been re landscaped and are often difficult to spot. The tip on top of Mynydd y Grug is a more obvious one but is soon passed, and the views north and west will open up again as the path gently descends whilst following the Rhymney Valley Ridgeway walk.

The route turns left off the minor mountain lane and follows field paths into Maesycwmmer and checkpoint 2 at the community hall.

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