Valleys 100 Section 3 - Maesycwmmer to Trallwn

Section 3 of The Valleys Hundred leaves Maesycwmmer and heads west via ancient trackways to climb to Mynydd and Cefn Eglwysilan before descending to the Taff Valley and Pontypridd.

From the community hall in Maesycwmmer, the route crosses the Rhymney Valley via ancient trackways. To the north the very impressive Maesycwmmer Viaduct can be seen. The viaduct, which is also known as the Hengoed Viaduct, was built in 1857, but due to a decline in the demand for coal, the viaduct saw the last train cross its impressive structure in 1964. The viaduct was offered for sale for £1 and is now owned by Railway Paths Ltd. Following restoration, the viaduct was reopened in 2000 and is now open to walkers and cyclists.

The route now climbs to the summit of Mynydd Eglwysilan where 360 degree views will be enjoyed before heading south along the Senghenydd Dyke. The dyke is believed to have been created as a land boundary for the Lords of Senghenydd in 1267. The route contours around the Senghenydd Valley. Senghenydd, the town that is below and to the left of the route, saw the worst pit disaster in Great Britain in 1913 when due to an explosion, 439 miners lost their lives.

A small section of rough moorland crossing follows and this section will be flagged for the main event. The route climbs to the summit of Cefn Eglwysilan and as you approach the summit, suddenly the Taff Valley reveals itself with the Rhondda Hills beyond. Views as far as Exmoor as well as the Western and Central Beacons will be enjoyed here.

The route descends from the open moorland to an agricultural area above Pontypridd from where it then descends. A little street walking will then ensure arrival at checkpoint 3 at Trallwn Community Centre.

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