Weather can change very rapidly in this area of the National Park. Protective clothing should be taken and walking boots are a necessity. The map above is intended for information only. You should carry OS Map OL12 and compass. You can zoom in and move around the map above.
Start Point: Storey Arms lay-by on the A470 between Merthyr Tydfil and Brecon. [Grid reference SN 9822-2030] The Storey Arms used to be an Inn but now is a centre for outdoor activities.
Park in the lay-by opposite the Centre. Cross the main road, with care and turn left to walk down the Taff Trail for 2.1 km until you reach a fingerpost, just before the second stone bridge.
Turn left to follow a track down to the footbridge over the Afon Tarell. [9754-2212]
Walk up the field aiming for two trees and on to the stile at the top. Climb the stile and cross the main road, again with care, to the lay-by; this lay-by can be used at an alternative starting point especially if the Storey Arms lay-by is busy. Climb the stile to the picnic area and into Craig Cerrig-Gleisiad.
Walk through the gate and up to the second gate or use the gap in the wall (note, there is a box containing leaflets to the left of the gap) and turn right to follow the mountain wall for 1.8 km going gently uphill across the common. At the gate [9668-2366] on Twyn Dylluan-ddu, take the track to the left downhill to reach the old turnpike road. [9586-2384] Sarn Helen, the roman road, is across the fields to the north-west and the large farm to the right is Forest Lodge.
Turn left and follow the old turnpike road for 3.5 km until you see a narrow valley opening up on the left. This is Cwm-du, the Black Valley; the BBC chose it to be the site of the Doone Valley when they filmed Lorna Doone. It is difficult now to recognise traces of their activity. It is also part of the NNR with NE facing cliffs, a spectacular site in harsh winter weather.
Look for the remains of the old Toll House at the bridge, Pont Blaen Cwm-du [9424-2148] Follow a track beside larch trees and heading north-east up the valley crossing the stream twice using new footbridges. Follow the narrow path along the side of the stream until you reach a small notice directing you uphill. The path can be indistinct but just keep going up and slightly to the right; when the hillside levels off look out for a stone cairn [9530-2249] and beyond it a wide grass path, which runs along the spine of the ridge. Turn right and walk to the trig. point [9578-2278] then bear right and make for the fence. Here you are above Craig Cerrig Gleisiad; if you want to look down into the Cwm you can cross the stile to the path near the edge but take care. Then retrace your steps and walk alongside the outside of the fence for 0.8 km until the fence bears left [9618-2174]
Leave the fence and walk south-east across the watershed for 800 metres to intercept the path that runs along the edge of the ridge known as Craig y Fro [9665-2107]. This area can be wet underfoot but, providing visibility is reasonable, you can see the summit of Fan Fawr to the south. Follow the Craig y Fro path heading south-east for another 2 km which leads back to Storey Arms.
Modest refreshments are usually available in the lay-by and are very welcome