Cwm Carn Forest, near Newport

Caerphilly County Borough Council

What's here


Set in the heart of the South Wales valleys, Cwm Carn Forest is easy to reach from the M4 and is home to a forest drive, mountain bike trails and walking routes.

The Forestry Commission started to plant trees in the hills around Cwmcarn village in the 1920s.

This former mining area is now a popular destination for visitors.

Visiting Cwm Carn Forest

Visitor facilities in Cwm Carn Forest include:

  • Forest drive (re-opened in 2021 after extensive redevelopment)
  • Walking trails
  • Mountain bike trails
  • Visitor centre
  • Café
  • Camping

The visitor centre, forest drive and most visitor facilities are managed by Caerphilly County Borough Council.

For information about visiting Cwm Carn Forest go to the visitor centre on arrival or see the Cwm Carn Forest website.

Cwm Carn Forest Drive

Following significant investment and redevelopment by Natural Resources Wales the forest drive re-opened in June 2021.

The seven-mile-long drive has eight stop-off points with a range of newly-developed visitor facilities including play areas, accessible footpaths, sensory tunnels and a wooden sculpture trail.

There are picnic areas, BBQ facilities and toilets in some of the stop-off points.

Caerphilly County Borough Council runs the forest drive through a partnership agreement with Natural Resources Wales.

For information about visiting Cwm Carn Forest Drive see the Cwm Carn Forest website.

Mountain bike trails

There are five mountain bike trails at Cwm Carn:

  • Pwca: blue grade (moderate)
  • Cafall: red grade (difficult)
  • Twrch: red grade (difficult)
  • Pedalhounds: black grade (severe)
  • Y Mynydd: double black grade (extreme)

They are waymarked from the information panel in the visitor centre car park.

More information about mountain biking at Cwm Carn

National Forest for Wales

The area of Cwm Carn Forest that is located within the Welsh Government Woodland Estate is part of the National Forest for Wales.

The National Forest will:

  • create areas of new woodland
  • enhance existing woodlands
  • restore Wales’ irreplaceable ancient woodlands

It will form a connected ecological network running throughout Wales, bringing social, economic and environmental benefits.

Parts of the network will eventually form a trail running the length and breadth of Wales, so anyone can access it wherever they live.

For more information go to the National Forest for Wales website.

Visiting safely

We want you to return home safely after your visit here.

You are responsible for your own safety as well as the safety of any children and animals with you during your visit.

For advice and tips to help you plan your visit here go to Visiting our places safely.

Changes to trails

See the top of this webpage for details of any planned closures or other changes to trails here.

For your safety, always follow instructions from staff and signs including those for trail diversions or closures.

We may divert or close trails whilst we undertake maintenance work or other operations and we may need to close other visitor facilities temporarily.

In extreme weather, we may close facilities at short notice due to the risk of injury to visitors and staff.

How to get here

Cwm Carn Forest is on the A467, 8 miles from junction 28 of the M4.

Cwm Carn Forest is on Ordnance Survey (OS) Explorer Map 152 and the OS grid reference for the car park is ST 229 935.

The car park is operated by Caerphilly County Borough Council.

For directions and information about parking and public transport go to the Cwm Forest website.

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