This is a really pleasant circular walk to the top of Pen y Foel, a 331m metre hill complete with painted trig point and extensive views South, West and North.
Parking is in a free car park in Abercynon – St Margaret’s – and the walk takes you briefly through the narrow streets of Abercynon before you enter forest tracks for most of the walk.
Heading up from the car park you’ll head a diagonal left not long after until you reach the first footpath sign which takes you onto wide gravel forest tracks. You can then zig-zag up on these all the way to the summit which offers a gentle ascent of just over 800ft. You can cut off the corners of the forest paths for a shorter but steeper route, and nearer the top you could take a path that offers some scrambling if you wanted.
However, sticking to the main forest tracks makes for a longer but easier walk and should offer good walking conditions in all weather and after heavy rain.
The trig point offers really great views and is a very photogenic spot, well worth taking it all in and pausing a while – a good picnic spot in good weather as it is a grassy top.
The walk back down can take many different routes, lots of them avoiding much duplication of the route up, making this a really good circular walk. The end of the track I took was steep in places and you need good walking shoes or boots, if you are not a confident walker stick to the forest trails on the way back for the last section.