Waterfall Country is one of the most popular and beautiful areas in the National Park, attracting both visitors and activity groups to its steep-sided tree-lined gorges.
Located right on the south-westerly edge of the National Park this area is truly one of the splendours of Wild Wales and amongst the most beautiful and popular parts of the National Park. Here the rivers Mellte, Hepste, Pyrddin and Nedd-fechan wind their way down deep, tree-lined gorges, over a series of dramatic waterfalls, before joining to form the River Neath.
Waterfall Country is a very special place to visit with many things to see and do. This area is of international importance in terms of the wildlife it supports and it has been designated as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
The area is also of historical significance - nestled into the gorge at the far end of Pontneddfechan village are the remains of the Old Gunpowder Works. The Powder Trail will take you on an fascinating journey through this historical site.
Just across the way you will find Craig y Ddinas car park where the Sychryd All-Ability trail begins. This site gets very busy with outdoor groups who go gorge-walking in the rivers nearby. The Forestry Commission and National Park have worked with the outdoor groups to develop a code of conduct for groups using this area in order to minimise the impact they have on this sensitive site.
The area receives around 160,000 visitors a year which includes walkers, outdoor groups, photographers, climbers, cavers and canoeists. As a result of the immense pressure this fragile site has been suffering. Many of the paths and areas around the waterfalls have become heavily eroded. For the last two years Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, Forestry Commission Wales and the Countryside Council for Wales have been working closely to try and undo the damage. Here you can find out how we are managing this site, or click here to download a copy of the Waterfall Country Management Plan.
The old information centre at Pontneddfechan has received a makeover and is now called the 'Waterfalls Centre'. Here visitors can find out all about the area from the helpful staff.
Just across the road from the Waterfalls centre the Elidir Trail starts. This trail takes you to Sgwd Gwladus waterfall - there's an accompanying podcast which tells you all about the history and wildlife of the surrounding area and you'll even hear about the legend of Sgwd Gwladus.
Click on the links below to learn more: