Trail: Crystal Springs Mountain Lodge MTB Route – Pilgrims Rest
Launching off the escarpment you can take a number of routes through the forestry on the property. All routes are on jeep tracks used for game-viewing drives. The exhilarating 16km ride, with an altitude drop of 800m down to the old farm house, is recommended. The climb back out is along the same route or via the 4x4 trail and is quite steep.
South Africa’s first tour de France cyclist, Robert Hunter, as well as champion Chris Froome, have done some clandestine off-season training in this area. The 150km Three Pass route, which is revered by hardcore road cyclists, descends from Crystal Springs through Pilgrim’s Rest and up the short, steep pass to Graskop. Turning right to Sabie, prepare for the aptly-named Long Tom Pass and the radical descent into Lydenburg. Return to Crystal Springs via the Orighstad road and Robbers Pass.
Crystal Springs Mountain Lodge
Telephone: (013) 768 5000
Trail: Mankele Mountain Biking – Schagen
Distances: 2.4km to 55km
The trails are complimented with endless wooden boardwalks and bridges that have been carefully constructed over the terrain. The adrenaline pumping trails have an excellent balance: from lung bursting climbs, disc burning descents, nail biting north shore, big drops, river crossings and fast, smooth single track.
Telephone: +27 (0)78 801 0453 or 082 338 9533
2. KWAZULU NATAL
Trail: WILD 5 MTB - Oribi Gorge
Distances: 1 – 35km
Mountain bikers can follow the scenic single track (horse trail), meandering along the top of the gorge. For a super-strenuous workout, why not attempt riding up the Gorge! Bring your own bike.
Situated at the Oribi Gorge Hotel.
Tel: 039 687 0253
Trail: Lake Eland Game Reserve - Port Shepstone
Explore the game reserve on a mountain bike. Various trails to choose from. Bring your own bike.
Lake Eland Game Reserve – Oribi Gorge.
Tel: 039 687 0395
Cell:083 257 9468
Trail: Clearwater Trails - Port Edward
The trails not only offer a means to exercise, they are linked to many points of interest and entertainment along the way. Our trail users encounter the Gorge View Deck, pass over Clearwater’s Dam wall, go through Abbott’s Wood (a man-made indigenous forest), pass the remains of an old crofter’s lodging (aptly dubbed the Spook House), the Mars-like Red Desert, Beaver Creek Coffee Estate & Cafe (where you can feed you need for caffeine!) and Crags View Wild Care Centre where a magic view of the gorge awaits you.
Tel: 039 311 1130 / 083 549 6710
3. GARDEN ROUTE
Trail: Homtini - Knysna
Description: 19km/2.3 hour; recreational mountain bike route; mostly average/one difficult section; marked; circular; unidirectional; in Goudveld State Forest; no facilities; not for the very young; under 18 must be accompanied by adults;
Department of Water Affairs and Forestry
Tel: + 27 (0)445 82-5466
Trail: Petrus-se-Brand - Knysna
Description: Recreational mountain bike route; 23 km/3 hour; average; marked; linear (starts at Diepwalle, ends at Garden of Eden); in the Diepwalle State Forest; no facilities; not for the very young; under 18 must be accompanied;
Thesen Island Office - 044 302 5600
Diepwalle Forestry Station - 044 382 9762/3
Baywater Village (Sedgefield) – BOOK NOW
Garden Route Chalets (Sedgefield) – BOOK NOW
4. NORTH WEST PROVINCE
Trail: HakaHana Trails - Broederstroom
This ex-horse farm is a truly tranquil setting, consisting of huge paddocks, riverine ecology and pristine bushveld koppies. The Hakahana Trails Network traverses over 40 properties enabling a unique, safe and diverse riding experience, mostly on custom-built single track in pristine bushveld surrounds.
Trail: Van Gaalen Kaasmakerij - Skeerpoort
Distances: Up to 100km
Van Gaalen as the ‘Big Cheese’ of mountain biking in Gauteng this historic cheese farm, situated on the edge of the rural community of Skeerpoort has become a bit of a go-to destination for mountain bikers from Jozi and surrounds. Their constantly evolving MTB trails traverse much of the Magaliesberg region, combining top-quality single-track with an endless network of gravel roads.
The rural landscape, rugged koppies and spread-out grasslands make it difficult to believe that you are only 30 minutes from the hustle and bustle of Johannesburg and Pretoria. There is a real sense of place at Van Gaalen, with old Dutch-style architecture set within a picturesque valley, plus of course the abundant natural grandeur and history one finds here at the foot of the Magaliesberg and in the Cradle of Humankind.
Tel: +27 (0)12 207 1289
Trail: Hennops Trail - Road 511 to Hartbeespoort Dam
Hennops MTB offers some really stunning trails to suit all levels of expertise and fitness. The trails are colour coded and the main circular (single/jeep) track, 13km is green. For the beginner rider there is the option to escape and to complete only the River loop (5km) section. Branching from this main track there are various loops marked in blue to choose from, (Skeleton Hill, Kyalami, Pelindaba and Watergat loop) to create your own choice of distances up to 26km.
Phone: 082 825 9205
Feel free to tell us about other great trails we might have missed on our Facebook Page!