Category: Mountain Biking

Western Cape Mountain Bike Trails (MTB): Year 2022

I am touring the Western Cape Mountain Bike trails...

Closed:

Dissapointing that so many are closed

  • Paul Cluver Mountainbike trails are Closed from 31 December 2020 until further notice
  • Koeberg Trails - closed due to Eskom Keoberg being a national key point (scamdemic)

Open:

Climbs:

Going

  • Contermanskloof
  • Bloemendal
  • Hillcrest
  • Hoogekraal
  • Faircape

Bloemendal - nice bike track good for people wanting to learn how to jump and pump on the bike - for intermediates and up. R60 entry and then there is a public trail outside to Majik forest (but the members lock the gate)

  • namaqua national park (524km 5.5 hours)
  • goekap nature reserve - sprinkbok (553km)

Namaqua and Goekap were too far from where I was based.

  • cederburg wilderness area (169km - 2 hours)
  • piket-bo-berg (short) (121km)

Done. Cederburg has a dirt road ride from Clanwilliam to Algeria. A big climb on the way. The road is a bit corregated so ensure you have shocks on your mtb. The ride is 60 - 72 km long depending on route and reminds me of Suikerbosrant in Gauteng. Piket-bo-berg is a tarred climb - but has 2 way traffic and not much space for cyclings - too dangerous to attempt.

central:

  • tulbagh MTB trails (115km 1.5 hours) - Voelvlei
  • Eselfontein (Ceres) (153km 2 hours)

Did not go...

  • tokai
  • table mountain national park

Decent trails - up to tokai mast is one of the best views. Trail down from ou kaapse can be hairy better to go the easy route. Table mountain national park has 1 nice mtb trail starting from deer park and making your way around table mountain towards the block house - some serious climbs. Then back with tafleberg road. Otherwise table mountain doesn't have dedicated mtb routes.

South:

  • helderburg trails (done)
  • bottelary hills (38km 40 mins)
  • jonkershoek trails (65km 1.2 hours)
  • stellenbosch trails (gspot trails, stellenbosch trail fund, ) - short trails good for kids and walkers
  • boshendal - plaisir trails (60km 1 hour)
  • Paarl Adventure Trails (53km 50 mins)
  • franshoek wine valley trails (80km 1.1 hours)
  • grabouw forest trails / hottentots holland nature reserve (76km 1.1 hours)

Paarl has some great trails and one of the best when it comes to berms. The best berms in SA / funnest. The shorter and fun specialized Paarl trails, then after that go left and up towards the paarl mountains nature reserve which has nice roads to ride on and great views of paarl. Then there are nice downhill berm sections at Rhebokskloof. Important to note the new owner of the farm at Rhebokskloof has gated off and posted security to prevent thoroughfare. So best to go back to specialized paarl the way you came - to avoid having to go on the R33 road like I did. Otherwise a great trail - excitement and endurance required.

Jonkershoek: A huge climb for first half and then an advanced (red) decent. Make sure you have a good bike with minimum of 100mm (best to have 120 or 140mm shocks). Rocky.

Bottelary hills: Great trail - mix of climbs, twists and turns and technical sections. Not that rocky more of a smoother trail. Great views.

Franschoek trails: not dedicated MTB. Lots of rocks and stones. Cannot go completely around the dam - river to cross. Not the best trail.

Plaisir trails - stellenbosch - good trail.

Moving up along the coast towards eastern cape:

  • hermanus trails (116km 1.4 hours)
  • greyton mtb trails and gravel (150km 2 hours)

Good MTB trails...intense berms - burst my front tyre on a donger going out of one. Good scenery. The gravel roads around aren't suitable as there are lots of cars travelling at high speed.

  • vadersburg (170km 2.5 hours) - skip
  • klipspringer MTB (gansbaai) (170km)
  • potberg trail network (246km 3 hours)
  • heidelberg (grootvaderbosch) (280km 3.15 hours)
  • George (436km 4.4 hours)
  • Skytrails (park at Old nick's village) (Plettenberg Bay)

Still seems to be a work in progress - by Johan Vorster according to this article. The trails don't flow into each other right now....it is more a case of 3/4 seperate trails that requires a climb to restart. Otherwise very good trails - ensure your tires are fresh and that your brakes are working - some steep burns that surprise you.

  • Cairnbrogie MTB trails

Good coastal trails. Solid berm sections and nice long coastal trail with good views and scenery. Baboons and a puff adder I encountered on this trail

  • Garden route national park - very long trails and lots (500km 5 hours)

Best MTB Trails in South Africa List

This is a list of the top mountainbike (MTB) trails in South Africa (that I have riden)

To view a map of all the routes, use trailforks.com

I have put the price of the trail in brackets

  1. Hillcrest / Contermanskloof - Cape Town (R60)
  2. Hoogekraal / Faircape - Cape Town (R60)
  3. Drakensburg Trails - KZN (R135)
  4. Carkloof Trails - KZN (R60)
  5. Hennops River - Pretoria (R50)
  6. Northern Farm - JHB (R50)
  7. Modderfontein - JHB (R50)
  8. Wannabees Helderberg - Western Cape (R60)
  9. Braamfontein Spruit - JHB (Free)
  10. Cradle Moon - JHB (R50)
  11. Avianto - JHB (R40)
  12. Rietvlei - JHB (R150 for 10 rides)
  13. Baakens Valley - PE (Free)
  14. Clearwater / Beaver Creek Trails - KZN (R40)
  15. Big Red Barn - Pretoria(R50)
  16. Huddle Park - JHB (R50)