Given South Africa’s bountiful and diverse outdoor environments, as well as the excellent weather, it is probably not surprising that mountain biking has exploded in the country. While for young and old, singles and families, it may just be a great healthy past time, mountain biking has also developed as a significant sport in the country.
Mountain biking calendar in South Africa
The South African mountain biking calendar is packed with diverse events across a wide range of locations that draw elite professional riders from around the world, as well as the amateur enthusiasts.
One of South Africa’s premium mountain biking events is the Karoo to Coast Mountain Bike Challenge that takes place on our doorstep in September every year. Enter early to avoid disappointment and make sure you book a well-earned recovery at Treedom to reward your awesome achievement! More about the race later in this blog.
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Mountain Bike Trails on the Garden Route
The Garden Route offers an assortment of mountain bike trails, from cross country, trail riding, enduro, downhill, and freeride, suitable to meet your required interest and fitness level. And many of these are within an hour’s drive of Treedom, which means you can base yourself here and explore the area at your leisure. Here are some of the most popular MTB trails to add to your bucket list.
Farleigh Mountain Bike Trails
There are three colour-coded routes in the Farleigh section of the Garden Route National Park. Pine plantations and pockets of indigenous forest as well as some open fynbos offering views of the farming area below with glimpses of the sea in the distance. Beautiful views of the Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma Mountains in the distance as well the historic Millwood Goldfields. The Knysna heads are clearly visible on clear days.
- Green Route – easy, 7.5km
- Yellow Route – moderate, 20.1km
- Blue Route – moderate, 25.3km
- Co-ordinates: S33° 53' 37" E22° 52' 35"
- 45 minutes from Wilderness
Harkerville Mountain Bike Trails
The Hakerville Cycle Routes are situated in the Hakerville forest between Knysna and Plettenberg Bay. There are four routes to suit all levels of riders, ranging from an easy family ride to fast-flowing single track through plantations, coastal fynbos, and indigenous forest. The red route is said to be one of the most scenic routes in the country.
- Yellow route – easy, distance 13 km
- Blue route – easy to moderate, distance 11 km
- Green route – moderate, distance 14 km
- Red route – hard, distance 22 km
- Co-ordinates: S34 02.071 E23 11.907
- 50 minutes from Wilderness
Homtini Mountain Bike Trail
Most of the trail follows easy contours in the indigenous Knysna’s Goudveld Forest. This is a circular route, starting and ending at Krisjan-se-Nek picnic spot. The route offers some exhilarating single-track slip-paths, shady jeep tracks and sweeping elevated views of the mountainous landscape and distant Knysna Heads.
- Moderate to hard, distance 19 km
- Co-ordinates: S33 55.001 E22 57.467
- 43 minutes from Wilderness
Petrus-se-Brand Mountain Bike Trail
The Persus-se-Brand mountain bike trail is a great ride through the Knysna forest with exhilarating downhills, streams to refill your water and great scenery. It is a one-way trail and can be done from either the Diepwalle Forest Station or Garden of Eden on the N2 between Knysna & Plettenberg Bay.
- Moderate to hard, distance 22.4 km
- Diepwalle Forest Station : 33°56'54.8"S 23°09'26.6"E
- 1 hour from Wilderness
- Garden of Eden : 34°01'41.7"S 23°14'57.6"E
- 57 minutes from Wilderness
Karoo To Coast Mountain Bike Challenge
The Lions Karoo to Coast Mountain Bike Challenge is a 100km off road race from Uniondale to Knysna via the Prince Alfred's Pass. The route is scenic, challenging and riders are encouraged to train sufficiently for this event to maximise the enjoyment of the experience. Entries have closed for the 2021 race on 26 September, so if you wanted to enter and missed your chance, make sure you diarise the event for 2022. More information at https://www.karootocoast.com/.