If you’re in the Joburg area looking for a MTB Route close to home, Braamfontein Spruit should be the name that pops to mind.
This 60km + endurance ride runs from Melville Koppies in the South all the way down to Paulshof in the North and is also one of Joburg’s most prominent greenbelts, with The Spruit effectively being a path that runs alongside the Jukskei river.
Virtually single track all the way, the route predominantly follows the water course with minimal technical sections en route making this an ideal ride for beginner to intermediate riders, but with sufficient options and variety to be entertaining and challenging for the more advanced cyclists too.
There are various starting points that one can access this route along from Emmarentia Dam to Delta Park to Albert’s Farm with picnic spots along majority of the route which is also used by runners and aquatic athletes.
Users of the Braamfontein Spruit Route are advised never to ride the route alone for security reasons.
Thaba Trails is located in Rietvlei 101-lr, Johannesburg, in the Gauteng province.
On offer is a technical and challenging 30km ride with adrenaline-pumping downhills on single track.
There is also a Yellow route which has a distance of 14km and is not as technical. It is an endurance ride on jeep track.
The office is open on Saturdays and Sundays and routes can be ridden from 6.30am until 5pm every day in the week.
There is an annual membership option available for R450. For entrance fee riders can phone the office.
Wilton Guest Farm is located a short distance off the N10 between Somerset East and Paterson.
Riders can look forward to “Classic Karoo Mountain Biking” divided into four trails: green, blue, red and black.
The Green trail is a non-technical, family friendly 29 km ride which takes in some of the sights of the farm including the river and a beautiful dam.
The Blue trail consists of 23 km of slightly more challenging terrain while the Red trail is a 38 km ride covering all the more challenging sections and visits all the scenic portions of the farm.
The Black trail is a combination of the Red and Green Routes into a 45 km ride which will appeal to the more active riders.
The Norm-Hudlin trails are situated in Kragga Kamma, Port Elizabeth.
There are 3 route options to choose from, the 30km which is suitable for all skill levels, 15km or 10km.
The terrain is Singletrack, sandy patches.
Entry is R10 during the week and R20 on weekends.
The Garden Route Trail Park is open from dawn till dusk and is nestled at the foot of the Outeniqua Mountains and the Karatara River Gorge.
Their carefully designed routes provide riders of all levels with a great supply of adrenalin and amazing views.
There are more than 20km of hand built singletrack with flowing turns, rollers, and river crossings.
Distances include 14km, 12km, and 8km.
There are trail bikes for hire from R350 for half-day and R500 for full-day.
Hopewell Trails is located in the Hopewell Conservation Estate just outside Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape.
The trails consist of 5km, 12km and 35km routes that take visitors through a variety of biomes that range from different types of grassy fynbos to valley bushveld in the kloofs and northern section of the property.
Hopewell Trails is a good fitness tester and has an intermediate grading.
The Trails are open on Friday’s, Saturday’s and Sunday’s from 7am to 5pm and during weekdays by appointment.
Holla Trails are situated among farms in the Ballito area and are a system of marked mountain biking trails.
There are over 340kms of marked and signed trails.
A permit is needed to ride the trails. If you are visiting the trails for a day, you need to arrive after 6am, sign up at the Holla Trails Trailhead issue desk, and attach the permit to your bike.
Rates for adults are R55, R30 for youth (13 to 21 years), R30 for pensioners, and free for children under 12.
An annual permit is also available. For an individual it is R130 per month, or R1 560 per year. For families it is R230 per month or R2 760 per year.
The Jonkershoek/ Assegaaibosch Reserve MTB Trails are located on the slopes of the Jokershoek Mountains and consist of commercial forest plantations.
The plantations are regularly harvested, ensuring the trails are always changing, disappearing or being rebuilt.
There are two main trails – 15km and 30km, available to choose from and both start at the entrance gate.
The trails have an intermediate to technical grading.
If you’re looking for a family orientated destination on the KZN North Coast, be sure to visit Sugar Rush Park.
With over 100km’s of MTB and running trails, designed by MTB champions Russell and Tyrone White, Sugar Rush Park caters for both amateur and experienced riders.
The Southern Trails have two trail options, a 5.3km Kids Route which is suitable for beginners with a mix of farm road, cane breaks and jeep track styled terrain. The Ladies route is 13.6km’s that is made up of a mild climb, single track, a suspended bridge and a few short climbs along sandy jeep and single tracks.
The Northern Trails is home to the 18.7km Mamba Route which is ideal for the intermediate rider with some standard technical features.
Other attractions to the Sugar Rush Park include running trails, hot showers, bike washes, a fully fledged restaurant and toddler zone.
MTB Day passes are available at R40 with kids passes available at R30 per day. Opening times are from Wednesdays to Sundays during the KZN school term, everyday during school holidays and on all public holidays except Christmas and New Year’s.
Gates (Oct-Mar): 5:30 am – 4pm
Gates (Apr – Sep): 6am – 4pm
Just a few minutes outside of Silverlakes is Rosemary Hills Farm.
The venue offers mountain bike riders three trail options, the 6km, 10km and 27km through beautiful rosemary fields, past dams and across streams.
The courses include forests, bridges, ruins, floating bridges across dams and drop-offs.
The latest edition to their venue is the 1km toddler trail which is free for children under the age of 6.
Entrance is R30 per adult and R15 per child.
This venue also has a coffee shop on site and kiddies play.
Oak Valley offers three various trails, the 14km Blue Route for the family, 24km Red Route for strong riders and 32km Black route for the more advanced riders.
The trails are mainly singletrack with bridges over farm fences and streams.
The daily rate is R40 per adult and R30 for kids and is open all year round.
Other features include The Pool Room which has a restaurant, wine tasting area and deli located 500m from the start of the trails.
The Vlei Park MTB Trail is situated in Rietvlei and boasts an array of trails suitable to all levels of riding expertise.
You will find colour coded trails from the 4km Yellow trail for beginners, an 11km circular Jeep/Single/Forest track all amalgamated for the more intermediate riders and lastly, the blue and black trails which are for the more advanced riders.
The venue also has a day picnic facility and caters for various functions from birthdays to team-buildings.
A single ride entry is R25, Multi entry (10) is R150 and Annual Loyalty Membership is R960.
Situated on the scenic South Coast of KwaZulu Natal and just an hour away from Durban, Rocky Bay Trails offers visitors the chance to get away from the hustle and bustle of busy city life by offering an array of outdoor activities for the whole family, including mountain biking.
The Rocky Bay Resort MTB Trails, based on Ellingham Estate Farm, were opened in 2011 and offers both novice and experienced riders the chance to take advantage of the great tracks and scenery along one of the four varying trails, the 11km; 19km; 27km and 36km.
All riders are required to obtain an entry permit to the premises which is obtained at the Rocky Bay Resorts security gate.
Other activities visitors can choose to participate in include running trails.
Trail operating times – from sun up to sun down.
Admission – R20 for adults or take advantage of the Entry Cards available at the Lodge Reception.
Impala Ranch offers custom designed MTB trails through fynbos, old forest, alongside weathered rocks and boulders, up and down steep valley sides with jumps, hops and ramps.
A fast 18 km loop takes you around the farm with some technical sections.
Riders will also be close to the Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm, which is one of the first and largest wind farms in the country.
Meerendal Trail has an easy to medium grading and is designed for riders of all levels of experience.
The route consists of three inter-leading trails – 5km, 12km and 18km, and can take up to two hours to complete.
Meerendal Wine Estate also features a 4km kiddie, 13km intermediate and 17km advanced route.
The Gwahumbe Reserve MTB Trail consists of a fully-marked 18km route with single track sections. Situated in a game reserve, riders will get the chance to view various wildlife and bird species. The trails are located in the mid-Illovo region in KwaZulu-Natal.
Groenkloof Nature Reserve is situated in the Fountains Valley which is just 5km outside of Pretoria and offers visitors the chance to get away from the hustle and bustle of busy city life by offering an array of outdoor activities which includes mountain biking.
The reserve itself was established by Paul Kruger in 1895 to protect game and wildlife from poachers and is South Africa’s first nature sanctuary.
All of the MTB trails are well marked, offering cyclists a unique ride on single and jeep track with a few technical points thanks to the overall rocky terrain, with riders being able to choose various route options on subsequent loops.
The terrain is a varying mix of single track, jeep track , bridge and river crossings, steep ascents and rocky climbs dependant on the riders choice of route and may include encounters with wildlife in the park.
Other activities visitors can choose to take part in at the reserve include horse, hiking and 4×4 trails as well as guided safaris through the park, picnic and braai areas.
Groenkloof Nature Reserve is open in the Summer months (Sep- Apr) from 5:30am to 7pm and during Winter (May-Aug) from 7am to 6pm and is located on the corner of Eeufees Road & Christina De Wit Ave in Pretoria.
Admission – R35 for adults; R20 for children aged 7 to 17 and R10 for children younger than 7.
The Swartberg pass & Die Hel is a 57km one way MTB challenge near Prince Albert in the Western Cape.
This route is famous for being included in the 122km “To Hell and Back” MTB challenge and is for the Intermediate to Extreme rider.
Karkloof Mountain Bike Trails is just over an hour away from Durban and a few kilometres off the N3.
The trails are accessible year-round to recreational cyclists who can choose from 10km, 20km, 30km and cross country routes.
The trail park offers safe parking, hot showers and a place to wash your bike.
A day indemnity form must be completed and a fee of R30 paid at the Karkloof Country Club. Alternatively, annual membership fees are R450 for adults and R350 for under 18s
This forest track, circular route is a 19km moderate to hard ride which starts at the Krisjan Se Nek picnic site and winds its way through the Homtini Forest.
Permits are essential and are available from Thesen Island Office or the Goudveld Entrance gate at R35 per adult and R18 per child under 13.
Van Gaalen, also known as Skeerpoort MTB Trails, is located in the Magalies mountain range, close to Hartebeespoort.
They offer distances up to 120km with a grading of moderate to extreme.
The trails are perfect to prepare you for any event that you might be training for, and are not for novice riders.
Experience river trails with bridges, technical climbs, ups and downs through dongas and kloofs, steep rocky climbs, flat sections on railway line, and sandy jeep tracks.
Visitors need to buy a R40 day license to ride the trails.