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Garden Route Hiking Trails

29th October 2014

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Hiking in the George mountainsThe Garden Route in the Western Cape  features some of the most spectacular hiking trails in the world, through forest, fynbos and along its pristine coastline.

Advance Booking is essential since the trails are very popular, and numbers are limited. Permits are required and all of the longer trails offer accommodation in overnight huts.

 
 
HEIDELBERG  
(Tourist Info 028 713 4139 )
     

BOSBOK HIKING TRAIL
Starting Point: Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve office
End: Circular routes
Distance: 2-10 km Duration 1-8 days
Rating: Easy
Permit: Booking at office 02872 22412
Features: Indigenous forest

 






 

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STILBAAI   (Tourist Info 028 754 2602)

 
   

NOORDKAPPER ROUTE
Starting Point: Morris Point
End: Jongensfontein
Distance: 11 km Duration 4 hrs
Rating: Easy
Permit: None
Features: Low tide. Coastline, fish traps, shell gathering, flowers, whales, caves, ancient strandloper middens

 

 

WEST BANK ROUTE
Starting Point: Tourism Office
End: Morris Point / Harbour
Distance: 5-10 km Duration 2-5 hrs
Rating: Easy
Permit: None
Features: Birds, river estuary, fish traps, harbour, tame eels and whales


 

BOHNEN ROUTE
Starting Point: In the reserve
End: Circular routes
Distance: 4-8 km Duration 2-4 hrs
Rating: Easy to average
Permit: None
Features: Ocean views, limestone and dune fynbos, small and medium antelope and birds

 

 

HONEYMOON BEACH ROUTE
Starting Point: Lappiesbaai beach
End: Circular route
Distance: 8 km Duration undetermined
Rating: Easy
Permit: none
Features: Low tide. Unspoilt soft sandy beach, unique rock formations


 

GEELKRANZ ROUTE
Starting Point: In the reserve
End: Circular route
Distance: 5-12 km Duration 3-6 hrs
Rating: Easy to difficult
Permit: (02875) 42602
Features: Rehabilitation of dune fynbos, limestone caves, birds, fauna and flora

 

 

Hiking with Sandpiper Safaris


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MOSSEL BAY   (Tourist Info 044 691 2202)


 

   

CAPE St. BLAZE HIKING TRAIL
Starting Point: Bat's Cave
End: Dana Bay
Distance: 15 km one way Duration 4 hrs
Rating: Average, high cliffs on one side
Permit: None, children must be accompanied by an adult
Features: Coastal views with towering cliffs and rocks and a number of bays and coves


 

 

RUITERBOS HIKING TRAIL
Starting Point: Eight Bells Mountain Inn / Ruiterbos Forest Station
End: Circular route
Distance: 5 km Duration 2 hrs
Rating: Easy
Permit: Self-issued permit
Features: Indigenous and Pine Forest

 

Mosselbay  

COUMASHOEK CIRCULAR TRAIL
Starting Point: A style next to a green gate opposite a picnic table in Robinson Pass
End: Top of the Robinson Pass or back at the start
Distance: 16.5 km Duration 7 hrs
Rating: Average
Permit: None
Features: Fynbos, small animals

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GREAT BRAK RIVER   (Tourist Info 044 620 2100)

 
   

WOLWEDANS HIKING TRAIL
Starting Point: Municipality
End: Wolwedans Dam lookout point
Distance: 3 km one way Duration 2 hrs
Rating: Easy
Permit: 044 606 5000
Features: Beautiful river trail with rich bird life

 

GREAT BRAK RIVER VILLAGE WALK
Starting Point: Southern Cross Rd
End: Circular Route
Distance: 8 km Duration 2 hrs
Rating: Easy
Permit: None
Features: Beach, estuary, river and village

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GLENTANA   (Tourist Info 044 620 2100)

 
   

GLENTANA BEACH WALK TO SHIPWRECK
Starting Point: Parking area near the Sea Side Cafe, walk in an easterly direction towards the rocks
End: Walk back
Distance: 6 km, Duration: 3 hrs
Rating: Easy
Permit: None
Features: Rocky beach, caves, wreck of floating dock
 

 

STEVE LANDMAN TRAIL
Starting Point: Outeniqua Resort, Bluff Street, Glentana
End: Walk back
Distance: 4 km, Duration: 1 hr 30 min
Rating: Easy - average
Permit: None
Features: Beach


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HEROLD'S BAY   (Tourist Info 044 801 9295)

 
   

DUTTON'S COVE WALK
Starting Point: Park at beach parking area, walk in easterly direction to residential area
End: Walk back
Distance: 4 km, Duration: 1 hr 30 min
Rating: Easy - average
Permit: None
Features: Road and path overlooking sea

 

ROOIKRANSIES WALKS
Starting Point: Walk from the hotel in an easterly direction
End: Walk back
Distance: 4 km, Duration: 1 hr 30 min
Rating: Easy
Permit: None
Features: Road and path overlooking sea, magnificent views


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GEORGE   (Tourist Info 044 801 9295)

 
   

DORING RIVER WILDERNESS TRAIL
Starting Point: Waboomskraal
End: Circular route
Distance: 15 km, Duration: 6 hrs
Rating: Average - difficult
Permit: Outeniquas - Witfontein (044) 870 8323
Features: Fynbos, mountain scenery and river

 

 

PASS TO PASS TRAIL
Starting Point: Top of Montagu Pass (old gravel quarry on the western side) or Outeniqua Pass
End: Top of Outeniqua Pass or Montagu Pass
Distance: 4.7 km Duration 3 hrs
Rating: Difficult
Permit: Self-issued permit at Montagu Pass/Montagu Pass
Features: View over Outeniqua Mountain Range with beautiful fynbos.

 

KEUR RIVER BRIDGE NATURE TRAIL
Starting Point: At Montagu Pass at the picnic spot
End: Walk back
Distance: 1 km, Duration 30 min
Rating: Easy
Permit: None
Features: View over mountain passes and range with indigenous fynbos

 

 

GEORGE PEAK & CRADOCK'S PEAK TRAIL
Starting Point: Witfontein Forest Station
(both routes first 8 km the same)
End: Walk back
Distance: George Peak: 17.2 km,
Cradock: 19 km (10 hrs)
Rating: Difficult
Permit: Self-issued permit at Witfontein
Features: View over George and coast to Mossel Bay, fynbos and smaller animals

 

CRADOCK PASS TRAIL
Starting Point: Witfontein Forest Station or start at North Station (old hotel, top of Montagu Pass)
End: North Station (organise a car at this end or walk via Montagu Pass - additional 10.5 km)
Distance: Single walk 12.5 km, Duration 6 hrs
Rating: Average - difficult
Permit: Self-issued permit at Witfontein
Features: View over mountains towards Karoo, fynbos and animals

 

 

WITFONTEIN
Starting Point: Arbour Road / North end of First Ave / SAFCOL / Camfersdrift Rd / Plane Rd.
End: Circular route
Distance: varies
Rating: easy
Permit: None - keep to the marked route
Features: Walk through Pine plantations with rich birdlife

 

TV TOWER
Starting Point: Witfontein, walk to the tower
End: Walk back
Distance: 5 km Duration 2 hrs
Rating: Easy
Permit: None
Features: Tower with magnificent view over George and mountain ranges

 

 

DIKKOP TRAIL
Starting Point: Dikkop en Bokmakierie St
(Eden Residential area, George)
End: Walk back
Distance: 5 km, Duration 2 hrs
Rating: Easy
Permit: None
Features: Plantations / indigenous forest

 

GARDENROUTE DAM
Starting Point: Eastern end of Stander St
(Eden residential area)
End: Walk back
Distance: 2.5 km to dam, Duration 1 hr 30 min
Rating: Easy
Permit: None
Features: Walk through Pine plantations next to dam, beautiful scenery
 

 

GROENE WEIDE FOREST WALKS (3 Routes)
Starting Point: Saasveld College,
Northern point of golf course
End: Circular Route
Distance: 15 km, Duration 5 hrs 30 min
Rating: Easy - optional shorter route of 7 km and 11 km
Permit: Self-issued
Features: Indigenous forest

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WILDERNESS   (Tourist Info 044 877 0045)

 
   

WOODVILLE FOREST WALK
Starting Point: North of Hoekwil
End: Circular Route
Distance: 2 km, Duration 20 min
Rating: Easy
Permit: None
Features: Indigenous Forest

 

 

WILDERNESS COUNTRY WALK
Starting Point: Behind Karos Wilderness Hotel, Hoogte Rd to Map of Africa
End: Circular route
Distance: 7 km, Duration 2-3 hrs
Rating: Average
Permit: None
Features: Farmlands, View of mountains, lakes, forest valleys, coastal plain, coastline and ocean

 

KLEINKRANZ TO GERICKE'S POINT
Starting Point: Walk during low tide from Kleinkranz to Gericke's Point (Swartvlei Mouth) of vice-versa
End: Walk back
Distance: 14 km, Duration 6 hrs
Rating: Easy
Permit: None
Features: Beach and fynbos

 

 

THE PIED KINGFISHER TRAIL
(The boardwalk, Serpentine and beach)
Starting Point: Wilderness Rest Camp
End: Circular Route
Distance: 11 km, Duration 3 hrs
Rating: Easy
Permit: Self-issued permit at start
Features: Lagoon, coastal bush, floodplain, beach and birdlife

 

GIANT KINGFISHER TRAIL
(Ebb and Flow to the waterfall)
Starting Point: Ebb and Flow
End: Walk back
Distance: 7 km (return) Duration 3 hrs
Rating: Average
Permit: Self-issued permit (pay entrance at Ebb and Flow)
Features: River valley, indigenous forests, rocks, pools and waterfall

 

 

THE HALF-COLLARED KINGFISHER TRAIL
(Along the western bank of the Touw River)
Starting Point: Western bank of Touws River alongside train / motor bridge next to Ebb and Flow
End: Walk back
Distance: 4 km Duration 1 hr 30 min
Rating: Easy except for new Bosduif route which is rather strenuous
Permit: Self-issued
Features: Indigenous forest and river valley

 

BROWNHOODED KINGFISHER TRAIL
Starting Point: Duiwe River between Island Lake and Lang Vlei
End: Walk back
Distance: 6 km Duration 2 hrs
Rating: Average
Permit: Self-issued at start
Features: River valley, rocks and cliffs, waterfall and swimming hole
 

  Wilderness

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SEDGEFIELD   (Tourist Info 044 3432628)

 
   

THE CAPE DUNE MOLERAT TRAIL
Starting Point: Rondevlei Research Centre
End: Circular route
Distance: 8 km Duration 2-4 hrs
Rating: Average
Permit: Self-issued permit at start
Features: Lake, fynbos, dunes, bird- and animal life

 

 

SEDGEFIELD COUNTRY WALK
Starting Point: Centre of town
End: Circular route
Distance: 12 km Duration 3 hrs 30 min
Rating: Easy
Permit: None
Features: Sedgefield town, plantations, coastal bush, lagoon, magnificent scenery and views

 

GOUKAMMA TRAIL
Starting Point: Parking area, Goukamma Nature Reserve
End: Circular route
Distance: 8 km Duration 3 hrs
Rating: Average
Permit: Pay at entrance
Features: Coastal bush, Milkwood forest, sand dunes, beautiful views of the forest and hinterland


 

 

GOUKAMMA BEACH WALK
Starting Point: At the boardwalk at Platbank
End: Rowwehoek on the rocks on the eastern side of the Goukamma River Mouth, next to Buffels Bay rd
Distance: 14 km Duration 3 hrs 30 min
Rating: Easy
Permit: None
Features: Beautiful, unspoilt beach and inter-tidal pools

 

GOUKAMMA AND GROENVLEI TRAIL
Starting Point: Parking area - Goukamma Nature Reserve
End: The Conservation Station at Groenvlei
Distance: 13 km Duration 5 hrs
Rating: Average
Permit: Pay at entrance
Features: Grand coastal scenery, dune fynbos, Milkwood forest, a wide variety of birdlife and antelope

 

 

FYNBOSKRUIN FYNBOS WALK
Starting Point: Fynboskruin Restaurant,
Swartvlei Beach rd. End: Fynboskruin Restaurant
Distance: 10 km Duration 4 hrs
Rating: Average
Permit: Pay at Sedgefield Information and Tourism Centre (044) 343 2007
Features: Lovely walk through fynbos, excellent views of lakes, lagoon, mountains, sea and even Mossel Bay on a clear day

 

Gerickes's Point at Sedgefield  

GERICKE'S POINT BEACH WALK
Starting Point: Swartvlei Beach
End: Swartvlei Beach
Distance: 6 km Duration 2 hrs
Rating: Easy
Permit: None
Features: Should be done at low tide. Beautiful tidal pools, rock formations and sea birdlife

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KNYSNA   (Tourist Info 044 382-5510)

 
   

BRENTON-ON-SEA BEACHWALK
Starting Point: Brenton-on-sea
End: Buffalo Bay or walk back
Distance: 7 km Duration 2 hrs
Rating: Easy
Permit: None
Features:Sandy beaches

 

 

JUBILEE CREEK FOREST WALK
Starting Point: Parking area
End: Circular route
Distance: 3.6 km Duration 1 hr
Rating: Easy
Permit: Sign, register and pay entrance fee
Features: Indigenous forest, stream and swimming hole, one of the largest trees in the area

 

MILWOOD GOLD MINE TRAIL
Starting Point: Milwood picnic spot
End: Circular route
Distance: 5.6 km Duration 2 hrs
Rating: Moderate
Permit: Sign, register and pay entrance fee
Features: Remains of old mining village, museum, graveyard, plantations, fynbos and forest


 

 

TERREBLANS FOREST WALK
Starting Point: Parking area
End: Circular route
Distance: 6.5 km Duration 2 hrs
Rating: Easy
Permit: Sign, register and pay entrance fee
Features: Forest and swimming holes

 

THE ELEPHANT TRAILS
Starting Point: In front of Diepwalle Forest Station
End: 3 Circular routes
Distance: 9/8/7 km Duration 2 hrs 30 min / 2 hrs / 2 hrs 30 min
Rating: Easy
Permit: Pay entrance fee
Features: Forest with many large Yellowwood trees
 

 

WITELS FOREST WALK
Starting Point: Parking area
End: Circular route
Distance: 2 km Duration 30 min
Rating: Easy
Permit: Sign register
Features: Forest


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PLETTENBERG BAY   (Tourist Info 044 533 4065)

 
   

GARDEN OF EDEN FOREST WALK
Starting Point: Parking area
End: Circular Route
Distance: 1 km Duration 30 min
Rating: Easy
Permit: Sign, register and pay entrance fee
Features: Forest with stream, bridges and braai facilities

 

 

KRANSHOEK FOREST WALK
Starting Point: Picnic site
End: Circular route
Distance: 3-9 km Duration 2-5 hrs
Rating: Difficult
Permit: Sign, register and pay entrance fee
Features: Forest, plantation, fynbos, coastal escarpment, rock beach and picnic site

 

ROBBERG NATURE RESERVE
Starting Point: Parking area
End: Circular route
Distance: 2.2 km / 5.6 km / 9.2 km
Duration 45 min / 2 hrs / 4hrs
Rating: Easy - difficult
Permit: At entrance
Features: Forest, plantation, fynbos, coastal escarpment, rock, beach and picnic site

 

 

MILKWOOD SCENIC TRAILS
Starting Point: Any point along the route
(lagoon at Central Beach)
End: Circular route
Distance: 3-5 km Duration 1-2 hrs
Rating: Easy
Permit: None
Features: Forests, beaches, wetlands, historical and scenic town sight

 

WITTEDRIFT NATURE TRAILS
Starting Point: Wittedrift High School
End: Circular route
Distance: 1.5 - 10 km Duration 2-8 hrs
Rating: Easy - difficult
Permit: None, the overnight hut can be booked at Wittedrift Butchery
Features: Wetlands, river, interesting geology, fynbos, scrubs (dogs and horses allowed)


 

 

NATURE'S VALLEY NETWORK
Starting Point: Various
End: Circular route
Distance: 1-6 km Duration 1-3 hrs
Rating: Easy - difficult
Permit: Free permit from de Vasselot Camp Site
Features: Fynbos, forests, sandy beaches and rocky cliffs

 

STINKHOUTKLOOF TRAIL
Starting Point: Parking area at Bloukrans Forest Station
End: Circular route
Distance: 1 km Duration 30 min
Rating: Easy
Permit: Sign register at entrance
Features: Forest

 

 

STORMS RIVER MOUTH TRAILS
Starting Point: Parking area, Tsitsikamma National Park
End: Walk back
Distance: 1-5.6 km Duration 1-3 hrs
Rating: Easy - difficult
Permit: Pay entrance fee at National Park
Features: Forest, fynbos, caves, suspension bridge and rugged coast

 

THE BIG TREE AND RATEL TRAIL
Starting Point: Parking area 3 km west of Storm's River bridge on the R102 turn off to the Big Tree
End: Circular route
Distance: 4.2 km Duration 1 hr 15 min
Rating: Average
Permit: Sign, register and pay entrance fee
Features: One of the largest Yellowwoods in the country, indigenous forests

 

Storms River

 

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LONGER HIKES    

 
   

BOOSMANSBOS WILDERNESS AREA - HEIDELBERG
Starting Point: Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve Office
End: Circular Route
Distance:27 - 64 km Duration 2-5 days
Rating: Average - Difficult
Permit: (02872) 22412
Features: Mountain, fynbos and indigenous forest

 

 

ATTAQUASKLOOF HIKING TRAIL - MOSSEL BAY
Starting Point: A stile next to a green gate opposite the picnic area at the Robinson Pass between Mossel Bay and Oudtshoorn
End: Circular Route
(3 alternative routes can be done over 3 days)
Distance: 38.3 km Duration: 3 days
Rating: Difficult
Permit: Outeniquas - Witfontein (044) 870 8323
Features: Unspoilt exceptionally beautiful fynbos, rock pools and Attaskloof Pass with beautiful views

 

TIERKOP - GEORGE
Starting Point: Witfontein
End: Garden Route Dam via Pepsi Pool
to parking area or Witfontein
Distance: 17.5 + 12.5 km
Rating: Average
Permit: Outeniqua Nature Reserve - Witfontein
(044) 870 8323
Features:Pine plantations, indigenous forest, fynbos, dam, Pepsi Pool and waterfall

 

 

The Otter Trail at Tsitsikamma           

   
ALTERNATIVE HIKES    

 
   

OUTENIQUA COUNTRY HOP

The Outeniqua Country Hop is the Garden Route's freshest tourist route, offering everything from arts, crafts and local culture to whale watching, mountain hikes and world class golf.

See the Outeniqua Country Hop Website

 
Outeniqua Country Hop

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