Hiking, Trails and Routes

ID #1467

Harkerville Cycle Routes, Plettenberg Bay, Garden Route, Western Cape.

Between Knysna and Plettenberg Bay, Harkerville forest is the ideal location for mountain biking (cycling).  The relatively easy gradients and the diversity or rides offer some of the finest cycling in the Southern Cape. Four distinct routes have been laid out through indigenous forest, plantations and coastal forest and have been colour-coded yellow, blue, green and red to give you a choice of rides:

Yellow Route: 14-km and takes about 1.25 hours.  It follows gravel service roads and is the only route open when others are closed due to wet conditions.

Blue Route: 12.5-km and takes 1.25 hours to complete.  2.5 km along the Beukespad leads the rider through some typical medium moist-high forest.  The rider will also pass through a small glade of coastal redwood, Sequoia sempervirens, planted in 1927

Green Route: 15-km, 2.5 hours. Follow the Grooteilandpad for several km and then the Waterpad with its shady waterhole and pleasant stopover.  An alternative southward loop gives one a view of the stunning Harkerville coast. The homeward leg takes one northwards along Kleineilandpad then westwards into Perdekoppad, a delightful section of of-road track that passes through tall coastal forest with examples of hard pear (Olinia ventosa).

Red Route: 24-km, 3-5 hours.  Much tougher than the other routes and can be difficult for the not-so-fit rider.  Probably the most scenically diverse mountain bike route in the country.  Its two outstanding features are long stretches of off-road track that follow old slip-paths through the forest, and a section of track through coastal forest near the cliff line.  Together they total over 10-km.

Bear in mind the following:

o    Permits can be obtained at the Kranshoek Gate, and must be carried with you at all times.
o    The forest is a workplace. Respect warning signs and keep clear of operations and machinery. Do not ride too fast and do not lock your back wheel when braking – it causes erosion.
o    Strive to ride with minimal impact.
o    Cyclists must give way to hikers and horse riders
o    Overnight accommodation is available at Harkerville Backpacker Lodge

Harkerville is on the N2 west of Plettenberg Bay, which is on the N2 east of George, which is at the intersection of the N2 with the N12. BEHarkerville

Contct:        +27 (44) 532 7770 telephone Harkerville Forest Station
+27 (44) 532 7793 telephone Garden of Eden
+27 (44) 382 5466 telephone Regional Office Knysna
+27 (44) 382 9762 telephone Diepwalle Forest Station

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Last update: 2014-06-05 20:45
Author: Alan McIver
Revision: 1.3

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