Amatola

Request Guest Farm MTB Routes

CLOSEST TOWN > Bedford

TRAIL DESTINATION > Request Guest Farm

DISTANCE > 7km, 18km and 32km

 

GRADING > Moderate

request

OVERVIEW

Nestled in the heart of a historic farm close to the quaint village of Bedford in the Eastern Cape, Request Farm Cottage offers a safe and tranquil haven and an idyllic secluded experience for their guests. Mountain biking is one of their main attractions. They offer a cycle safari called “The Devil” for the serious mountain bikers. 

On your bike

The Devil is a two day circular route of 182km or 205km, with full back up support for maximum eight riders. The first day is 102 km with an altitude gain of 1000m, starting on Request Guest Farm, following the route through the Baviaans River conservancy, with the overnight stop high up the Winterberg Mountains at Redcliffe Guest Farm. The second day is 80km or 103km and is mostly downhill through the Koonap River conservancy back to Request. This route takes you through the historical settler’s country with a few national monuments on the way and offers spectacular and ever changing scenery. This circular route can also be done in three or four days for those riders who want a more relaxing and fun experience.

There are also ample easier tracks of about 7km, 18km and 32km on the farm for the whole family to exercise themselves on in a landscape of beautiful vistas.

Off the bike

In winter, relax on the leather couches in front of the fire place, wrapped in a throw, listen to music in candle light or play one of the many family games provided. There is no television, as this is the time to really re-connect with family and friends.

Summertime is ideal to have a sun downer and “braai” while you watch the spectacular change of scenery as the sun sets through the Acacia thorn trees after a fun filled day of swimming in a cement dam, long walks in the veld, spotting some warthog and fallow deer, maybe a picnic on top of the hill where you can find your soul again, some fishing, quad biking.

There is an abundance of bird species and for birds of a different kind, there is clay pigeon shooting.

CONTACT:

Route Information:  Ilona Triegaardt

Cell: 083 236 0939

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Website: www.bedfordaccommodation.co.za

GPS: 32º42’04.48”S 25º58’45.57”E

 

FAST FACTS

GRADING:

Moderate

DURATION:

Various route options, depends on how long you want to ride.

CONFIGURATION:

7km, 18km and 32km trails on the farm. There are also a two day circular route of 182km or 205km.

START POINT:

Request Guest Farm

TERRAIN:

Jeep tracks, animal trails, and gravel road.

CELL RECEPTION:

Cell phone reception on all networks.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS:

Riding for guests only

FACILITIES:

Fully serviced self-catering cottage, wireless internet, braai facility. Swimming in cement farm dam.

BEWARE OF:

This is a working farm so be on the lookout for farm animals.

 

 

HOW TO GET THERE

15km from Bedford on the R350
 

BEST TIME OF YEAR

Year round destination. Can get very cold in winter.

 

Thomas River Conservancy

CLOSEST TOWN >  Cathcart

TRAIL DESTINATION > Thomas River Conservancy

DISTANCE > Self determined

GRADING > Easy to intermediate

no-picture

OVERVIEW

The Cathcart area has beautiful scenery, roads and tracks that are ideally suited for mountain biking. John Potter offers weekend outrides tailor-made to suit the group's requirements and technical skills. 

On your bike

This beautiful little conservancy also boasts a legendary annujal event along twisty single-tracks on the hillsides and through small forests, lung busting climbs and white-knuckle downhills.

Off the bike

Hiking, walking, bird-watching, and fishing.

CONTACT:

Telephone: +27 (0)82 575 4923

Website: www.thomasriver.com

GPS: 32°27'32.54" South / 27°16'5.08" East

 

FAST FACTS

GRADING:

Easy to intermediate

DURATION:

Self determined

CONFIGURATION :

Various

START POINT:

Thomas River Conserancy

TERRAIN:

Gravel roads, game tracks

MAP:

None available

CELL RECEPTION:

Intermittent

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS:

Entry fee payable

FACILITIES:

Accommodation, restaurant, hiking camp

BEWARE OF:

Evenings get cool and winters can be very cold

 

 

HOW TO GET THERE

Take the N6 North from East London and exactly 25km from the traffic light in Stutterheim turn let at the OLD THOMAS RIVER sign.

BEST TIME OF YEAR

Year round

 

 

Skelmkloof Farm MTB Trails

CLOSEST TOWN > Bedford

TRAIL DESTINATION > Skelmkloof Farm

DISTANCE > 48km circular

GRADING > Intermediate

no-picture

OVERVIEW

Skelmkloof offers a combination of riding along district roads, gravel farm roads, 4x4 tracks and game footpaths. Start off from the farm house, where there is safe parking, and decide whether you either want to head onto the main district roads for flat riding along the Baviaans River, or go tough into the surrounding mountain ranges.

On your bike

A good circular option would be to follow the road to Tarkastad until you see a gate on your right sign-posted ‘Buffelskloof’ (+- 20km). Climb along a rugged farm road towards Bloemhof Farm, but keep right after another 10km before an old klip kraal, passing through various farm gates along a range of dual-track and dirt road options.

From here you can either drop down via Cameron’s Hoek or Buffelskloof, with the latter connecting onto Skelmkloof and a spiderweb of farm trails. It is important to check access before you leave, and to also discuss the best route with the landowner at Skelmkloof, especially in hunting season, when riding is probably not advisable.

Off the bike

Brilliant hiking and game watching plus a variety of historical Anglo-Boer War memorial sites.

CONTACT:

Telephone: +27 (0)78 642 7026

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

GPS: 32° 27' 28.6" South / 26° 02' 55.3" East 

 

FAST FACTS

GRADING:

Intermediate

DURATION:

4-5 hours

CONFIGURATION :

48km circular

TERRAIN:

Gravel, 4x4 tracks, erosion ruts, rocks

MAP:

Enquire at Skelmkloof

CELL RECEPTION:

None

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS:

Access must be arranged beforehand

FACILITIES:

Self-catering accommodation

BEWARE OF:

Snakes, bad-ass acacia thorns

 

HOW TO GET THERE

Travelling east, 10km before reaching bedford on the R63, turn right at a sign to 'Tarkastad via the Baviaans River'. Skelmkloof is 20km further on the right

BEST TIME OF YEAR

Autumn and Spring is best. Weather can be nasty in winter and mid-summer

 

 

Impala Ranch MTB Trails

CLOSEST TOWN > Jeffreys Bay

TRAIL DESTINATION > Impala Ranch

DISTANCE > 18-27km

GRADING > Intermediate to difficult

no-picture

OVERVIEW

The Marais family transformed 1.000ha of pristine countryside just 7km outside Jeffreys Bay into a mountain biker’s paradise, with purpose built trails to IMBA standards for a unique mental and physical workout. 

On your bike

The pleasant mix of climbs and long flowing single-track descents, 360° horizons, kilometres of streams and exciting forest sections is sure to have you coming back again and again.

The trails include a fast 17km blue loop which sweeps you past some of the best places on the farm as well as a 27km advanced loop that includes the exhilarating ‘Rocky Forest’ section; a unique mix of old forest, weathered rocks and boulders, steep valley sides and a right-to-left stream which allows a snaking mix of jumps, bridges, hops, ramps and ever-changing forest views.

Off the bike

Surfing!! What else is there?

CONTACT:

Telephone: +27 (0)82 440 3034

Website: www.facebook.com/groups/impalaranchmtb

GPS: 33°57’50.9” South / 24°51’43.0” East

 

 

FAST FACTS

GRADING:

Intermediate to difficult

DURATION:

3-4 hours

CONFIGURATION :

Circular options 

TERRAIN:

Single-track and farm roads

MAP:

Available at the Windmill Coffee Shop

CELL RECEPTION:

Good

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS:

Entry fee/permit payable

FACILITIES:

Coffee shop and ablutions

BEWARE OF:

Runners and game

 

HOW TO GET THERE

Follow the N2 from PE to Cape Town and take the first Jeffreys Bay turnoff after the Gamtoos River, turning left at the junction then right onto the R102. Turn right after about 14km at the Kabejous/Smith Town sign, continuing for 7.1km to the Impala Ranch MTB sign at the main gate on your left. 

BEST TIME OF YEAR

Good moderate weather year round

 

Cycle Roots Mountain Trail

CLOSEST TOWNHogsback

TRAIL DESTINATION > Foot of Hog 1

DISTANCE > 18 - 50 km

 

GRADING > Beginner - Advanced

Hogsback

OVERVIEW

Neels du Toit is not a dude to hog the limelight, but if anyone has been putting in serious overtime on the Hogsback singe-track production line, he’s the man! Over the past year or so, he has single-handedly tackled the area below Hog 1 to shape some kick-ass rides along the wooded slopes here.

Pop into the Cycle Roots / Hogsback Adventures offices on the main road across from the Information Centre to pay your permit fee and obtain a cycling map. It’s important to chat to Neels before your ride in order to get information regarding the trails. Most of the single-tracks meander through private forestry land, so access is occasionally restricted due to harvesting.

On your bike

 

Most of the singletracks are at the foot of Hog 1, passing many streams and lovely forest sections. The highest one on the mountain passes two rather large waterfalls. All the trails interlink which makes for a great XC course.

There are guided tours of about 3-4 hours. Visitors are shown eight waterfalls on a 18km circular loop which also takes them along the Puffadder Run, passing by two bridges built over the waterways. It is a truly scenic ride. There is a view deck next to Robinson Falls with an exceptional view into the valley below. One can also see the Tuyme River snaking through the Valley which used to be the old South Africa/Ciskei border from this viewpoint.

Riders are welcome to explore on their own and the singletracks are clearly marked with yellow Cycle Roots Logo branded arrows. The map is easy to read and has detailed descriptions of all the trail routes. Neels can be contacted on 073 567 9487 should anyone get lost.

Grading: Beginner: Lots  of  dirt roads and jeep tracks available with some added smooth singletrack. Scenic ride towards Waterfalls with lots  of  viewpoints for break time.+-18km's

Intermediate: Good combination of flat and hilly sections leading up to a number of singletracks winding through the Forests which are both adventurous and challenging to the every day rider.

Advanced:

Head straight up the main road, turning right onto Oak Avenue and cycle into the Arboretum, past the parking area and follow the footpath (to the left) to 39 Steps Waterfall. Return the same way and exit the Arboretum, turning left along the gravel road. Keep going for about 1km, ignoring any right hand turns into the forest. After the dip, you will arrive at a fork in the road. Look out for the yellow ‘Cycle Roots’ arrows from this point. Veer right and continue through the pines until you end up at a gate on a main gravel road. Turn left and continue for about 1km.

After the Madonna and Child carpark, there is a steep downhill; beware of logging trucks. Look out for orange stickers at the bottom of this hill and follow the footpath to the top of the Madonna and Child Waterfall to a fantastic viewpoint.

Back on the bike, continue up the gravel road (about 50m) and turn right on a steep hill onto a rugged service jeep-track following the cliffs overlooking the Tyume Valley below. This duck-and-dive through tall stands of wattle brings you to Robinson Dam. Carry on with the gravel road (keeping the dam to your left) to the end of the dam. Turn right onto the jeep-track and cycle (about 200m) till you get to a left hand bend. Leave your bike hidden in the bush (very safe) and head off into the forest to your right to view Robinson Waterfall. This is the best viewpoint on the ride so don’t miss it!

Back at the dam; turn right at the tall trees/picnic area and cycle for about 300m to the exhilarating Puffadder Run single-track Section. Meander through the forests until you reach the switchbacks which bring you to the end of the trail. End with a very sharp right turn and a little further, take a left at the fork. This section leads onto an equally beautiful track winding through tree ferns and crossing through a cascading stream, before you eventually connect back onto Wolfridge Road, turning right to return to the village.

All in all, it’s an eye-bleedingly scenic ride, with exceptional views across the Tyume Valley below.After rippin' the tracks apart one is welcome to enjoy an ice cold frosty at the legendary Wizzards Sleeve Inn at Away with the Fairies Backpackers – www.awaywiththefairies.co.za

After rippin' the tracks apart one is welcome to enjoy an ice cold frosty at the legendary Wizzards Sleeve Inn at Away with the Faries Backpackers. An epic way to top of your most scenic ride ever.

Off the bike

Bikes can be hired and a few spares such as gear cables, housing, chain links, tubes, bombs and a few other odds and ends are available.

An outdoor playground of note awaits … Abseiling, Archery, Trout Fishing, 4x4 trails, Horse Rides, Arts and Crafts, superb walks or the multi-day Amatole Hike are just a few of the other attractions in the area. After rippin' the tracks apart one is welcome to enjoy an ice cold frosty at the legendary Wizzards Sleeve Inn at Away with the Faries Backpackers. An epic way to top of your most scenic ride ever.

CONTACT:

Route Information: Neels du Toit

Tel:  +27 (0)73 567 9487

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

GPS: 32°35′52.1″ South / 026°56′17.9″ East (Hogsback Information Centre)

 

FAST FACTS

GRADING:

Beginner - Advanced

DURATION:

2 - 5 Hours

CONFIGURATION :

Dirt Roads, Jeep tracks, Mountain contours and singletracks.

START POINT:

Hogsback Information Centre

MARKING:

Marking: Yellow Cycle Roots branded arrows on white board.

TERRAIN:

Forest trails and Mountain contours.

MAP:

Maps are available from Hogsback Information Centre or from Neels du Toit at Cycle Roots on Sundays.

CELL RECEPTION:

Intermittent.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS:

Permits and maps are available from the hogsback Information Centre on the main road.

On Sundays permits and maps can be obtained from Neels at Cycle Roots, 200m from the Information Centre.

FACILITIES:

Toilets at information centre.

BEWARE OF:

Early morning frost and Bushbuck on the trails. Lots of free roaming cows. Forestry truicks

 

HOW TO GET THERE

From East London side: Take the N2 to King Williams Town. From KWT take the R63 towards Alice. 4km befor Alice take the R345 to Hogsback. Information centre is on the left hand side of the Main road as one gets into Hogsback.

From Port Elizabeth side: After Grahamstown turn left onto R67 to Fort Beufort. Take R63 to Alice. 4km's past Alice take the Hogsback turnoff to your left.

BEST TIME OF YEAR

November to March.

 

Get the books

Our books are available at Exclusive Books, Loot, Map Studio and probably other leading book stores.

Buy us a beer

PLEASE NOTE: This site is a flippen labour of love, brought to you for nada. Niks. Free of Charge. If you'd like to contribute some Bucks, please do - bank details below, but I'm not holding my breath wink

ABSA Cheque Account
Name: T. J. Marais
Branch Number: 312109
Account Number: 011 3130 0014
Any donation over R300 will receive a free copy of MTB TOP TRAILS 2 or MORE MTB TRAILS; just remember to send me Proof of Payment and a Delivery address!