Retreat Guest Farm MTB Trail, Western Cape
Tulbagh Bone Trail

The Eastern Cape ticks a whole bunch of kick-ass adventure boxes, and a whole lot of them happen to be right here on the Sunshine Coast. The weather is as friendly as the locals, so rock up any time of year, as the region is rated one of Africa’s most temperate climates. PE is just down the drag, and here you can have it all … golden beaches for surfing and swimming, the excitement of the sardine run in June/July, with whales, dolphins and sharks, exceptional hiking in Alexandria and Sacramento plus horseback outrides, Big 7 viewing, amazing 4×4 routes, elephant back safaris and absolutely mind-blowing MTB at Jbay Bike Park.

Best Time of Year: The weather here is as friendly as the city. Come all year round; the Friendly City is rated as having one of the most temperate climates in Africa! 

The Routes

The J-BAY BIKE PARK also boasts with a number of 100% single-track trails accessible to all levels, as well as the feared Black Route and its Wall of Fear where most riders opt for the Chicken Run! Their Blue Route is perfect for beginners, with sections of 1km to 4.5km to build your confidence and skills. Access to the infamous 65km Black Porcupine Route with almost 2.000m of climbing is also at the J-Bay Bike Park. The views on this one is absolutely incredible, and it is perfect training for races such as the Epic or PE to Plett. Recently the Black Porcupine has received a non-technical gravel road extension of 25km, bumping your ride up to 85km with over 2 500m of climbing – welcome to the Grand Porcupine!

Here’s a quick overview of the individual trails that make up Jbay Bike Park:

Yellow Cat: Moderate route, some tarmac, gravel road, jeep tracks, but mostly single-track, with a few technical sections. Switch backs, bridges and steep uphill – suitable for intermediate riders. 20km / 2hrs

Red/Blue: These routes crisscross the Zebra Lodge property, with around 8km of riding in total. The technical level is fine for beginners, while intermediate riders can really push the speed to build your confidence and skills on this.

Black: This varies from Easy to Difficult, with 100 % single-track and some pretty technical bits. Steep descents and ascents, plus numerous bridges – suitable for all level of riders, but rookies can expect to walk some sections. 12km / 1hr

Black Porcupine: This is not to be confused with the BLACK ROUTE, as you are in for 60km-plus of hardcore pedalling. There are long uphills, steep downhills, technical single track and narrow bridges with sand, rocks and roots in some areas. Access starts from Jbay Bike Park, with nearly 2 000m of solid ascent on the ride. The views are superb though – 60km / 4-6hrs

Grand Porcupine: This route has a 25km, non-technical gravel road extension of the Black Porcupine route which makes it the longest and toughest route at 3Rivers Trails. Your climbing will be bumped up to 2 500m and do note that once you’ve split from the Black Porcupine onto the Grand porcupine there is no option for a short cut… 85km

This trail is also an integral part of the 3 RIVERS TRAIL SYSTEM. Some the images here were taken on the Crossways Section of this route.


GRADING: Easy to extreme
DURATION: 45min – 6hrs
CONFIGURATION: Circular options , 5-85km
GPS COORDS:  33°54’15.7″S 25°05’27.8″E
TERRAIN: Gravel road, jeep-track and superb single-track
POST-RIDE BEER: BYOB and have a braai or picnic at the Zebra Lodge picnic spot
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS R50 per person daily
ACCOMMODATION Available in luxury suites and safari tents
LOCAL CONTACT: +27 (0)78 925 6812

Getting There

Follow the N2 from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town, exiting onto the Crossways off-ramp, not long after crossing the Van Stadens Bridge. Turn right at the top of the off-ramp towards the Crossways Country Kitchen. The exit for the J-Bay Bike Park is the next one (look for the Hankey sign). Turn onto the R102 towards Humansdorp and continue on this route for 2.6km where you’ll find the Park entrance on your left.