Closest Town: East London
Grading: Easy to intermediate | Duration: 2-3 hours
Location (Area/Province): Eastern Cape and Sunshine Coast
Configuration: Circular options
Start Point: 3 Silos MTB Park
Access: Entry fee payable; honesty box
Beware of: Slippery root sections and bridges in winter
Facilities: Café and ablutions
Cell Reception: Good
This venue has a range of world-class, purpose-built trails for mountain bikers and trail runners with a proper sense of adventure. The trails cater for beginner to intermediate riders and with distances from 7.5km to 21.5km you should find your perfect fit.
You get to run and ride in a safe and picturesque environment, and will sample quality, hand-built single-track expertly crafted by Mark Oberman. Expect it to be flowy, dippy and utterly rideable, with a range of fairly non-technical natural and man-made obstacles to test your full skill set in the saddle.
On your bike
The majority of your riding at 3 Silos MTB Park will be amidst eucalyptus plantations, densely wooded valleys, savannah grassland and indigenous Eastern Cape montane and riverine forest.
You have four trails options plus an XCO course to choose from. The Blue (18km) and Red (21.5km) trails include a massive climb around the 7km mark, while the easier Yellow (10.7km) Route bypasses this calf-cruncher. The Green (7.5km) caters for beginners and youngsters as you can shorten it to 2km or 4km for starters.
The Red Route brims with superb, purpose-built single-track, with a smattering of super-tight bends, a good few wooden bridges (even some floating ones!) and stiles, drops, stream crossings, switchbacks, climbs and descents and a generous dollop of hard grunt.
Big wheelers will struggle with their 29ers on the very tight bends, but there are more than enough cool single-track sections twisting amongst the trees for you to fully enjoy the natural surroundings.
The Kiddies’ Loop (Green Trail) caters specifically for children over 8yrs, including some short trails options of 2km, 4km and 7.5km. The rugrats get their own cool single-track, the odd rock garden, mild climbs, fence jumps, switchbacks, bridges, a 15m floating bridge and an 80m floating pallet bridge (on the 7.5km trail).
An added attraction is the 3 Silos MTB Park ‘Afkak Hill’. This comes with a bit of a ‘health’ warning, as the gritty climbs and tricky switchbacks are not for overly cautious types. Winter riding brings with it a few added tests, especially in the deep-forest sections, with wet roots, mud and slippery crossings – take due care!
The trails here are constantly rebuilt, monitored and improved, so you can bet your bottom bracket on a brilliant ride, every time. Entry fees are payable via an honesty box system and the trails stay open 24/7. It is also a brilliant night-riding destination, but please keep your head lights on and be on a constant lookout for game on the trails.
Off the Bike:
Trail running and hiking on site and warm Indian Ocean beaches close by.
Best Time of Year:
Year-round cycling though summers get muggy.
How to Get There:
Follow the N6 north from East London towards Stutterheim for 8,5km before turning left at the Nahoon Valley sign. Turn right at the T-junction, then left after 350m onto Smythelands Road. After another 350m, turn left again and drive about 200m to 3 Silos.
Web site – www.facebook.com/3SilosMtbAdventureTrails / Tel +27-76-178-4696