Closest Town: Verkykerskop, Harrismith
Grading: Moderate | Duration: 90 minutes
Location (Area/Province): Central Free State and Free State
Configuration: 3 separate estate routes all starting at Afsluit Gastehuis in the village
Start Point: Afsluit Gastehuis or Smileys Restaurant, Verkykerskop
Access: Overnight guests no charge; fee payable for day visitors
Beware of: Lightning storms in summer. Please be careful not to cause veld fires in winter.
Facilities: Variety of accommodation or camping, restaurant, pub, horse riding, fishing, hiking, birding
Cell Reception: Yes
Verkykerskop Tourism aims to promote the area and village by offering a country living experience, a range of accommodation and many outdoor activities. The farm and village accommodation is the ideal base from which a group of friends or family can indulge in the outdoors, while at only 274km from Sandton, it is within day trip reach from the city.
On your bike
The 700ha Aansluit Landgoed right next to the village of Verkykerskop is a working farm with a conservation focus, on which they have laid out 30km of track with the most stunning vistas and views which can be accessed by foot, bike or on horseback. they have a 7.8km hilly track with off-branch tracks to secluded cliffs, a steep 6.8km track down to the old farmhouse picnic spot, and an 6.8 km flat easy ride all along the edge of the Meul River escarpment. While these dirt tracks are softly hugging the contours, the rider is free to go off onto more challenging cattle paths down the ravines and mountain slopes – something for every taste.
They are not into competitive events but from time to time they do organize fun rides to coincide with performance events in the village (see our website www.verkykerskop.com for events).
They strive to keep the congestion low and always guarantee exclusivity. In addition to the exclusive tracks on the estate, the surrounding area is criss-crossed by little gravel roads ideal for the serious rider yearning to explore the unlimited space of the Klein Drakensberg Escarpment.
Off the bike
Enjoy the energy of farm life, and leave time to stop along the track for birding and game viewing. You might even take your flyrod along and make a cast or two at one of the farm dams en route. An option for the family is to all join in, with bike, horse and quad (available on the estate). Smileys Restaurant offers take aways and the best Sunday buffet in the country. Enquire about hunting, fishing, quad routes, and clay pigeon shooting in the area.
Route information: Louis Grobler
Postal address: PO Box 93 Harrismith 9880
Telephone: +27 83 628 9699
GPS: 27°55.14’2 South /. 29°16.482′ East