Closest Town: Bloemfontein/Westdene
Grading: Easy | Duration: From 1 - 2 Hours
Location (Area/Province): Free State and Southern Free State
Configuration: Two self guided circular routes of 5 to 10km
Start Point: Happy Valley, 7 Dams Conservancy (See GPS)
Access: Public access
Beware of: Be vigilant in open areas where there is public access.
Facilities: Picnic facilities
Cell Reception: Good
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Explore the urban edge of this ‘City of Roses’, and you will discover a mountain biking and trail running paradise within the Seven Dams Conservancy. This 86ha reserve boasts four distinctive habitats, from woody shrub, grassland and wetlands to unique Bloemfontein Karroid shrub land. The veld, dams and kopjes are home to a range of smaller mammals and 120 species of birds, as well as some interesting archaeological sites.
A network of jeep tracks and rocky single-tracks, as well as short forest footpaths on the adjoining property, will blast you from flat gravel cruises to technical cranking along rugged terrain. There are two main loops within the conservancy, and you can link onto more trails along a daredevil dash across a narrow concrete dam wall bisecting one of the watercourses.
On your bike
Happy Valley: Hemmed in by the Bloemfontein suburbs of Basewater and Westdene, Happy Valley is a small pocket of nature dominated by a rocky koppie characteristic of the Bloemfontein area. Cross country lap races are consistently held here so expect to ride a technical 5km singletrack circuit which will test your mettle in the skills department.
Seven Dams Conservancy: This natural asset is bordered by the upmarket northern suburbs of Helicon Heights, Pentagon Park and Dan Pienaar. Dare one another to ride over a narrow concrete dam wall across one of the watercourses. Keep your eyes on the trail or it’s a dry freefall on one side or a swim on the other. There are a few singletracks with a choice between either rocks or long grass or both, depending on the season. Riders who wish to extend their playtime can get some airtime along the motocross track which is accessed from here via the nearby Gladstone Road, north of Bayswater.
Off the bike
Just relax and walk the dog or enjoy some trail running, hiking and birding.
Route information: Hannes van Tonder, Cyclo Tech
Address: Shop 48A, Noordstad, Eeufees Road, Basewater
Telephone: +27 (0)51 433 4968
Route Information: Seven Dams Conservancy
Cell: +27 (0)73 5476 951
GPS: 29° 04.29.2’ South / 26° 13.03.9 ’East