Closest Town: Hogsback
Grading: MODERATE | Duration: Up to 4 hours
Location (Area/Province): Amatola and Eastern Cape
Start Point: Trail head outside the Hogsback Inn
Access: A permit is obtainable from the Hogsback Inn
Beware of: Snow in winter
Facilities: No ablutions on route, but lots of accommodation in the area, cell phone reception intermittent
28 km of gravel roads, jeep track and singletrack through forests, plantations and open grassland.
On your bike
A combination of 28 km of gravel roads, jeep track and singletrack winds its way through forests, plantations and open grassland. This was once the Holy trail of South African MTB, but a lack of maintenance has seen many of the attractions of the trail fade over the last few years. Although the swooping wooden ramps and boardwalk bridges are still there, many of them are now sadly overgrown. Look out for them along the edge of Wolfridge Road. It remains an exhilarating ride nonetheless,, with sets of switchbacks and hairpins banging along the slopes of the famous spurs from which the village takes its name. Chicken-run options ensure safe riding, but care should be taken during the wet and muddy winter season.
Four route options start off at the trailhead outside The Hogsback Inn and follow Wolfridge Road for the first 3 km.
The Blue Cypress Loop (8 km):
Loops back to Hogsback via Oak Avenue. It passes behind Hobbiton and through an indigenous yellowwood forest over many streams, four of which have ramp crossings.
The Red Deodar Loop (14 km) :
Crosses the Tyume River and passes above Paradise Falls before joining the cypress Loop.
The Green Madonna Loop (22 km) :
Sticks to the valley out towards the trig beacon on King’s Neck and then down to Robinson and the Madonna and Child Falls before once again joining the blue route.
You may also combine all of the above routes, bumping up your total distance to close on 30 km.
Off your bike
Hogsback is blessed with wonderfully cool summers while winter snowfalls make it the perfect spot to celebrate a white Christmas. Spring warrants its own festival, usually in September, with musicians, performing artists and much merry-making. Outdoor activities include trout fishing, 4×4 trails, horse trails, peak and rock-climbing and the amazing Amatole Mountain Hike, Arts and crafts, Sandile’s Caves and the Vukani Meditation Centre (a Buddhist retreat) are just a few of the other attractions in the area.
Telephone: 045 962 1006
Website : www.hogsbackinn.co.za
GPS: 32°35’44.24″ South / 26°56’25.15″ East