Closest Town: Wolseley
Grading: Intermediate | Duration: About 2–3 hours
Configuration: Circular, 41km
Start Point: Kluitjieskraal Forestry Station
Access: Purchase a permit at the Wolseley 7/11 - +27 (0)23 23
Beware of: Lumber trucks
Facilities: No ablution facilities
Cell Reception: intermittent
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This challenging route is mainly on gravel road, with arduous climbs along loose shale and rock. Hectic downhill hairpins mean you need to keep your wits about you, but wonderful views and a spectacular waterfall are sure to keep you coming back for more.
On your bike
The route starts along a fairly flat section through pine plantations, before the 6km climb to Watervalberg, with splendid views over the Wolseley Valley.
After the summit, descend into the Suurbrak Valley where you are bound to bump into baboons and the odd buck or snake. The route through this low-lying valley is flat and fast.
Near the end of the valley, turn right to cross the Watervalberg once again. The route is marked and the going fast, but from here it starts to get quite technical and bumpy. Cross the river above the waterfall, then loop onto the high mountain slopes for scenic views of Tulbagh.
Stay on the contour path through the plantations along the speedy home run. Although the river water is drinkable, it is a good idea to take enough water and food as this is a hard ride.
Off the bike
The region is accessed via four scenic and historic passes; the Nuwekloof, Bainskloof, Du Toitskloof and Mitchell’s Passes. All of these make for interesting country drives or tarmac rides.
Farming is the mainstay of the area, with excellent fruit, vegetables, wine, olives, wheat, meat and dairy products produced here. With its hiking trails, biking routes, historic sites, art galleries, potters, crafters, wine tasting, restaurants and accommodation establishments, Wolseley makes a great weekend getaway.
Some lovely wine estates offer wine tasting and more MTB trails to explore – try www.waverleyhills.co.za and www.bergsig.co.za.
Telephone: +27 (0)23 231 1021