Closest Town: Stormsriver Village
Grading: Easy to Difficult | Duration: Depends on the trail chosen, anything from an 1hour to 5hours for the black route.
Location (Area/Province): Eastern Cape, Southern Free State, and Western Region
Configuration: Four trails to choose from, 8km, 15km, 23km and 65km
Start Point: Misty Mountain Reserve
Access: Permits availible at the Reserve reception, do not forget to buy them before going on you're ride.
Beware of: Do not attempt after heavy rains.
Facilities: Chalets offer a range of accommodation to meet all requirements: choose from Luxury, Superior and Family, each with their own unique style including spa bath (towels and guest amenities supplied), TV (DSTV), fire place. Restaurant and Bar.
Cell Reception: No cell reception.
Misty Mountain Reserves offers four well-marked jeep track routes through the forest. These range from a one hour trail for a warm-up or for an easy ride for all the family, to a ride of up to 5½ hours with breathtaking scenery, diverse conditions and technical sections for those who are really enthusiastic about mountain biking.
On your bike
Yellow Route (8km): The yellow route is 8,7km long and very easy. It is the perfect route for the couple who do not really cycle, but would like to jump on some bikes and take a leisurely spin past some farm lands and through the absolute quite of the pine plantation. The route follows well ridden and graded gravel roads, so no technical skill is required.
Orange Route (15km): The orange route is 15km long and also very easy. It takes you out on the gravel roads, and then down toward the Storms River Look Out Point. This is a truly spectacular spot, so allow for some time to just sit and soak in the view. This is the perfect ride for the active family.
Blue Route (30km): The blue route is the first route that requires some cycling fitness. But the extra effort is rewarded frequently! It basically follows the orange route out of MMR, but then instead of going straight to the Storms River look out point, it drops down into the National Parks indigenous forest. This is an exhilarating downhill with some sketchy bends to keep you on your toes! It takes you all the way down to the Storms River crossing, where there is a picnic spot and some tranquil trees to laze under.
You then start to climb up a hill, that feels like it will never end….. but that’s not a bad thing, because it is in some seriously dense indigenous forest. If you come through here early enough you are bound to see some wild life. At the top of the hill there are some little rocky river crossings. At the very top of the route you will find yourself in the Storms River Village, where there are ample little shops to get drinks from , or you can park off at the coffee shop, that has a deck where stinky bikers can sit and enjoy a cuppa! The route back is a blast!
Black Route (65km):
The black route is the route that caters for the fit mountain biker looking for some good testing distance over varied terrain. The black route starts off following the yellow route, but then quickly darts off into the MTO plantations where you ride between trees that far surpass us in age. There is an eerie quiet in these plantations, but this is soon broken by the sound of your knobblies singing as you head down toward the coast. You never quite hit the coast, you are always about 200m above sea level, but for a good 7km stretch you ride parallel to the coast at this height. At one stage I thought my peripheral vision was going to get an overuse injury due to the absolute amazing view to my right. At this height so close to the coast you actually see the curvature of the earth!
As for the route, it is a fairly bumpy jeep track that undulates constantly till you reach the Elands River Look Out point. Here you can take a well deserved break before you gun it back into the plantation where a long smooth speed section awaits you. This will take you back to the blue route, that forms the second leg of the black route.
Off the bike
Catch a glimpse of majestic birds such as the Fish Eagle, Knysna Turaco (Lourie) or Narina Trogon, or spot whales, dolphins and sea otters while enjoying scenic walks along well marked routes. Take your own bass or fly rods and fish for Black Bass and Kurper in the reserves dams or take in the natural sounds and smells of the forest while having a well-deserved picnic under the trees and plant-life that surround you.
A short drive will take you to the Tsitsikamma National Park at Storms River Mouth, the start of the legendary Otter Trail and a host of day hikes. Other options include swimming off a lovely beach, snorkeling, whale-watching (in season). Face Adrenaline also offers the world’s highest bungee jump at Bloukrantz Bridge.
Telephone: +27 (0)42 280 3699
GPS: 34˚ 01′ 26.” South / 23˚ 56′ 54.2” East