Closest Town: Wakkerstroom
Grading: Easy to Difficult | Duration: Various
Location (Area/Province): Mpumalanga and Southern Mpumalanga
Configuration: Variety of return routes and circuits from 12 km to 60 km in length.
Start Point: Various start points
Access: Public roads, free access
Beware of: The odd vehicle
Facilities: A number of accommodation options and restaurants in the village
Cell Reception: Yes
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The friendly little town of Wakkerstroom, surrounded by vast wetlands, is renowned as a top-notch birding destination, but a maze of dirt roads and tracks also provides for hours of cranking pleasure. The riding in general is challenging but not difficult or dangerous.
On your bike
What follow are just a few route options; all of them along the dirt roads of the area.
There are lots of other roads for the MTB riders in the area, all on secondary and challenging dirt roads. This includes the airstrip road, Volksrust road, Derdehoek Road and Amersfoort Road. For the fitter riders there is the Jantjieshoek Road that goes up to the top of the Grasslands Mountains. The roadies can do an easy 50 km ride from Wakkerstroom to Volksrust and back or a challenging “Highveld Argus” from Wakkerstroom to Dirkiesdorp and back.
Wakkerstroom Wetland Ride (12 km circuit):
If you are not so fit or are pushed for time, the Wakkerstroom Wetland Ride is an ideal excursion. This 12 km loop starts and finishes in town. Be sure to travel anti-clockwise as the long downhill back home is most rewarding.
Ossewakop mountain dominates the skyline of Wakkerstroom and a cell phone company has built a steep road up to the radio towers on top. Any vehicle may negotiate this road, especially human powered ones driven by strong wills and legs! You’ll need to arrange your ride and pay a key deposit for access.
Paulpietersburg Road (50 km one way):
Ride mostly downhill from Wakkerstroom to Luneberg, a 50 km epic along the Paulpietersburg road; a good secondary dirt road with stunning scenery.
Zaaihoek Dam/Groenvlei Road (57 km circuit):
For those prepared to spend a full day exploring the area, Zaaihoek Dam is the answer. To avoid a deadly hill at the end of the journey remember to cycle in a clockwise direction. A 57 km dirt road loop on provincial roads follows some challenging terrain around the dam itself while offering incredible views of the surrounding countryside and the northern KwaZulu-Natal escarpment. Along the way you’ll cross the aptly named Snake River that meanders through the countryside. [/div2]
Off the bike
Bird-watch by bike or canoe. There is canoeing on various dams and local rivers in the rainy season. Wakkerstroom is also known for its challenging 4×4 roads that are also suitable for quad bikes.
Telephone: +27 (0)17 730 0606
GPS: 27°21’19.4″ South / 30°08’26.9″’ East