Closest Town: Grabouw
Grading: Easy to Intermediate | Duration: 1 - 4 hours
Location (Area/Province): Overberg & Southern Cape and Western Cape
Configuration: Circular options
Start Point: Paul Cluver Delivery Gate
Access: Permits obligatory; available at entrance gate
Beware of: Too much fun!
Facilities: Ablutions, safe parking, Salt Restaurant and a play park
Cell Reception: Yes
Velocipede visitors to Paul Cluver Estate are in for a treat. The Elgin Valley boasts what locals like to call a ‘benevolent’ climate. There is a hint of the European summer for much of the year, with little wind and most of the foulness of winter confined to July to August.
The advent of the annual Wines-2-Whales Stage Race has seen a complete overhaul of the mountain biking trails here, meaning the ride is now on par with that of Oak Valley, and that says a lot. Bermed ‘barrel bridges, sweeping single-track, river crossings and gravel roads linking all of the above make for a kick-ass ride.
On your bike
The best way to get to know the trails are to start (and finish) at The Amphitheater. Make sure you get your trial permit, pay for it, and fix the bike board to your handlebars. The ‘No board = No Ride’ rule is strictly enforced by the landowners, so be aware.
The short and sweet is that the Blue Route, anything from 8.5km to 22.5km in distance, follows undulating jeep-track, and then there is a variety of red single-track options leading off the Blue Route, so you decide how much single-track, bridges and climbing you want to add. The single-track sections loop through stunning fynbos and over iconic bridges like the Pofadder and Witklippieskloof. You’ll crank along switchbacks in the Mamba, Cobra and Jakkals sections, as well as in Pine singles and Berms.
Also check out the Bike Park sections that all start and finish at the at the same spot near the Amphitheatre.
The 7km XC Loop includes the likes of Ball Wall, Raka, Kransvoël, Ark, Cobra, Mamba and Skaapsteker; in total, you will negotiate no less than 17 bridges, varying in distance from around 2m to a fabulous 40m, and ranging in height from 1m to an impressive 8m!
The 1km Technical Play Park 1km, also known as the ‘Slang Park’ (or Snake Park, if you want the Soutie translation), boasts purpose-built track that includes a number of unique climbs, drops and jumps, as well as a see-saw (teeter-totter) and a few hairy, horizontal tree rides.
More good news is that you can combine the Paul Cluver and Oak Valley trails! Buy a combined permit and follow the yellow arrows onto on of the two trails that link these to great MTB trail destinations… you won’t regret it!
Off the bike
You may think Paul Cluver is just another Cape wine estate, with scenic views and great wines, but you’d be wrong. Not about the wines and the views, of course, but about all the other stuff that happens on this expansive estate set within the spectacular Elgin Valley. Enquire about their stunning outdoor amphitheatre with regular music concerts and drama performances and freshen up after your ride to enjoy a delectable meal at the Salt Restaurant.
Best Time of Year:
Great cycling year-round, but also check out their awesome events as the trails are part of the PPA & W2W funded trails.
How to Get There:
Travelling on the N2 from Cape Town side, continue over Sir Lowry’s Pass. After Orchard Farmstall on the left and the Peregrine Farmstall on your right, you will see the KROMCO Warehouse on the left. Turn left at the sign to Paul Cluver and continue to Amphitheatre.
Telephone : +27 (0)21 844 0605
GPS: South 34°10’07.71” / East 19°05’08.20”