Closest Town: Gouda
Grading: Easy | Duration: About 2 hours
Configuration: Circular – 21km
Start Point: Silwerfontein Farm
Access: Permit and booking at Silwerfontein Farm
Beware of: Sharp, loose shale along the water’s edge
Facilities: Ablutions, accommodation
Cell Reception: Yes
Premium and Curated Trails Only
A straightforward ride consisting of a flat jeep track traversing pristine forests and fields of Cape fynbos along the edge of the Voëlvlei Dam. For most of the trail, the surface is good hard-pack, although you might have to cope with erosion ruts and loose gravel after heavy rain. This is a brilliant day out for the whole family with sightings of gemsbok, springbok and klipspringer. Stunning views of the lake and mountain are a further bonus.
On your bike
Start from the farm and climb up the path (quite steep) to the top of the road and into the gum trees. The route travels through trees then takes a sharp right turn (be careful of the chain across the path). Travel down the road towards the bottom gravel road, turn left at the MTB sign and follow the twin single tracks. There are a few small river crossings and rocky sections later with the dam on the right. The road then becomes smooth with a really fast section around the South side of the dam till you reach a closed gate at 9.4km. You can either turn back or continue through the gate. From here you will encounter a few more gates as you ride around the dam following the gravel road which returns to the farm and then back up to the Gum plantation.
The last section is not marked from the first gate and there a few gravel sections you can take which all meet up at the bottom of the dam wall.
Baboon route – A moderate ride with a bit of everything. This route leads past the Baboons’ sleeping den. Scoop yourself a refreshing drink of water from the Drinking Water Dam.
Blue Crane Route – A scenic round-about route with splendid views of the whole area. Not too strenuous, but just enough exercise to give you a satisfying mtb experience.
Fish Eagle Route – This trail is advisable only in Summer with the dam is not full and allows for riding along the water’s edge. Beware – lots of sharp and loose shale. For the brave, young bicycle warriors looking for a sporting challenge.
Oryx Route – This trail is advisable only in summer when the dam is not full and allows for riding along the water’s edge. Beware, lots of sharp and loose shale. For the brave, young bicycle warriors looking for a sporting challenge. This route leads past the Oryx’s sleeping den.
Vaal Ribbok Route – An up-and-down mountain slope route for the energetic looking for a work-out. This route leads past the Oryx’s sleeping den.
Voëlvlei Dam Circuit Route – This is a nice day ride around the Voëlvlei Dam which measures 7km in length. Be fit and be prepared.
Off the bike
Silwerfontein, named for the mountain source which provides crystal clear spring water, is an accredited Natural heritage Site. Nestling within the foothills of the Voëlvlei Dam, Silwerfontein offers spectacular lake and mountain views.
Activities include swimming in the pool or lake, freshwater fishing for bass or carp, windsurfing and hiking through the pristine Cape Flora. The historical town of Tulbagh is famed for its first class wines, gourmet foods, emerald vineyards and orchards. A popular “Christmas in Winter” festival celebrates the arrival of the Big Chill every July.
Route information: Bernd and Karen Muller
Telephone : +27 (0)79 500 1906
Email : [email protected]
Website : www.silwerfontein.co.za
GPS: 33°20’46.0″ South / 19°03’23.3″ East