Closest Town: Eston
Grading: Easy to Extreme | Duration: 30 minutes to 8 hours
Location (Area/Province): Holiday Coast and KZN - Natal
Configuration: A network of loops from 2km to 28km
Start Point: Virginia Homestead
Access: Entry fee payable. Booking is essential firstname.lastname@example.org
Facilities: Ablutions/ hot showers/ bike wash/ Chill Area/braai facilities/small coffee shop/self-catering accommodation
Cell Reception: Intermittent
Get yourself to this mountain biking paradise, situated near the town of Eston and a mere hour’s drive from Durban. A selection of superb trails through varying terrain awaits, with enough options to suit everyone from rank beginners to serious racing snakes. Along the way, you will be treated to stunning views as you crank within a pristine environment, brimming with unique fauna and flora. Virginia Farm prides itself as an excellent venue for endurance training.
On your bike
The 90km of farm roads and tracks includes 8km of purpose-built single-track of exceptional flow and quality, all within a magnificent setting here in the Midlands. The trails are fast and flowing, but you can certainly expect a few technical sections along the way. Variations in surface and terrain will keep you going, but in general you can expect it to be a smooth ride and imminently suited to the middle of the road rider.
There are a range of route options to choose from, with more than enough short cuts and escape options to suit your level of fitness. All you need to do is saddle up and navigate your way through and around the timber plantations, sugar cane fields, grasslands, indigenous bush, high sandstone cliffs, deep valleys, streams and dams.
The total Virginia Trail network is made up of an East, a West and a North Loop, which may all be combined into a number of different route options. Choose between anything from a rookie crank of 7km to a testing 62km humdinger, and then take the kiddies onto the easy 5km Pink Route. For an intro to Virginia, start off on the Eastern Loop, followed by North and finally West for a 46km circuit. Up the ante to 62km by adding the Orange Route once you reach the trailhead.
The 26km North Loop will take you to the Gods Window viewpoint over the Gwahumbe River valley as well as ‘Strelizia Plunge’, a single-track descent blasting through indigenous bush, with tight corners, drops, rocky sections and a bridge or two. The ‘Arum Rush Trail’ is on the Orange section of the North loop, while the 13km East Loop offers a flat and fast crank.
40km – Go East Loop (Green) then North loop (Green) and then do the West Loop (Green)
62km – Do the 40km as above and then do the Orange route from the trailhead
28km – Go North Loop (Green) includes Gods Window and Strelizia Plunge Trails
23km – Go North Loop (Orange) includes Arum Rush Trail
12km – Go East Loop (Green) nice and fast!
8km – Go west Loop (Green) great vistas along edge of cliffs
“Easy Eight” – Red Route This is a new route. No single track, no stiff hills
2.5km – Go Pink Route ideal for kids and a warm up
2km – Go Blue Route ideal for kids and a warm up
Off the bike
Enjoy earthy country living; there are birding, hiking, fishing and horse riding to keep you busy when not riding your bike.
How to Get There:
Take the Camperdown off ramp from the N3 and link up with the R603 towards Eston and Umbumbulu. At the Caltex Service Station keep straight on the R603 for another 15km, more or less. Pass the Telkom and MTN tower on top of the hill, go down the hill around two sharp bends and turn right onto a tar road called Ezimwini. Drive 3.6km to a signpost with Virginia on your right. Turn into this driveway and keep bearing right on the good road.
Best Time of Year:
Sub-tropical climate makes this a year-round riding destination
Route Information: Pete Stainbank
Telephone: +27 (0)83 781 1042
GPS: 29° 59’ 34.77” South / 30° 36’ 12.78” East