Closest Town: Wellington
Grading: Intermediate to difficult | Duration: 1 - 5 hours
Location (Area/Province): Peninsula and Winelands and Western Cape
Configuration: Options from 3.3–45km
Start Point: Val du Charron Trail Centre
Access: Day Permits at Val du Charron; free access with Annual Winelands Trails permit from Adventure Cycles, Wellington
Beware of: Steep downhill sections on narrow single-track
Facilities: Restaurants, parking, accommodation and ablutions
Many mountain bike routes in the Cape claim to have the most amazing variety of routes, sublime single-track and spectacular scenery. Wild Boar Trails are no different, except that in this case you get exactly what is advertised on the can. You’ll discover six routes starting at Val du Charron, a 4.5km Cross Country Course at Doolhof Wine Estate and a technical single-track loop of 20.5km at the Hawekwas Scout Adventure Centre.
Nestled on the slopes of the Groenberg mountain near Wellington, the trails are mainly on single-track, winding through orchards, vineyards, pristine fynbos and past stunning waterfalls. The trails will take you up high onto the Groenberg, before descending back down to the Krom River. You’ll have options between challenging and very steep sections or their (equally) challenging chicken runs.
If you’re wondering why you haven’t heard about these trails, then here’s the thing: Wild Boar Trails is a relaunch of the old Welvanpas Trails, with a whole load of added sections. Pieter van Wyk, who’s been building trails outside Wellington for many years now, know exactly what riders want and always deliver great flowing single-track along gritty climbs and heart-thumping downhills.
On your bike
Six of the routes start from the Val du Charron Trail Centre and those not so sure about their single-track skills can start off on the 3.3km Pot Belly Loop through the vineyards and olive trees. For the fit, but not so technically inclined riders, there is also the 42km flat Hog Loop along gravel roads and jeep-track – it does punch a 612m ascent though.
The rest of you now need to decide on distance and your love of your granny gear. The four remaining trails staring at Val du Charron all start along the same route, but the shorter versions just turn off quicker and lower. Not to worry though, because all these trails do end along the stunningly flowing Golden Mile and the Happy Hog downhill section.
Here are your choices: The 17km Hedgehog (379km ascent), the 26km Porcupine (936m ascent), the 38km Warthog (1,299m ascent) and finally the 45km Wild Boar (1,495m ascent). No matter what your choice, there’s loads of exhilirating single-track. Every ounce of sweat and discomfort that you experienced on your way up will be forgotten as you crest the hill and charge over the top – whether you ride it slowly or like a war hero, these trails will reward you with a ride to live in your memory for years to come.
Off the bike
You’ll be struggling to stay in the saddle with all the other activity options in the spectacular scenery around Wellington…. starting with a spa treatment, delectable food and wine tastings at Val du Charron! Drive the Bainskloof Pass, explore Limietberg, go for a horseride, play some golf, taste more wine at any of the other stunning wine estates, do the history walk in Wellington, go shopping, eat and drink some more … got it? If not, check out www.wellington.co.za
Best Time of Year:
Summer can get very hot, so plan to ride early in the day. In winter the trails can be shrouded in mist and clouds on rainy days.
How to Get There:
Follow the N1 from Cape Town before turning left on the R44 (Exit47) towards Wellington. From Wellington, take Church Street (becomes the R301) out of Wellington towards Ceres, after about 3km, look for Hill Road on your left. Turn left here and drive for about 500m before turning right into Bovlei Road. After about 350m, turn right to stay on Bovlei Road and then look out for the Val du Charron turnoff to your left after about 600m.
Phone : +27-82-857-3180 and +27-21-873-1256
Website : www.wildboartrails.co.za and www/vdcwomes/cp/za