Closest Town: Stellenbosch
Grading: Green, beginner; Blue, intermediate; Black, advanced | Duration: Various
Location (Area/Province): Peninsula and Winelands and Western Cape
Configuration: All rides are circular of nature - ending back at the start.
Start Point: Dirtopia Trail Centre
Access: Trail permit and day fee payable
Beware of: Heat in summer, occasional meetings with snakes
Facilities: Spic and span toilets, Trail Centre and shop, Restaurant
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About 60km’s of trails start right outside the Trail Centre on Delvera. This unique outdoor shop provides gear and permits for the hiking and mountain bike trails on the farm as well as general information to the active traveller. There is also a free coffee at the local Café included with every permit
On your bike
Delvera is the home of Dirtopia and therefore the stomping grounds of Meurant Botha, the ‘Old Man Trail’ of South African mountain biking, and what you get on this Stellenbosch wine estate is an all-round MTB experience. The 15km Blue Porcupine Trail caters for intermediate riders, including 6km of some challenging single-track. Advanced riders can add on another 3km by doing the Black Trail. The 7km Green Farm Trail is perfect for beginners with some climbing and rewarding views.
This is as close as you’ll get to a proper Trail Centre in the Western Cape: you can walk into the shop and purchase your ride permit, stock up on energy drinks and food, buy a new helmet or even hire a mountain bike if you have left yours at home. (Don’t joke, we know people who’ve done this).
Crank off from the Trail Centre along a steep downhill gravel road towards the dam and turn left at the bottom to follow the Blue directional signs. Cross the earth dam wall and start crisscrossing the vineyards as you make your way up the climb. At 3km, you will get to the legendary pepper tree where, on a hot day, you can sit in the shade and enjoy some refreshment before heading off once more up the slopes of Klapmuts Hill for a further 2.5km.
This is in effect the highest point along the trail, so most of your climbing is done and you can begin to relish the downhill. The ride back down is sheer delight. The trail itself is not particularly wide and the surface is pretty rocky in places, so it requires lots of concentration. The reward, however, is a piece of single-track so sublime that you will wonder why you don’t ride the Delvera Route every damn weekend.
Bomb the switchbacks all the way down through the Renosterveld Conservancy, across the face of the hill and finally down to the jeep track at the bottom. There’s a wooden bridge across a donga as you slash into the valley, so keep a beady eye out for that. And the good news is that there is even more single-track coming… It is around the corner, and all you have to do is climb a meagre 60m before you can crank it up yet again.
Once you’ve slammed the final stretch of single-track through the poplar forests, a quick downhill past the farm dam awaits, but take care as it is steep and rough. Finish the experience off with a spot of good farm cooking at the on-site restaurant – you’ve deserved it.
Before you go … the new Le Bonheur extension offers 4km of additional riding with around 2km of single-track included. The full loop plus the Black route now gives you 20km of riding with 550m of elevation.
Finally, head for the Northshore Forest if you love super technical riding along over 100 metres of elevated wooden trails and several dirt options in between. The trails and Dirt lines between the trees offers protection from the wind and sun in summer.
Off your bike
Restaurant, hiking trails, full moon hikes. There is also a Pump Track with jumps, perfect for the kids or BMX crowd.
Best Time of Year
Any time of year is a good time for a ride at Delvera. Trails can be slippery and muddy in winter though.
Telephone: +27 (0)21 884 4752 or +27 (0)21 884 4353
Email: [email protected]
GPS: 33°50’54.6” South / 18°51’31.4”E