Closest Town: Somerset West
Grading: Easy to Extreme | Duration: 1 - 3 hours
Location (Area/Province): Peninsula and Winelands and Western Cape
Configuration: 4 loops
Start Point: Start at Helderberg Farm
Access: No permit, no ride; get yours at the Kiosk and use the Honesty Box
Beware of: Vehicle shuttles, trail runners and hikers
Facilities: Accommodation, ablutions, tea garden, bike wash, parking, braai are
Cell Reception: Yes
Premium and Curated Trails Only
The stunning views of the Winelands unfolding towards the distant Table Mountain and Peninsula are sure to take your breath away while you bliss out on one of Helderberg’s four trails. The individual loops include a beginner friendly 4km Green Loop, an intermediate 6km Blue Loop, the 14km Red Loop for more experienced riders and finally the 17km Black Loop for the diehard MTB crowd.
On your bike
Helderberg Trails… now here’s an MTB destination to suit any and all levels of riders, no matter your age, skills set, type of bike, level of fitness or sexual persuasion. One thing you’ve got to know is that there will be muchos climbing involved! Fortunately, those ascents come with huge rewards, with the trails specifically scaped by Jan van Schalkwyk (the name behind the original Steilte and Hermanus MTB Trails) and Andrew Neethling (a professional mountain biker who honed his skills on this very mountain) to deliver top views, unmatched enduro lines, a few seriously ballsy obstacles and a cool flow-trail to boot.
However, if you’re a gravity addict or just a rider that wants to rest his legs and only enjoy the whooping downhills, then head to Helderberg Trails on a Shuttle day! You’ll get a lift to the top and won’t look back.
Set on a private farm within the foothills of the Helderberg Mountains (half-way between Somerset West and Stellenbosch), Helderberg Trails boast stunning single-track along sweeping berms and hugging forest trails. The Red and Black Trails will present big gap jumps and rock gardens and your climb to the view tops at 600m elevation gain on switchback single-track, but the 1.4km downhill descent is addictive, so you’ll be back (maybe using that shuttle service this time round…)
There are a range of possible combos of the BLACK/RED Loops, and the fun part is to go seek out a configuration best suited to yourself – one thing is for sure, you will never get bored. Helderberg Trails also offer some epic Enduro lines, as well as a world-class Downhill Track. Their overall aim is to help riders improve and reach riding goals through constantly scaping new lines and features, including additional options such as an accessible pump track and 500m flow-trail.
Off the bike
Plenty of parking, braai facilities, a petting zoo for kids, a kiosk serving coffees, breakfast, cakes, cold drinks, fresh produce and other mouth-watering eats … next to the parking area is a bike wash facility. There is great hiking in the beautiful Helderberg Nature Reserve or go wine tasting on the many estates in the vicinity.
Best Time of Year:
Protected from prevailing winds most of the year; sheltered, even from the Southeaster.
How to Get There:
Head from Cape Town along the N2 towards Somerset West and turn left onto the R44. After approximately 4.5km, turn right onto the Klein Helderberg Road and follow the signage for 1km to the Helderberg Farm.
Telephone: +27 (0)83 457 1923
For local MTB info: www.facebook.com/helderbergtrails
GPS: 34°01’57.69″S / 18°50’03.73″E