Closest Town: Somerset West
Grading: Easy to Extreme | Duration: 1 - 3 hours
Location (Area/Province): Peninsula and Winelands and Western Cape
Configuration: Various options
Start Point: Start at Helderberg Farm
Access: Entry fee payable at the tea garden. Annual permits available
Beware of: Vehicle shuttles, trail runners and hikers
Facilities: Overnight hut, ablutions, tea garden
Cell Reception: Yes
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Set on a private farm within the foothills of the Helderberg Mountains (half-way between Somerset West and Stellenbosch), the newly re-done Helderberg Trails prides themselves on providing a trail destination suited to every type of rider, no matter age, skill level, type of bike, or level of fitness. (Even trail runners will love our routes)!
On your bike
The Helderberg Farm Trail offers superb views over False Bay, Table Mountain and the Stellenbosch vineyards. This in itself should be enough to motivate you to ascend the moderate climbs and zoom thedownhills and flat sections.
There are four individual loops: a 4km GREEN Loop (70m ascent) for Beginners; a 6km BLUE Loop (150m ascent) for up to Intermediate; the 14km RED Loop (500m ascent) for more experienced riders; and finally the 17km BLACK Loop (700m ascent) for the truly committed MTB crowd.
Know that you are starting from the foot of this imposing mountain, but the climbing comes with an exceptional pay-off (or you can take out a permit for a personal shuttle). All trails have been designed and built by Jan Van Schalkwyk (the name behind the original Steilte and Hermanus MTB Trails) and partner in crime, Andrew Neethling, a professional mountain biker who honed his skills on this very mountain.
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.
Telephone: +27 (0)21 855 4308
For local MTB info: www.facebook.com/helderbergtrails
GPS: 34°01’57.3”S 18°50’01.1”E