Closest Town: Durbanville
Grading: Easy | Duration: 1 hour
Location (Area/Province): Peninsula and Winelands and Western Cape
Configuration: A return ride with various side-road options up to 25km; the Green route cuts out the top section of switchbacks
Start Point: Hillcrest Wine Farm
Access: Regular trail entry fees apply for riders
Beware of: Hot temperatures and snakes in summer
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A return ride with various side-road options up to 25km; the Green route cuts out the top section of switchbacks
On your bike
Hillcrest Farm is one of the trails that form a part the Tygerberg Mountain Bike Club’s plan to have 120km of mountain-bike trails in the Durbanville Hills. Although it is only 7.6km long, with a 260m ascent, the trail serves as a hub to the outlying trails of Contermanskloof, Majik Forest and Meerendal. Starting at the parking area, the trail winds around the top of an old granite quarry before heading up through fruit orchards. Higher up, the trail takes you into vineyards along the slopes, before topping out 2.3km into the ride.
Here you are faced with a choice of turning right toward the Contermanskloof trails, or left onto the Hillcrest Red route. Turn left and savour the delights of some sublime singletrack switchbacks that meander back down to the bottom of the vineyards. An easy singletrack trail takes you around the kopje and up to the final crest. Before you hit the last bit of downhill singletrack you are faced with a choice – you can turn right onto the Kliprug Farm link onto Contermanskloof, or keep left for the final singletrack of the Hillcrest Red route. Keep left, it is worth it.
Take a deep breath, grab a sip of water and soak up the view over Table Bay to Robben Island and Table Mountain before launching yourself down the track. After 30m, hang a hard right to stay on the Red route and succumb to the delights of smooth switchbacks and fast singletrack all the way down to the amazing cobble bricks of Elastoplast Alley before arriving back at the start/ finish area. Making whooping sounds is not optional.[/div2]
This is not a difficult ride and is suitable for most levels of rider – the trickiest parts are the switchbacks and it is easy enough for riders to get off and walk them until they have gained sufficient confidence to ride them; taking the Kliprug side loop at the 5.5km point adds 10km of singletrack to the ride, with another 100m of climbing to get back out of the valley.
Off your bike
The Hillcrest restaurant serves a feast of a breakfast, and wine sales are also available. Hiking permits can be purchased at the restaurant.
Telephone: +27 (0)21 976 1110
GPS: 33 49’38.28″S 18 35’22.81″E