Closest Town: Grabouw
Grading: Easy to difficult | Duration: 1.5 - 2.5 hours
Location (Area/Province): Peninsula and Winelands and Western Cape
Start Point: Back 2 Basics
Access: Trail permits available at Oak Lane Cottages Reception; Honesty/self-registration system
Beware of: Heat in summer; tree roots. Indicate vehicle registration number on your registration form in order to avoid your car being towed!
Facilities: Ablutions and braai facilities at cottages
Cell Reception: 100% coverage
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The Lebanon Forest has something to offer to all types of mountain bikers. Take it easy on a family trail through scenic valley farms (7km Yellow Trail and 10km Green Trail) or crank into the Lebanon Forest Reserve to carve your way down pine slopes on kilometres of thumping single-track (17km Blue Trail and 26km Red Trail). These trails offer unique riding, combining undulating orchards, forested pine ridges and mountain fynbos with breath-taking views over the Elgin Valley and surrounds.
On your bike
The ride covered below is the Red Route; from the start at Oak Lane Cottages, head on to the gravel road on which you arrive and look out for the arrows to the right of the road. These signs can be very difficult to spot, so you need to pay attention.
After 400m, turn off the main road and follow the arrows. After this short section of track, you’ll be diverted to the tar road for a couple hundred metres before a left turn, so please beware of cars. Now start the climb up through a shaded pine forest with a short section of single-track and then onto the jeep-tracks leading to the top of the main single-track at the 9km mark.
The single-track you’re about to ride is the reason people love mountain biking. With such a wide variety of terrain and trail beckoning, it is virtually impossible to become bored. Kick off with a smooth and flowing open trail, and then dip into the pine forests where they film spectacular footage for the Cape Epic MTB race each year.
Some mildly rocky descents take you further down into the valley, keeping you focussed on the matter at hand as finally at the bottom you cross a small wooden bridge before climbing the single track and switchbacks back up again. Don’t worry, the climb is short, and soon you will be back on single-track sure to have you whooping and screaming with delight until finally you get spat out onto a jeep-track that leads you down to and around the dam.
Enjoy the respite and views while you cruise through the forests, along the old N2 tar road for a while, next to the other side of the dam and then up a small climb to reach the final short bit of single-track that leads to a farm packing yard. Cross the tar road ahead and turn right onto the gravel road. Follow the signs back to the parking at Oak Lane Cottages. You have just ridden 26km with only 560m of climbing on some world-class single-track … now that’s what I call a bargain!
Off the bike
Trout-fishing, bird-watching (more than 90 bird species have been spotted in the area), quad-biking, horse-riding, hiking, wine-tasting, a round of golf at Arabella Country Estate
Best Time of Year:
Any time of year. The single-track can get sloppy in winter.
How to Get There:
Follow the N2 from Cape Town over Sir Lowry’s Pass and continue past two Grabouw turnoffs. Just on 600m past the Kromco sign, turn right into the Elgin Valley Road. Drive for 2.2km then turn right to Oak Lane Cottages. Follow the signs to Oak Lane for a further 2.2km down the gravel road.
Web site: https://www.facebook.com/LebanonMtbTrails/
Telephone: 082 950 7890 – Lanie Olivier