Closest Town: Durbanville
Grading: Easy to moderate | Duration: 1–3 hours
Location (Area/Province): Peninsula and Winelands and Western Cape
Configuration: Circular options that can be combined
Start Point: Meerendal Security Gate House
Access: Permits obligatory. Honesty Box at the Security Gate House. Paid up members of the Meerendal Club and Tygerberg MTB Club ride for free
Beware of: Hot temperatures; snakes in sumer
Facilities: Restaurant, wine sales
Cell Reception: 100% cell signal
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Meerendal Wine Farm MTB trails are ideal for beginners wanting their first taste of single-track riding, but the flat landscape makes them perfect for those in search of some endurance training, too. All trails are graded from easy to moderate and can be enjoyed by the whole family. Distances range from the easy peasy 4.8km Yellow Trail, the moderate 13.1km Green Trail and the 23.4km Blue Trail, which is the main loop and is very manageable for most riders, if you exclude the climb up to Dorstberg and the subsequent descent out of your ride.
On your bike
Start at wine farm buildings along a track meandering gently uphill around the upper dam and onto the Pomegranate single-track down the ‘Mineshaft’. Some more single-track will now lead you to the ‘Stairway to Heaven’ zigzag with its tricky switchbacks. The climb is short and not too brutal; after cresting, continue along the flat for a further 150m, then follow the Blue arrows to your left and up Dorstberg. This is an average climb, but some of the sharp turns can be a bit of a Meneer.
You have two ‘opt out of the Dorstberg climb’ options: Go right for a quick finish to your ride via the Esther Suss berms, Epic corners and bottom flow track lines that spit you out literally at the car park, or you can peddle straight along the single-track that takes you to the Burry Stander climb and descent, a fun, flowing, not too technical trail. The end of the Burry Stander trail leads you into another nugget of a trail hugging the little gorge down to the timber hut. You’ll have serious fun on the small jumps, tabletops and other little surprises.
At the top, if you opted for Dorstberg, first enjoy the view and then check out the arrow for the single-track descent that will be right in front of you… you’re in for some serious fun. The trail is beautifully carved, with berms and small jumps down the side of Dorstberg. Halfway down you have three route choices around a big rock drop-off. Take the route that you feel is equal to your level of skill, then continue on the single-track until you find yourself back at the top of ‘Stairway to Heaven’.
Here you can hook into the Burry Stander section all the way to the timber hut, as explained above. At the Timber Hut you can again opt to head for the car park, by turning right, or go straight along some more single-track that’ll lead you around the scenic lower dam and into the vineyards for a cooldown before finally taking you back to the Timber Hut and then the car park.
Off the bike
All the Meerendal Restaurants are excellent and, cherry on top, both Carlucci’s and Crown have bike racks! Wine tastings and sales are also available. And the kids will love the Meerendal Miniature Train situated behind the wine cellar.
Best time of year
Anytime of the year is a good time to ride Meerendal. Some of the trails become waterlogged during winter, but these areas are cordoned off and detours are put in place while regular winter maintenance is done. Early starts are recommended in summer due to the heat.
How to Get There:
Follow the N1 North out of Cape Town before turning left onto the N7 towards Malmesbury. After about 10km, take the Durbanville/Vissershok road (M48) turn off to your right-hand side. Continue on the Visserhok Road for about 8km, past the 4 way stop and up over the hill. The Meerendal Wine Farm will be on your left-hand side just after the crest.
Telephone: +27 (0)83 268 1171
Website : www.meerendal.co.za
GPS: South 33°47’57.31” / East 18°37’26.85″