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Top mountain bike trails in Bergrivier region to explore

Take some time out, get your workout on two wheels and explore this beautiful region

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By IOL | March 16, 2023 | Travel Leisure

No doubt, mountain biking has become a popular sport/activity around, and in South Africa, mountain bikers get to explore some of the most beautiful South African landscapes.

Mountain bikers are able able to ride off-road through majestic natural landscapes. The camaraderie that exists among mountain bikers are all draw cards that fuel the growth of this sport. The reason why people choose mountain biking differs. ‘’I enjoy mountain biking because I don’t have to deal with traffic,’’ jokes mountain biker Marco Joubert.

Beaverlac Mountain Bike Route

Just above the town of Porterville is the Beaverlac Mountain Bike Route. Tucked high up in the Olifants River Mountains, it also has two main routes. The trial is good for beginner or intermediate riders.

22 Waterfalls Mountain Bike Route

A 15km circular trail for intermediate riders that sets off from the Waterval Camp site on the Waterval farm - a proclaimed private nature reserve situated at the foot of the Olifantsrivier Mountains. “This trail is open to the public (bookings required), and guests at Waterval do not need to pay to use the mountain bike trail.”

In addition to camping sites and chalets, Waterval offers a hiking trail that takes you on a route past 22 waterfalls surrounded by indigenous fynbos and 47 indigenous trees. Wildlife like the Klipspringer, Cape Leopard, and Reebok can sometimes be spotted, and there are many opportunities for bird watching on the way. Freshwater bass fishing is also offered in the farm dams.

Dasklip Pass Gravel Bike Route

“While in the Porterville area, mountain bikers should also do the Dasklip Pass Gravel Bike Route,” says Ndlangisa. This 70km route is good for intermediate riders and winds its way up the Dasklip pass into the beautiful Groot Winterhoek wilderness area. This mountain bike route is on public roads and is free to access.


“A short drive from Porterville is the Piketberg area, where mountain bikers will find the Retreat Mountain Bike Route, situated on the Retreat Guest Farm. This 24km trail is good for intermediate riders and makes its way over beautiful fynbos-covered slopes. The Retreat route starts at the self-catering cottages on the farm and offers various circular segments, including Firebreak, Beacon Aisle, Blackburn, Gums & Bees, and Perdekop. It is available to guests only,” explains Ndlangisa.

There is another private mountain bike trail called Highlands Estate Leopard Mountain Bike Route on top of the Piketberg mountain. This 10km route, suited for intermediate and advanced riders, makes its way past an array of indigenous flora and fauna, panoramic mountain views and a multitude of sunset vantage points – on a clear day, you can see Table Mountain in the distance, however, its only available to guests visiting the Highlands Estate.

If you’re not a fan of mountain biking, there are many other activities to do whilst visiting any of the Bergrivier areas, including; birdwatching, river cruising, canoeing, fishing, hiking, horse-riding, shopping, enjoying delicious food and great wine, gin-tasting, beer-tasting, cheese-tasting, or just relaxing and re-energising in nature.

Written by Bernelee Vollmer

This article has appeared on IOL

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