Hermanus MTB Trails: Red Route

Description: Moderate – ideal for intermediate to experienced riders.
Loads of fast flowing purpose built single track, river crossings and jeep track.
Some climbing to amazing viewpoints and one portage section.

Distance: 26km. 690m Elevation

Duration: 2hr-4hr

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Detail description:

After attaching your permit you will head away from the Hemel en Aarde Village onto the R320 towards Caledon. Within 200m, just past Whalehaven Cellar, you will see the single track to your left and that will lead you past the armco barrier.

Follow the single track all along the Onrus River on your left. Enjoy the scenery and the lovely flowing river leading your way up the valley. Look out for your first big river crossing to your left and get ready for a nasty climb. This uphill single track will take you to stunning single track down to some trails, which runs parallel to the Camphill road.These trails are designed to keep you off the road and safe from traffic, but you are welcome to use the road, but remember to obey all traffic rules.

Just before you reach Camphill farm and school you will join the road again. Follow the signs and keep left. Next will follow another short climb on the route. Look out for the cement bridge crossing and stunning trails carved into the mountain that will take you to towards Volmoed with stunning views to your right.

Once you’ve reach the top of the climb a rocky decent will lead you down to Volmoed farm. Follow the red arrows past their well-manicured lawns and please respect the retreat’s privacy. Remember you are on private land and it’s our privilege to cycle here. You are about to attempt one of the most scenic ascents in the Western Cape. Be on the look out for waterfalls, pristine fynbos and the odd baboon.

This is also where you will have to do a compulsory portage. Be careful and help one another up the stairs. Remember to stop and look around at the scenery – its breathtaking.

Once you are past the Bos Dam’s overflow one short nasty climb awaits before you will join the Karwyderskraal road. Normal traffic rules apply and be careful.

About 1.5km on this district road will lead you to the turnoff left to Sumaridge Wine Estate. The trail will take you through their vineyards, past some horses and along their dam at their wine tasting facility. Feel free to drop in and have a taste.

You are now at the highest point on route and will make your way back towards the sea again. A fast descent will lead you to Bouchard Finlayson Vineyards and you will also past their tasting centre. Again a good reason to stop and do a tasting, but be careful, because just after this descent the final climb of the day awaits all the way up to Rotary drive via Hamilton Russell’s vineyards and fynbos. Once you’ve reached the top at Rotary Drive, take some time to savor the view. Look out for the whales while you catch your breath.

A fast descent on a district road follows and be on the look out for the turnoff/arrows to the right at the face bricked farm gate. Yet another fast and semi technical descent follows taking you all the way down to the R320. Remember to ride within your limits and you’ll have nothing to fear.

You will cross the R320 tar road (please be on the look out for the cars) and join some amazing single tracks until you will do an amazing river crossing onto some of the most beautiful trails you will experience. This time the Onrus River will be on your left till you meet up with the Camphill wooden bridge. After crossing the bridge, turn right to join the now familiar double single track on which you started all the way back to the Hemel en Aarde Village.

This trail is a must if you want to improve your skills on single track riding as there is such a great variety, anything from fast flowing single track to rocky descents and some semi technical single track climbs. All in all a great combination of everything you will ever encounter on trails at races. There is more than enough climbing to keep your heart rate up and loads of amazing scenery to keep your mind of the climbing and ample opportunity for some pictures.

Have fun, stay safe and enjoy your ride!