Harkerville with four (4) routes - all circular routes.
Situated between Knysna and Plettenberg Bay, Harkerville forest is the ideal location for recreational mountain-biking. The relatively easy gradients and diversity of the rides offer some of the finest cycling in the Southern Cape. All four start and finish at the Garden of Eden, on the N2, where permits must be obtained. Alternative access roads are available, starting from the Forestry Office, Kranshoek Road Gate, or the Kranshoek Picnic Site. Permits may also be obtained at the Kranshoek Road Gate
The Yellow Route:
14 kilometers in length and takes about 1¼ hours to ride. The route follows gravelled
service roads and will be the only route open when other routes are closed due to
wet soil conditions.
The Blue Route:
distance of 12 kilometers and take about 1½ hours to complete. A section of 2½
kilometers along Beukespad, a forest slip-path, leads the rider through some
typical medium-moist high forest. The return part of the loop passes by a small glade of
coast redwood which were planted in 1927.
The Green Route:
15 kilometers in length
and takes about 2¼ hours to ride. This circuit follows the Grooteilandpad for
several kilometers before turning eastwards into Waterpad. On Waterpad is a shady
swimming hole which provides a pleasant stop-over. An alternative southward loop gives the
cyclist an opportunity to enjoy a breathtaking view of the rugged Harkerville coast.
The homeward leg of the route takes the rider
northwards along Kleineilandpad, then turns westward into Perdekoppad, a
delightful section of off-road track which passes through some tall, coastal forest with a
number of the finest examples of hard pear.
The Red Route
24 kilometers in length
and can take between 3 to 5 hours to ride. This route is much tougher than the other
routes and can be difficult for the not-so-fit rider. probably the most scenically diverse
mountain-bike route in the country, its two outstanding features are the long stretches of
off-road track, which follow old slip-paths through the forest and a section of track
through the coastal fynbos near the cliff-line. Together these total over ten
This route has been planned for mountain bikers of average fitness and
covers a distance of just over 24km.
The ride begins at the Diepwalle Forest Station office (where you obtain
your permit). It is a one-way route from north to south – Diepwalle to
Garden of Eden.
If you are cycling fit, the route can be ridden in 2 hours.
The routes starting at Diepwalle descends a few kms down the Uniondale road.
It breaks away to the left at 2.8km. Keep a sharp look out for the marker on
the left. The track now follows the contoured bed of the old narrow-gauge
forest railway which used to run from Ysterhoutrug to Knysna. (Features in
Dalene Matthee’s “Toorbos’)
The route turns left into the petrusbrandpad and begins to descend to the
Petrusbrand River. One climbs from the stream, winding toward Petrusbrand
On this section one rides through some beautiful medium- moist to dry type
forest. Many of the old yellowwoods (Podocarpus latifolius) are crowned with
“old mans beard” (Usnea spp.)
Passing through more moist and medium-moist high forest, one breaks out into
fynbos of Kleineiland (“small island”) – a island of Cape Fynbos surrounded
by indigenous forest. The contrast is amazing. This is a good resting point
and on a clear day the view over the Tsitsikamma mountains.
The route descends to the Kleineiland River valley. The surface is very
cobbled- take care! This is the lowest point of the route and the start of a
fairly severe climb over 4km.
The last section of route, through the forest on an old timber slip-path, is
the most exciting. It winds it’s way down to Garden of Eden, offering some
fast single-track. The alternative route follows the Fisanthoek road to the
N2 (see map)
For your information:
1. Carry your permit on you.
2. The route is open from dawn to dusk. Do not, however, start your ride
after 14:00 in winter or 15:00 in summer.
The Homtini Trail starts near the Goudveld Forest station, about 25km from
Most of the tail follows fairly easy contours in the indigenous forest and
plantation. It is enhanced by winding single-track slip-paths, shady
plantation roads and a bird’s eye view of the surrounding area. It is a
moderate ride with the exception of a steep 4km climb.
Distance: Circular route of 19km
Permits are purchased at the Goudveld boom.
The trail starts and ends at the Krisjan-se-nek picnic site. From here you
follow the Millwood Road until you turn right about 400m from the start.
Scenes from “Kringe in ‘n bos” flash through the mind as you ride along the
forest slip-paths and descend to the forest edge. In the open the route
follows a plantation road…and then there’s the climb! Four heart-pounding
kilos later you are rewarded with a panoramic view over the surrounding area
with the Knysna Heads forming a distant backdrop.
From here the going is easy, finishing in some exhilarating single-track on
Getting there: Heading from Knysna towards George on the N2 take the
Rheenendal turn-off to the right after about 8km. Follow this road for about
13km and turn right at the Homtini/Millwood signs. At the Goudveld boom you
pay for your permit and reach the Krisjan-se-nek picnic site.