The Gauteng province is a hub of trade and industry, but its citizens are also spoiled for choice when it comes to experiencing the great outdoors.
If you’re a mountain biker, there is an abundance of trail options available. Here are a few mountain biking trails in Gauteng to fill up your weekends.
Rosemary Hill Farm is located near Pretoria and has trails varying in difficulty, to suit riders of all ages and experience levels. If you’re taking friends who don’t have their own bikes along for the ride, you can rent bicycles and helmets at the venue. Choose between distances of 5km, 10km or 33km. Pass dams, ride through rosemary fields and bluegum woods, and reward yourself with a cold one or coffee at the coffee shop afterwards.
The Avianto Trails’ beginner green loop is the perfect introduction to MTB for anyone who is not familiar with it, and stretches across 6km of jeep track and dirt roads. For more advanced riders, the blue intermediate loop is 19km long and will surprise riders with an old train track and tunnel, more challenging climbs and a single track. You also have the option to take the black sections for skilled riders. Should you run into a spot of trouble along the route, have no fear: the Clubhouse is never more than 2km from the route.
A custom-built single track takes you on a scenic route through the bushveld. Hakahana is located about 15km west from Pretoria, on your way to the Hartebeespoort Dam, and boasts technical terrain that’ll prove a challenge to even experienced riders. Its website touts Hakahana Trails as Gauteng’s premier enduro, MTB and trail running venue, so it offers something for everyone who considers themselves an outdoor enthusiast.
Located just 15 minutes from Centurion, The Big Red Barn is a family-friendly venue that caters for riders of varying experience levels and ages. Routes are clearly marked with a green circle (for the casual rider), a blue circle (for intermediate riders) or a black diamond (for advanced riders only). Hire bikes and helmets for those that don’t have them, and meander through fields, forests and grasslands that flank the Kaal River. You might even be able to browse through the Irene Village Markets, an arts and crafts market that is open on every first and last Saturday of the month, which is held at The Big Red Barn.
Thaba Trails is often called the toughest MTB trail in Johannesburg. This exciting trail located in the Klipriviersburg Nature Reserve offers the opportunity to spot abundant wildlife as you go, among these blesbuck, impala, wildebeest, springbok and zebra. Opt for the yellow route, which is a mainly non-technical 6km ride on a jeep track, but if you’re brave, go for the green, blue or black routes, which escalate in difficulty and technical layout. A single track takes leads you rapidly downhill in spots – this one will make you feel alive!