Create unique memorable experiences by exploring some of the best trails in the Western Cape. Image by Nick Muzik

One of the attractions of the FNB Wines2Whales is the fact that it showcases a number of the Western Cape’s best trail networks. The race links established trails, which are open to the public throughout the year, by traversing private land to create a unique and memorable route. Outside of the event, mountain bikers can explore some of the trails at their own pace. With that in mind, we thought we would share the FNB Wines2Whales Summer Fun Destinations with you…

 

Oak Valley

Trail Head: 127 Oak Avenue, Grabouw, 7160 | Google Maps

Permit Fee: R50 for adults and R30 for kids

Website: www.oakvalley.co.za

 

As the hosts of the FNB Wines2Whales race village, Oak Valley is a familiar destination for mountain bikers. The trails are among the most celebrated in the route and favourites you can ride throughout the year include Vissie’s Magic, JK’s Edge and Sounds of Silence. You will be directed from the farm’s main entrance gate to the trailhead and once on the trails, there are two routes to follow; a shorter blue route and a longer red route. The red route also features technical detours, marked with blackboards, for riders who want to try trails like the Greenhouse Effect and Wagyu Trail.

Oak Valley is home to phenomenal trails that cater to riders of all skill levels. Image by Nick Muzik

 

Paul Cluver

Trail Head: On Paul Cluver Wine Estate, just off the N2 | Google Maps

Permit Fee: R50 for adults and R30 for kids

Website: www.cluver.com

 

Home to the famous snake trails and the bridges of the Paul Cluver Amphitheatre Paul Cluver’s trails the farm is crisscrossed by a vast network of singletracks. The trailhead is at the estate’s office and mountain bikers can explore as far afield as Thandi and the Hickory Shack. Signature trails in the network include Witklippies, Pofadder and the Pine Singles. If you would like to extend your ride you can follow the yellow boards into Oak Valley, just remember to ask for a permit to ride both when signing in. The day fee to ride both farms is R70 per adult and R40 per child.

 

If you’ve ridden an FNB W2W, you’ll be familiar with the incredible trails and bridges of Paul Cluver. Image by Xavier Briel

 

Wildekrans

Trail Head: Wildekrans Wine Estate, R43, Bot River, 7185 | Google Maps

Permit Fee: R50

Website: www.wildekrans.com

 

The trails which kick-start the singletrack fun on the final day of the traditional route, and which will be a key feature of the opening day of the Switchback are open to ride year-round. Twisting and turning through the Overberg’s rolling hills before following the course of the Botrivier, the singletracks are largely non-technical, but are exceptionally fun and even challenging if ridden at full speed.

 

Wildekrans’ trails twisting and turn through rolling hills, with singletracks that are non-technical but fun and challenging. Image by Xavier Briel

Hemel en Aarde Trails

Trail Head: Corner of the R43 and R320, Onrus River, Hermanus, 7200 | Google Maps

Permit Fees: R60 for adults and R30 for kids.

Website: www.hermanusadventures.co.za

 

The trails which provide the finale to the traditional FNB Wines2Whales route, and which will form the early kilometres of the Switchback, extend far further than the race has been able to encompass. Totalling 65 kilometres, for the longest back route, the Hemel en Aarde trails provide a full day’s adventures. Keep in mind that riding the full black route is no easy feat and the 1 750 advertised meters of climbing feels significantly more. Riding that will certainly off-set the effects of a big festive season meal.

 

For those looking for a bit more of a challenge, the Hemel en Aarde trails pack a punch but are always a blast. Image by Nick Muzik

 

Other Activities:

Somerset West, Elgin and Hermanus offer a range of other outdoor activities, not to mention the region boast wine farms and award-winning restaurants aplenty. Off your bike, you could go cable water skiing at Blue Rock, go for a hike in Hermanus’ Fernkloof Nature Reserve or satiate your need for thills with a Canopy Tour in the Hottentots Holland mountains, near Grabouw. There’s also no going to Grabouw without a pie-stop at Peregrine Farm Stall!

 

When heading out some festive fun on the trails, please always remember:

  • Let your friends and family know where you are headed
  • Give an ETA of your return
  • Pack more food and water than you think you’ll need
  • Ensure you have spares and that you know how to use them
  • Always have a fully charged cellphone with you
  • Try ride with a buddy where possible
  • Be friendly and full of #SeriousGEES when you encounter riders with the same idea as you