Cradle Gateway 2 Gateway Mtb Trail

The proposed mountain bike corridor runs between the Kloofzicht and Lanseria Gateways, within the Provincial Road reserve. It will provide an open and flowing trail experience suitable for beginners, with gentle elevation and opportunities to ride side-by-side or pass other riders. The maps below represent the proposed corridor as of October 2013.

This trail is unique both in its setting in a World Heritage Site as well as its locality within the road reserve of a number of provincial tourism roads. The trail is designed to provide an enjoyable recreational trail ride for beginner and intermediate riders as well as tourists and local residents. The trail can be accessed from numerous hospitality venues along the major provincial road system comprising the D 540, D 374, D 101 and D 1496 tourism routes. There are no vehicle parking facilities provided as part of the trail system and hence it is recommended to begin the trail ride from venues located along the D 1496 road such as Riverstone Lodge, Avianto, Something Country or Kloofzicht Lodge as vehicle parking is available at these venues.

The single track trail starts at the Gateway located approximately 300 m due south of the Kloofzicht Lodge entrance where information, rules of the trail and general guidance to trail riders is provided as well as seating and bike rack facilities should you decide to meet up with other riders at this point. The first 300m trail to the road crossing provides an easy introduction to the trail and an opportunity to riders to get sorted out for the ride. Due to the locality of the trail within the provincial road reserve, the crossing of the provincial road at a few traffic calming points such as traffic circles and raised platforms are required as the trail is only provided on the side of the road with the most suitable topography and interesting natural features.

The first crossing of the road at the circle takes riders to the northern side of the road where they will stay for the next 3,6 km section providing an easy mostly gentle down-hill ride to the dedicated cycle bridge over the Bloubank river. This section of trail introduces the rider to the rural landscape of the area while passing a few small holdings and gravel access roads where they are required to take it slow and yield to vehicles entering or leaving properties should it occasionally be required. This natural surface trail section is open and flowing with good sight distances and the crossing of 2 storm water outlets takes the riders to a gravel road crossing and yield sign and further to the entrance of the Nedbank Conference facility. A section of paved trail will take riders along a landscaped edge to the first of 2 embankment trail sections that required engineering design and construction to provide a safe trail option along this well shaded section of trail. Aggressive roadside reed beds along the next section of trail corridor necessitated the construction of a further “paved” section of trail. The trail then change character as it dips down a constructed retaining wall to a section of trail mostly carving a route through a wooded section of large oak trees all the way to a historic rest spot just before crossing the Bloubank River. The specially constructed mountain bike bridge provides a safe and uninterrupted crossing of the river next to a very narrow single lane vehicle bridge.

The trail now leads gently uphill towards the Rhino and lion Nature Reserve section where riders are likely to spot the occasional tiger and giraffe from the trail as their enclosures are near the kiosk right next to the road and trail. Riders need to be aware of tourists and vehicle movements along this section of trail as the area is popular with visitors and riders are requested to go slow and yield to vehicles and pedestrians in accordance with trail signage. The trail is located close to the actual road surface due to the narrow nature of the road reserve and trees and vegetation are pruned to provide a trail corridor wide enough to accommodate the 1 m wide single track. The next approximately 2 km of gently rolling terrain provides good views of grasslands and ridges before crossing the Teak Place entrance where riders are again cautioned to yield to occasional vehicle movement before crossing to the other side of the road by using an existing culvert. The trail remains on this side of the road for approximately the next 4 km before crossing the road for the last time along this 17 km section at a raised traffic platform. Good sight lines and slower vehicle speed makes this an appropriate place to cross the provincial road.

The next approximately 2 km of trail leads gently down an embankment and up a short steep section of trail towards the highest point along this trail providing stunning all round views and a good opportunity to take a rest. The remainder of the trail leads past the entrance to the Cradle Restaurant and winds for approximately 4 km through open countryside with uninterrupted views of the surrounding landscape along a slight downhill section of trail all the way to the point where the trail completes the link to the next Gateway. In order to return to the start Gateway, riders must use the existing cycling lanes (Yellow painted lanes) as the trail system is a single direction trail and hence riders cannot return to the start via the trail. Once the entire trail loop is completed, the return journey to the start Gateway can be undertaken by following the single track trail along the D 101 or riding along the cycle lanes on the road back to the start.

Contact Details

  1. Email: gail@gailjennings.co.za
  2. Phone: +27 82 454 6617
  3. Website: cradlemtb.wordpress.com

Download a high-resolution (4,6 meg) map of the proposed corridor here: Cradle of Humankind World Heritage, proposed mountain bike trail corridor (as of 3 October 2013) 600dpi

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