Misty Mountain Reserve

Misty Mountain Reserves offers four well-marked jeep track routes through the forest. These range from a one hour trail for a warm-up or for an easy ride for all the family, to a ride of up to 5½ hours with breathtaking scenery, diverse conditions and technical sections .

63.3km (shorter routes as well)
Single Track 5%
Jeep Track 35%
Gravel Road 60% (Forestry type roads)
Tar 0%
Un-ridable 0%
Highest Point 240m
Lowest Point 75m
Total Ascent 610m
Fun Factor 7/10
Aerobic Factor 5/10
Short Description Amazing forests and coastal views. Well marked.
Technical Difficulty Not very technical. The faster you go, the trickier it gets.
Aerobic Difficulty Not too taxing. Two steep hills yielding great forest views.

Getting There:

Get yourself to the N2 between Port Elizabeth and Knysna. Then 180km from Port Elizabeth or 103km from Knysna you will get a turn-off South towards Misty Mountain reserve, This turn-off sits between the Petro Port and the Tsitsikamma Lodge. From there follow the signs along a gravel road for about 7km. The route is well sign-posted. Just watch out after heavy rains.

Route Description:

MMR have 4 very effectively marked trails that span across their own grounds and link together trails in the South African National Parks Tsitsikamma indigenous forests and trails in the MTO (Mountain to Ocean) Pine Plantations. Permits are essential!! Here is my take on the routes:

Yellow Route:

The yellow route is 8,7km long and very easy. It is the perfect route for the couple who do not really cycle, but would like to jump on some bikes – that are conveniently available for hire – and take a leisurely spin past some farm lands and through the absolute quite of the pine plantation. The route follows well ridden and graded gravel roads, so no technical skill is required. A very slight incline is followed out of MMR, but this allows for a nice gradual downhill back to your room.

Orange Route:

The orange route is 15km long and also very easy. It takes you out on the gravel roads, and then down toward the Storms River Look Out Point. This is a truly spectacular spot, so allow for some time to just sit and soak in the view. This is the perfect ride for the active family. You do not even really need to be a cyclist, but it will probably take a fairly fit kid about 40mins to ride to the look out, and then 40mins back. The adventurous family can add a loop of the blue route to add some forest riding and additional views.

Blue Route:

The blue route is the first route that requires some cycling fitness. But the extra effort is rewarded frequently! It basically follows the orange route out of MMR, but then instead of going straight to the Storms River look out point, it drops down into the National Parks indigenous forest. This is an exhilarating downhill with some sketchy bends to keep you on your toes! It takes you all the way down to the Storms River crossing, where there is a picnic spot and some tranquil trees to laze under. You then start to climb up a hill, that feels like it will never end….. but that’s not a bad thing, because it is in some seriously dense indigenous forest. If you come through here early enough you are bound to see some wild life. At the top of the hill there are some little rocky river crossings. One of them I aptly named “Rachel’s Crossing” – ask Dustin for the gory details! At the very top of the route you will find yourself in the Storms River Village, where there are ample little shops to get drinks from , or you can park off at the coffee shop, that has a deck where stinky bikers can sit and enjoy a cuppa! The route back is a blast! Because now you have seen the views and you can gun it to the river crossing, and grind it up the hill to the turn off into a little foresty bit that takes you toward the Stormsriver Look Out point. This section comprises of very unused jeep track that brings you VERY close to nature, as the forest is slowly but surely trying to reclaim this path. The last little bit before you hit the look out runs parallel to the Stormsriver gorge, and you will be forgiven if you take a tumble here due to lack of concentration on the road! From the view point you follow the orange route back to MMR.

Black Route:

The black route is the route that caters for the fit mountain biker looking for some good testing distance over varied terrain. It is 65km and there are very little technical sections, but like a good friend of mine always says: “the faster you go, the trickier it gets!”

The black route starts off following the yellow route, but then quickly darts off into the MTO plantations where you ride between trees that far surpass us in age. There is an eerie quiet in these plantations, but this is soon broken by the sound of your knobblies singing as you head down toward the coast. You never quite hit the coast, you are always about 200m above sea level, but for a good 7km stretch you ride parallel to the coast at this height. At one stage I thought my peripheral vision was going to get an overuse injury due to the absolute amazing view to my right. At this height so close to the coast you actually see the curvature of the earth!

As for the route, it is a fairly bumpy jeep track that undulates constantly till you reach the Elands River Look Out point. Here you can take a well deserved break before you gun it back into the plantation where a long smooth speed section awaits you. This will take you back to the blue route, that forms the second leg of the black route.

This is the perfect training ride for a MTB marathon.

Contact Details

  1. Email: mistymountainreserve@isat.co.za
  2. Phone: +27 (0) 42 280 3699
  3. Website: www.mistymountainreserve.co.za