Platberg MTB Trail

Dirt roads, concrete strips and jeep tracks. Not suitable for children. Come in September during the Berg Bohaai (www.bergbohaai.co.za) and ride the Dirty Harry MTB Classic.

Platberg Mountain is a landmark on the border between the Free State and KwaZulu-Natal provinces. This flat-topped mountain, which soars to 2 394 metres above sea level, has a unique ecosystem that acts as a giant sponge, absorbing rainfall that seeps down and finally flows off sheer cliffs as mountain streams and waterfalls.

From the gentler lower slopes, it is a gradual climb to the foot of Donkey’s Pass. Consisting of two concrete strips, this three-kilometre ascent will force experts into low gear, while beginners will be pushing their bikes. It is possible to ride left along the top, surrounded by incredible views, but this jeep track is difficult to find from the pass and you may choose some dead ends initially. To the right of Donkey’s Pass, there is the small Gibson Dam and the sheer cliffs facing Van Reenen.

The good news is that the descent off Platberg is easy to find, as it is near a prominent, illuminated crucifix. The bad news is that you’ll have to carry your bike down the eroded, rocky zigzag footpath. An easier ride would be to go straight past Donkey’s Pass, cycling parallel to the cliffs. This contour road is still high enough to have excellent views.

You can park and ride from anywhere in town. The GPS locations above is for the gate to the reserve. Have a good look at Google Maps before you leave, and possibly even print a copy of the reserve for reference when on the trail. Get more local info from your hosts or Topsport Cycles at 058 623 0435.

GRADING:

Difficult to Extreme

DURATION:

3 – 5 Hours

CONFIGURATION :

A self-guided 45km circuit

START POINT:

At Platberg Backpackers or Platberg Nature Reserve

TERRAIN:

Dirt roads, concrete strips, jeep tracks

MAP:

A Platberg Nature Reserve map is available from Topsport Cycles, 34B Warden Street, Harrismith.

Contact Details

  1. Email: topsport@business-sa.co.za
  2. Phone: +27 58 622 3737
  3. Website: www.nightjartravel.com