With its variety of dense coastal forests, cliffs, gorges, valleys and farmlands, the KZN South Coast is the setting for the most incredible nature-based sporting activities, with mountain biking topping the list. There are many well-maintained trails traversing the natural landscape, providing entry-level options for novices and extending to the more demanding trails for professional competitors. Here are 10 of the best for you to explore.
Rocky Bay Resorts:
This iconic South Coast location forms part of the sani2c and joberg2c competitions as cyclists pass through on the way to the coastal town of Scottburgh. The mountain biking trails include 9km, 12km, 19km and 40km courses, as well as the 4km, 6km, 8km and 10km running trails that are clearly marked. The trails are suited to cyclists of all levels.
Umdoni Park Trust Golf Club & Nature Reserve:
This stunning nature reserve is home to a variety of trails that can take anywhere between 15 minutes and two hours, depending on the cyclists’ preference and endurance level. The trails wind around the Umdoni Park Golf Course and restaurant overlooking the ocean.
Burry Stander Bike Park:
Established in memory of the South Coast’s Olympic cyclist, Burry Stander, this Umtentweni-based bike park was opened in 2014 to both honour him and develop cycling among local youth. The bike park consists of a 2km cross-country track or a 5km farm track with an on-site Kiddies Zone and coffee shop.
Lake Eland Game Reserve:
Lake Eland Game Reserve has a number of biking trails, ranging in length from 4km to 45km, crossing four distinct ecosystems. Among the African wildlife, cyclists can enjoy quality mountain biking trails that include gorge rides and climbs. Bikers can enjoy an easy cycle of wildlife viewing, through to the more strenuous Dunstone’s Pass.
ANEW Resort Ingeli Forest:
Found inland near Harding is the beautiful Ingeli Forest, an indigenous forest that consists of a variety of mountain biking trails, from 18km to 30km. These cross forest streams and waterfalls for a truly invigorating cycle.
Traversing the Mpenjati River Valley, the KwaNzimakwe multi-trails range from 4km to 22km, with incredible views as well as wildlife and birdlife. The trails are also suited to hiking, birdwatching and 4×4 excursions.
Beaver Creek Coffee Estate:
This Port-Edward-based biking destination is the southernmost coffee estate in the world which has quality coffee to match its quality trails. For the children, there is the 400m Chocochino Route around the coffee shop, followed by the 2,5km Espresso Route through the Beaver Creek coffee fields. Finally, there’s the advanced 8,5km Stoney Creek Route through Beaver Creek and surrounding farms.
Clearwater Trail Centre:
Just outside Southbroom on the banks of Mtamvuna River is Clearwater Trails. There are five routes, beginning with the easy 2km green route trail and extending through to the 16km route. The bike trails end with the Coffee Bean Uphill and finish at Clearwater Cabins.
Red Desert Nature Reserve:
Located in Port Edward is the world’s smallest desert, which is not only home to archaeological wonders, but also great mountain biking trails.
Umtamvuna Nature Reserve:
This exquisite nature reserve – home to riverine forests and rocky cliffs – consists of a range of well-maintained biking routes. The joberg2c and sani2c, as well as the 5-stage South Coast Fever MTB series, all pass along this reserve.
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