The Garden Route offers a wide range of outdoor activities, from daredevil leaps to adventure sport style hikes and climbs to family friendly explorations.
A walk in the forest or along a piece of wild coastline is very much worth it.
For those of you with mobility/ access challenges can also enjoy the feeling of the forest by visiting the Garden of Eden near Harkerville. The SANParks website has limited information on disabled access here
The SANParks website has a long list of trails in the area but even their list does not cover them all.
Notable exclusions are the Robberg Trails and the Circles in the Forest Trail.
Robberg Nature Reserve in Plettenberg Bay offers three trails.
The following details are from the Cape Nature website and can be seen in their original state here
Nearest Town: Plettenberg Bay
Region: Garden Route
Trail Distance: 2,1km (30 minutes)
This is the shortest route on the reserve. In this Cretaceous mudstone cleft is clear-cut and fascinating evidence of the break-up of Gondwanaland. The route is circular and runs clockwise. Remember to take water along.
Trail Distance: 5,5km (2 hours)
This up-and-down route leads along Robberg’s northern ridge, above the seal colony and into the wind-shadow of the climbing-falling dune. Follow this dune down to the tombolo and a boardwalk to a colony of kelp gulls. From here it is an easy return to the car park via the Gap.
The route is circular and runs clockwise. Remember to take water along.
Trail Distance: 9,2km (4 hours)
This is the most difficult route on the reserve. It is the longest and not recommended for young children. From the dune wind-shadow, the trail continues on along the north ridge to the Point, where hundreds of swift terns, gannets and cormorants roost. You then make your way back along the southern rocky shoreline (try to get this on a spring low tide for added interest). You will pass the island as you cross the tombolo. Then it is a climb up through the Gap and you are back at the car park.
Always be beware of waves and currents, especially at high tide. The route is circular and runs clockwise. Remember to take water along.
Take a short 20min walk to Nelson Bay Cave with its detail interpretation facility on the important Middle and Later Stone Age Archaeological evidence.
The Circles in the Forest Trail in the Jubilee Creek section of the Garden Route National Park was previously known as the “short Woodcutters Trail” . The trail was renamed in honour of South African forest lover and author Dalene Matthee.
For more information and a map of the trail you can visit the Dalene Matthee website
For even more insight into the forest and more trails in the area I can highly recommend my personal friend, Meagan Vermaas of Forest Guided Tours. Her passion for the plants, animals and people of the forest is inspiring. Meagan specialises in walks for the leisure lover and children are welcome.
If you prefer steep climbs and views from mountain tops then Tony Cook Adventures has a selection for you.
Most of the local trails/ walks are open to the public and do not require a guide if you do not wish to use one. Please make sure you have the relevant permit arrange before setting off.
Make sure you and your family wear sturdy walking shoes, sunscreen and a hat and drink plenty of water.
Don’t forget your camera and extra batteries.
Avoid leaving food in your car and keep the windows closed as this may attract animals.
Make sure you follow the trail markings carefully and let someone know what time you expect to be back, just in case!
Cellphone signal can be patchy to non-existent is most places on the coast and in the forest.
Weather can change quickly, take a light jacket and dry socks for extra comfort.
And lastly, once again, leave only footprints and take only photographs!