Pretoria has great weather all year round, which is perfect if you’re the outdoorsy type. Mountain biking is a popular activity with a fast-growing community and the verdict is out on the 10 of the top mountain bike trails in and around the city.
Buffelsdrift Trail Park
Located within the Buffelsdrift Nature Conservancy just 15 km (9.3 mi) north of Pretoria, the Buffelsdrift Mountain Bike Park is one of the most popular and spectacular biking trails in the area. The trails are a mix of single track and jeep track with fun climbs and fast down hills and vary in length from 7 km (4.3 mi) to 50 km (31 mi). The bike park has been designed to showcase the natural beauty of the bushveld and wildlife such as kudu, zebra, impala and warthogs can be viewed while biking.
Rosemary Hill’s award-winning mountain bike trails offer safe riding for riders of all ages and experience levels. The well-maintained single track trails are custom made and meander through the working farm, passing through rosemary fields and bluegum woods and past farm dams and old ruins. A unique 110 m (120 yd) long camber bridge and a 45 degree roundabout provides some excitement for daredevils, especially those daring enough to take to the trails at night.
257 R964, Pretoria, South Africa, +27 12 802 0052
Hazeldean Valley Trails
While additions are constantly being added to the Hazeldean Valley Trails, there are now up to 42 km (26.1 mi) of well-designed single track trails to be enjoyed in the bushveld fresh air. Trails are open seven days a week and are suitable for beginners and pros. Stop by for a delicious breakfast and drinks at the Cowhouse Market. There is also a fenced-off kiddies bike park for the little ones to try their hand at safe mountain biking.
Wolvespruit Trail Park
Named after the stream that runs through it, the Wolwespruit mountain bike and trail run park is known for its handcrafted single track trail that provides adrenaline-filled adventure for both beginners and advanced riders. With thrilling drops, jumps, river crossing and uphills, the 22 km (13.6 mi) trail provides a safe environment to enjoy nature and the outdoors in the heart of Pretoria East. The park also has one of the largest pump tracks around, a skills clinic area and a jump line designed to help riders increase their skill level. Additional circle routes are in development.
501 Jochemus Street, Erasmuskloof, Pretoria, South Africa, +27 12 942 9509
Hennops MTB Trail
The Hennops mountain biking trails are situated within a valley surrounded by mountain ranges to the north and south and through which the Hennops River flows. There are three trails with a variety of terrain, some steep climbs and descents, lots of natural obstacles and great views to enjoy. The easy trail is only 5 km (3.1 mi) long, while the more advanced trails are 18 km (11.1 mi) and 24 km (14.9 mi) long, with ascents of 307 m and 472 m respectively. Keep an eye out for zebra, impala, gnu and kudu on the ride and take a dip in the pool at the picnic spot afterwards to cool down.
R511, Pretoria, South Africa, +27 82 825 9205
Groenkloof Nature Reserve
Groenkloof Nature Reserve is a top spot for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts from all over Gauteng. The main 13.5 km (8.4 mi) single-track and jeep track circuit has rocky terrain which is technically challenging for experienced mountain bikers. Steep climbs and summer’s heat make this a trail for hardy bikers, but encounters with wildlife that are so tame they may not even move out of your way make it worthwhile.
335 Eeufees Rd, Groenkloof, Pretoria, South Africa, +27 12 440 8316
The Voortrekker Monument Nature Reserve is dotted with a network of mountain bike trails that loop with a length from anything between 3 km (1.8 mi) and 12 km (7.4 mi). Beginner routes are mostly along jeep track, while the more technical single track paths have gritty climbs and extremely deep descents, with some Black Diamond options for the adrenaline junkies. Enjoy the indigenous flora and fauna while biking.
Eeufees Rd, Groenkloof, Pretoria, South Africa, +27 12 326 6770
The X-Trax mountain bike track is on a small holding consisting of a 2 km (1.2 mi) loop that has technical sections of varying difficulty that aim to improve bikers’ technical skills. The Green loop is suitable for children of all ages while the Yellow, Red and Black loops are reserved for experienced riders – with dirt jumps, suspended bridges, drop-offs and gaps, see-saw bridges and quick and fast ascents and descents.
Plot 81, Bashewa, Pretoria, South Africa, +27 72 225 8557
Fountains Valley Resort
The Fountains Valley Resort has a number of mountain bike circuits on single track, jeep track and tarred road. Routes go through the forest bordering the picnic area and alongside the railway line. Steep, rocky tracks lead up to Fort Klapperkop, from where an excellent view over Pretoria can be appreciated, and the Voortrekker Monument and Groenkloof Nature Reserves are also within biking distance.
Fountains Rd, Groenkloof, Pretoria, South Africa, +27 12 440 7131
Approximately 15 km (9.3 mi) west of Pretoria, this ex-horse farm is particularly recommended for its challenging trails and technical terrain. The trails network comprises of about 50 km (31 mi) cross country routes, 10 Enduro stages and a downhill track. Riding is mainly on custom-built single track, game paths and dual track – the perfect mix for progressively increasing skills.
Middel Rd, Elandsfontein, Pretoria, South Africa, +27 82 889 6515