Winter looks to have properly arrived now, bringing with it all the wet and mud you expect from a Cape Town cold season – which of course directly translates to all those nutters out on their mountain bikes coming home a whole lot dirtier now!

If you are tired of riding around the ‘burbs of Cape Town or Durbanville, then of course Stellenbosch is next in line with its exquisite nature reserves and iconic mountain backdrops. And as expected, thanks to the explosion of mountain biking in terms of popularity over the recent years, Stellenbosch boasts the full range of trail types, from moderate single trails all the way up to the more technical trails for the most experienced mountain bikers.

So as a start, here are a couple of Stellenbosch trails I yanked off from the ‘Net:

Jonkershoek Mountain Bike Trails: This is one of the best mountain biking areas in South Africa – safe, surrounded by mountains, lined with hundred year old pine trees – what more could you ask for? There is gravel road, jeep track, single track and some built jumps for the extremists!

Vineyard mountain bike trail (Devonvalley): The Devonvalley mountain bike trail is a fantastic trail not too far from Nooitgedacht Village. The trail starts at the parking lot behind the Devonvalley hotel. Once there you will then cycle to the exit gate where you’ll turn left from there a short steep cycle will lead you towards the hill. Continue on the hill by following the Devonvalley routes marked in orange. This trail is one of the most visually rewarding trail to do as spectacular views of the Devonvalley and pristine vineyards surround you. Cape blue Waterlillies are also abundant in the many farm dams. This is a great ride for the inexperienced to the professional riders, you wont want to miss out on this fantastic trail.

Porcupine mountain bike trail: This is also a mountain bike trail that is favored by many mountain bikers. It is a 6km single mountain bike track and offers a 3km black route to test your technical skills. This track is perfect for all experienced mountain bikers. You are also treated to amazing views of Stellenbosch, the surrounding wine farms and vineyards as well as unsurpassed views of the Stellenbosch Mountains even the magnificent Paarl Rock is visible. This trail will definitely leave you wanting more.

Groenlandberg mountain bike trail: This is a beautiful trail through the Hottentots Holland nature reserve. 26.1km from central Stellenbosch and not too far from Nooitgedaght Village. It’s a 22km mountain bike trail on a moderate out-and-return route that will lead up Groenlandberg. The summit of this peak offers incredibly rewarding views over the ocean and farmlands. This trail has mountain bikers coming back again and again.

Dirtopia mountain bike trail: There are many different Dirtopia mountain bike trails. One of the more popular ones is the Delheim bike trail. This trail starts at the exquisite Delheim wine farm near Stellenbosch. The track is 12km with some good climbs up to the slopes of Simonsberg along with some really fantastic single track sections. Anyone who wants more of a challenge can do two laps making up a 24km ride, while those wishing to take it a little easier can do the 7km route. This trail is great for riders of all levels. If you are up for the challenge then this is definitely the trail to do.

And if you’re not particularly keen on Stellenbosch, well…

Deerpark mountain bike trail: This mountain bike trail runs through Vredehoek 48.3km from central Stellenbosch. The mountain bike tail starts in the Deerpark parking lot and heads left towards Devilspeak. Bikes will gradually climb up the Kings Block house and ride along the contour path back towards Cape Town. You’ll then do the drop down on to Tafelberg road. You will then cycle the 5km on the tar past the cable station and onto the dirt road below. This is a must do for those who enjoy the steep single track. The combination of jeep track, smooth flowing single track and technical single track makes this perfect for all levels of skill and fitness.

Right, so now that we’re all inspired and ready to hit the dirt, I guess I’d better set about sourcing me a good second hand mountain bike at a reasonable price – in other words, Gumtree, here I come!

mountain biking in the forest

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Related Link: Mountain Bikes for Sale