CLOSEST TOWN > Port Elizabeth
TRAIL DESTINATION > Baakens River Valley
GRADING > Intermediate to difficult
The Baakens Valley is a long and narrow green-space running through the heart of the Port Elizabeth metropolitan area. It stretches in a general east-west direction from just above the harbour to the western outskirts of Port Elizabeth, on the Cape Town side of the city.
Local MTB riders rate the contour paths and jeep tracks as one of the best urban rides in South Africa. Expect sharp climbs, rutted downhills and heaps of obstacles to test your technical skills to the max. For personal safety reasons, it is always recommended that you cycle the route with a friend or two.
On your bike
Lower Gunea Fowl Trail:Although the full Guinea-fowl Trail begins at Hawthorne Avenue, Sunridge Park, the 7,5km Lower Trail starts at the Third Avenue Dip in Newton Park, leading down river to Settlers Park and Brickmakers Kloof. The trail is not difficult for reasonably fit persons. However, the river is crossed on numerous occasions by steppingstones and these may become hazardous or impassable after rain.
While in Settlers Park, you may see guinea-fowl, peacock, mountain tortoise, leopard tortoise, dassies and mongooses and, if you are lucky, also see grysbok and the beautiful Knysna Lourie.
Off the bike
PE lies at the centre of the Eastern Cape’s aquatic sports scene, with heaps of marine action. One of the city’s greatest assets is its clean and beautiful beaches, ideal for swimming, surfing, surfskiing, snorkelling, yachting, windsurfing, scuba diving and fishing. Quad-biking, 4X4 and hiking trails are also available. Port Elizabeth is the only city that boasts the Big 7 (elephant, buffalo, rhino, lion, leopard, humpback whale and great white shark), so do visit Addo Elephant National Park.
Route information: Johan Gerryts (Fat Tracks)
Telephone: +27 82 331 3688
GPS: 33°58’22.1”S 25°33’18.3”E
Intermediate to difficult
Return ride, 24km+
Elliot Centre parking lot
Sandy contour paths and gravel jeep tracks
VIDEOS: Click here...
Trails not formally marked; pop in at Cyclo Pro for advice
CELL RECEPTION: Good
No ablution facilities
Hikers, dogs, river crossings and guinea fowl
HOW TO GET THERE
BEST TIME OF YEAR
Great, moderate weather all year round.