Grootvadersbosch Conservancy MTB Trails 

CLOSEST TOWN > Heidelberg

TRAIL DESTINATION > Grootvadersbosch Conservancy

DISTANCE > Various options 

GRADING >  Intermediate to difficult




The Grootvadersbosch Conservancy is a non-profit trust that promotes conservation on private land in the Grootvadersbosch valley. The Conservancy is a separate entity to the, Cape Nature managed, Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve. The Grootvadersbosch Conservancy consists of 35 000ha of private land, surrounding the Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve and Boosmansbos Wildernes Area. The conservancy includes three private nature reserve. The private landowners work together on a range of projects, including alien clearing, fire management, eco-tourism, environmental education and trail building. 

The Grootvadersbosch Conservancy mountain bike trail network traverses the Conservancy and was funded by WWF and the Table Mountain Fund.

On your bike

All mountain bike trails start at the Grootvadersbosch Conservancy office where permits can be purchased. 

Cows and fence bridges: You are riding through some of the most productive dairy farms in South Africa. Please treat the cows with the respect they deserve. The fence bridges were built mainly to keep the cows safe. REMEMBER, NOT ALL BRIDGES ARE RIDEABLE FOR ALL LEVELS OF RIDER, EVEN ON GREEN ROUTES. If you are unsure, please walk. Riding is entirely at your own risk.

Blue Route: Distance - 39km; elevation 900m; duration 3-4 hours

Red Route: Distance - 25km; elevation 750m; duration 3-4 hours

Black Route: Distance - 45km; elevation 1250m; duration 4-6 hours

Suurbraak Route: Distance - 17km and 8km; elevation 300 and 500m; duration 2-4 hours

Green Route: Distance - 11km route now open.

New Green Route: Opening soon - 23km; 700m; duration 1-1.5 hours

Heidelberg Route: Distance - 10km; elevation 170m; duration 1-1.5 hours (opening soon)

Off your bike

The guest farms within the conservancy will present you with enough options to stay for a month!

Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve, situated within the Langeberg ranges approximately 22km northwest of Heidelberg, encompasses one of SA’s largest remaining sections of remnant forest. The superb day hikes in the reserve wind through a mix of typical Knysna-style high forest and mountain fynbos, with superb views from the higher trails. Exceptional birding will bring you face to face with narina trogons, warblers and other canopy dwellers, while sightings of a range of mammals are possible. The nearby town of Swellendam, famous for its youngberries, historical architecture and quality wines, should be a definite stop on your itinerary.


Telephone:   +27 (0)71 691 6463 (Conservancy Office)  / Aileen Anderson +27 079 335 0269 (Conservancy Manager)

Website :

GPS:  33°59’43.65” South / 20°49’28.79” East




Intermediate, with some difficult sections


Dependent on route option




Grootvadersbosch Conservancy Office 

TERRAIN:Single-track, cattle tracks and jeep-track


Available on Grootvadersbosch Conservancy website


Permit required; available from GVB Conservancy 


None en route, but various guest farms within the conservancy offer excellent accommodation


For local MTB information contact Aileen Anderson +27 79 225 0269


Approach animals with caution.




Take the left-hand turn-offf towards Suurbraak/Barrydale just past Swellendam and Buffelsjag River. Turn left and continue trough the town of Suurbraak and past the turn-off for Barrydale. The tar road becomes a dirt road (limited cell phone reception). Keep left at the T-junction towards Strawberry Hill/Honeywood and keep left at the next fork towards Honeywood/Grootvadersbosch Reserve. Continue past Honeywood Farm. The office is next left at a white farm house with a sign to the conservancy on the left. The office building is beyond the main house. 


The GVB Conservancy lies in the transitional zone between winter and all-year rainfall regions, with an average annual rainfall of about 1050mm. Drier periods are from May to July and December to January while berg winds are common from May to July.


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