Woodridge XCO Trail & Thornhill MTB Route
CLOSEST TOWN > Port Ellizabeth
TRAIL DESTINATION >Woodridge School & Longmore Plantations
DISTANCE > 6km & 8km circuits
GRADING > Easy to very technical
These two individual courses combine to guarantee an excellent day of play on your bike. Both routes are purpose-built with singletrack to bliss you out for hours on end, plus you can link into Longmore Forest if you feel like more laid-back plantation road riding.
On your bike
Your first stop is Woodridge School, one of the few educational institutions in South Africa to boast its own Nationals-quality XC (cross-country) route. The purpose-built route offers some exhilarating and challenging singletrack riding. It’s great on a windy day, as the plantation offers both shelter and shade. Permits are required and these must be shown at the gate when entering the premises. No less than 95% of the 8km course is groomed singletrack, dipping and diving through forest sections, plantations and some open grassland.
From Woodridge, it is a doddle to get to Thornhill, a tiny village just across Van Staden’s Gorge and approximately 6km further along the N2. This is a more recent, but no less exciting riding venue, catering to both rookie riders and the more hardcore XC racing snakes. Local mountain biker Grant Puttergill has put together a killer 6km route on his Sunnyvale farm, and again you will be bombing into a veritable singletrack paradise.
Longmore Forest is close to Thornhill, and is probably the best-known plantation of three (managed by ‘Mountains to Oceans’, formerly SAFCOL) in the area.
Park at the old barn on the left after entering the gate to Sunnyvale (there are ablutions here), and immediately crank onto the singletrack in the direction of the N2. Zigzag through a bamboo forest and along a few tight bends through indigenous Albany thicket, before bombing through blue gum stands on a clockwise circuit back to the farm house. There are bridges, drop-offs, log jumps, roots and the full gamut of natural obstacles to keep you focused along this super-fun ride. [/div2]
Off the bike
Port Elizabeth has it all. Golden beaches for surfing, slouching or real excitement as the Sardine Run
Telephone: +27 (0)83 778 9487
GPS: 33°55’01.3” South / 25°12’08.6” East
Moderate to technical
6km circular loop, with options
CELL RECEPTION: Good
Permit available from Cyclo Pro
Ablutions and water at Van Stadens Wild Flower Reserve
Some challenging rock gardens, slippery when wet
HOW TO GET THERE
BEST TIME OF YEAR
The weather here is as friendly as the city. Come all year round; the Friendly City is rated as having one of the most temperate climates in Africa!