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.
You are allowed to ride here with the Woodridge permit, but as it is private property, you must first contact Grant before riding on the farm. A phone number will be given to you when you buy your Woodridge permit, and you can also find out exactly how to get there.

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
comes past in June/July accompanied by whales, dolphins and sharks. Exceptional hiking trails (Alexandria or
Sacramento), horseback outrides, Big 7 viewing, amazing 4X4 venues, and even elephant-back safaris in Addo … come and do it all!


Websites: www.cyclopro.co.za,  www.fattracks.co.za and www.3riverstrails.co.za

Telephone: +27 (0)83 778 9487

GPS: 33°55’01.3” South / 25°12’08.6” East




Moderate to technical


45 minutes


6km circular loop, with options


Sunnyvale Farm


Singletrack, technical


None available



Permit available from Cyclo Pro


Ablutions and water at Van Stadens Wild Flower Reserve


Some challenging rock gardens, slippery when wet


Woodridge is just off the N2, approximately 35km from Port Elizabeth on your way to Cape Town. Carry on for another 5–6km along the N2 to reach Thornhill on your right next to
the highway.


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!


Get the books

Our books are available at Exclusive Books, Loot, Map Studio and probably other leading book stores.

Buy us a beer

PLEASE NOTE: This site is a flippen labour of love, brought to you for nada. Niks. Free of Charge. If you'd like to contribute some Bucks, please do - bank details below, but I'm not holding my breath wink

ABSA Cheque Account
Name: T. J. Marais
Branch Number: 312109
Account Number: 011 3130 0014
Any donation over R300 will receive a free copy of MTB TOP TRAILS 2 or MORE MTB TRAILS; just remember to send me Proof of Payment and a Delivery address!