CLOSEST TOWN > Wellington
TRAIL DESTINATION > Welvanpas Farm
DISTANCE > 15-30km
GRADING > Intermediate to difficult
Many mountain bike routes in the Cape claim to have the most amazing variety of routes, sublime single-track and a rich historic heritage. Welvanpas is no different, except that in this case you get exactly what is advertised on the can.
On your bike
The routes all start and end at Welvanpas farm which is nestled between the beautiful Hawekwa and Groenberg mountain ranges near Wellington. The trails are mainly on single-track, winding through orchards, vineyards, pristine fynbos and past stunning waterfalls. The trails will take you up high onto Groenberg, before descending back down to the Kromme River. You’ll have options between challenging and very steep sections or their (equally) challenging chicken runs.
The Yellow Route (17km) leaves the start area, turning left along a well marked trail before hitting the first climb of the day; 8km long and a mere 400m ascent. At 1.7km you will cross the tar road of the Bainskloof pass to crank up the slopes of the Hawekwa Mountains.
Many small mountain streams crossings and a section through a pine plantation lead you slowly towards 8.3kms and a single-track party all over the side of the mountain. Every ounce of sweat and discomfort that you experienced on the way up will be forgotten as you crest the hill and charge over the top. No matter, if you ride it slowly or like a war hero, the trail will reward you with a ride to live in your memory for years to come.
On the way down the trail there are a couple of steep sections and a rocky drop off, but nothing too scary. You do need to be aware that the surface has lots of tiny stones over a hard base, so it can be quite slippery at times.
8km of almost nonstop single-track takes you, via some flat farmlands, back to the finish or, you can lookout for the world-famous Black Route extension to the Yellow Route and make it last longer! This 27km route has exhilarating single-track sections in the pine forest above Bainskloof and their names, Point Break, Route 66, Angel’s Tears, Heaven’s Gate, Super G and The Full Monty, will give you an idea of what to expect!! With a similar finish to the Yellow (17km), it ensures you’ll still enjoy the thrill of Cool Runnings and Cool Runnings Too, coming down the Bainskloof Road.
For a less strenuous ride there is a 29km White Route that has amazing single-track, but with less climbing, while family groups with children may like to ride the more sedate 15km Blue Route.
The Bains Trail takes you up high into the Groenberg before a descending a steep, technical sectiofon down to the Kromme River. Here you can choose the challenging, very steep finish towards the river or an (equally) challeging chicken run. Hereafter it runs on the banks of the tranquil stream through a natural forest. The second route takes you towards Bainskloof Pass, up a thigh-testing single track climb and finally back towards Welvanpas Farm, on single track through the slopes of the Bainskloof foothills.
Off the bike
If you like to mix exploring the history of the area you are riding in, with bombing down bike trails, how about the fact that the historic farm of Welvanpas is the birthplace of former Voortrekker leader Piet Retief who stayed on the farm until the age of 26. The farm has been in the family for 305 years and is currently managed by Dan and Retha Retief. To top it off, Die Ou Meul Coffee shop is said to serve the best carrot cake in town, but also sells a variety of farm produce and wines.
Phone : +2721 865 1239 / +27 82 393 6268,
Website : www.welvanpas.co.za
GPS: 33°37’59.4” South / 19°04’9.0” East