Gauteng Tourist AttractionsBraamfontein Spruit
Where? The 'spruit' runs from the south of Jo'burg, close to Melville koppies, down to Paulshof. En route it includes Emmarentia, Parkhurst, Craighall, Riverclub, Bryanston and Rivonia in its meanderings – a good 25 to 30 km journey if you do the whole thing.
One of several streams in Johannesburg the Braamfontein Spruit flows through the city's northern suburbs, its overgrown banks providing a much-needed green lung for residents who cycle, bird watch, hike and trail-run the paths along its banks.
The 'spruit' runs from the south of Jo'burg, close to Melville koppies, down to Paulshof. En route it includes Emmarentia, Parkhurst, Craighall, Riverclub, Bryanston and Rivonia in its meanderings – a good 25 to 30 km journey if you do the whole thing.
There are various points at which one can join the Spruit, but most people access it at Delta Park, and include bits of Albert's Farm and Delta Park in their trails.
The incredible rise in popularity of MTB has completely changed the face of the Braamfontein Spruit. It receives regular clean-ups and maintenance projects - like the Hollard JUMA MTB Adventure who partnered with City Parks and Johannesburg Water to massively upgrade the spruit in July 2014, ahead of the urban mountain bike race.
And because it is such a popular MTB trail, the spruit is a lot busier than in the past.
Interesting is the history of the Spruit. Back in the 1970s there was an equally passionate bid to clear and clean-up the spruit and its surrounds. Enough so that the spruit and the accompanying grasslands were declared a park. Braamies became the longest municipal park in the world at 32 km.
But for much of its recent life the spruit has been strewn both with litter and 'unsavoury characters'; neither of which is much of an invitation to residents.
Hikers suggest a number of sections of the spruit:
Delta Park, Parkhurst, Greenside, Melville Koppies, Emmarentia, Delta Park – 15 km
Delta Park to Emmarentia Dam and back – 7.5 km
Delta Park, Roosevelt Park to Montgomery Park and back – 11 km
Delta Park to Sandton Field and Study Centre, and back – 12 km
Sandton Field and Study Centre to Rivonia Witkoppen Road – 14 km return
Sandton Field and Study Centre to West Street Sandton via Outspan Spruit – 12 km
MTB trails rated on the internet include:
Fratellis, Delta Park to Emmarentia and back
Fratellis, around Delta Park and back
Delta Park to Albert's Farm and back
Delta Park to Paulshof and back
There is a caveat to using the spruit, however. Travel in groups, preferably over a weekend when there are more likely to be other families and groups of hikers or cyclists out. Keep to the 'safer', recommended areas as the Braamfontein Spruit is neither policed on a regular basis nor patrolled by security.