Things To Do in King Williams TownPirie Forest Hike
Where? Southern end of the Maden Dam, halfway between King William's Town and Stutterheim
How? Call +27 (0)43 642-1747
How much? Free
Start: southern end of the Maden Dam
Finish: back where you started, as it's circular
Fitness: it's an easy walk
Our tip: look out for Pirie Dam whilst travelling to the start of the hike – and the Cape Dutch style house overlooking the dam
Pirie forest is one of the most beautiful and historic forests in the heart of the Amatola Mountains. It is also barely known to visitors, functioning as firm local secret.
The forest lies between the towns of King William's Town and Stutterheim in the midst of the kind of countryside that brings to mind idyllic summers, swimming in rivers and the click of cicadas
The hike through these forests begins at the same starting point as the Amatola Hike, at Maden Dam - a larger dam than the Pirie and equally as beautiful. The initial part of the hike follows a forest road but once you turn off from this and begin the trail proper, you are immediately transported into the realm of fairies and elves for which the Amatola Mountains and Hogsback are so famous.
The trail includes little treasures like a disused sawmill, any number of coloured fungi and moss laden tree stumps, and meanders home along the course of the Evelyn Stream.
The Sandile Trail up to a cave high in the mountain forest is also possible from here. The views from the cave are worth the effort whilst the rear of the cave is where chief Sandile managed to escape capture during the frontier wars in the area.