Things To Do in WinburgBell's Pass Hiking Trail
Where? We regret, thos trail no longer operates.
Bells Pass, Winburg, Free State
When? Daylight hours.
How much? Price on request
Start: just outside of Winburg on Bell's Pass
Finish: back where you started
Duration: 18 km over two days, or two separate day hikes
Our tip: these hikes are suitable for both children and the elderly as they are not too taxing
At the top of Bell's Pass find base camp in the form of Uitsig hut, or 'hut with a view'. From this hut views out over the Bloemfontein valley are pretty remarkable. Spend your first evening here and relax and enjoy the quiet. The hut has a couple of bedrooms and sleeps about 10 people. It has lights, hot and cold showers and flush toilets.
Day one is the Rooibok Route of 13 kilometres that takes hikers to River hut on the banks of the Klein Vetriver (small, fat river). The hut here is particularly welcoming for its relaxed atmosphere, even though it has only the bare minimum requirements and a new ablution block.
Follow the Klein Vetrivier for a while before taking a turn towards Bell's Pass along a tributary of the Klein Vetrivier, known as the Zoutspruit. En route find ruins where, during the early 1900s, people stayed to partake of the hot mineral water to heal themselves from illness. These were known as the Kruitbaden.
Day two is a short 5 km walk, a circular walk known as the Skilpad or tortoise route that crosses three ravines. Along the way you will see a number of beautiful examples of the Olienhout, Karee and Witstinkhout trees. It can take anything from one to five hours to complete.
The advantage of the hikes on Bell's Pass is that any combination of the walks works. You can use the uitsighut as base camp and do both hikes from there as day hikes, or you can start with either hike, using the River hut as an overnight destination.