Things To Do in GeorgeGroeneweide Trail
Where? Start at the Saasveld Campus at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in George, Garden Route.
When? Best during daylight hours.
How? Call +27 (0)82 213-5931
How much? Price on request
Start: Saasveld campus, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
End: the Kaaimans River
Duration: 7 – 15 km
Fitness: relatively easy
Our tip: you will find self-issue permits at the start of the trail just across the golf course; a map comes with the permit, but there is also a signboard map
Just outside of the town of George, roughly 60 km west of Knysna on the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University campus, is the Groeneweide Forest (part of the larger Groenkop State Forest) – a series of ancient Afromontane trees that include yellowwoods, ironwoods, Cape planes, hard pears and forest elders.
Collectively the trees provide a lush over and undergrowth through which there are three different hiking routes. The Groeneweide hike(s) is essentially one trail that loops through the forest with two short cuts that allow shorter paths. It starts with a slight descent towards the Kaaimans River, before ascending to the contour path. From the contour path the views are described as magical.
The clockwise route(s) splits from the contour path eventually returning to the Kaaimans River. Each of them is a loop route, ending and starting in the same place. The Green route is 7 km, the Blue 11km and the Red 15 km. But the highlight is walking the contour path. Sections bring you on a par with the canopy level of the forest and, in the right light, brings to mind all the fantasy novels or films of your childhood.
Those who have done the walk advise taking the longer route if you can. A short path detours from this route to a swimming spot on the Silver River. Listen out for the Knysna warbler and look for the tree ferns growing near water. A tree list is important as the trees are numbered. You can find one at the Knysna office of the Department of Water affairs and Forestry.
For a guided trail contact Garden Route Trail (telephone number above).