Things To Do in Natures ValleyStinkhoutkloof Hike
Where? Bloukrans Forest Station, Tsitsikamma forest, Garden Route / Eastern Cape
When? Best during daylight hours.
How much? Free
Start: Bloukrans Forest Station, Tsitsikamma forest, between Plettenberg Bay and Humansdorp
Finish: Bloukrans Forest Station, Tsitsikamma forest
Duration: 8 km
Fitness: easy to moderate
Our tip: no need to book this trail, and permits are the self-issue variety from a box at the trail's entrance
This is ideal for those who want to walk in the vicinity of the Otter Trail but have neither the time, nor the fitness, to complete the rather tough and popular hike.
Stinkhoutkloof hike is one of the most beautiful hikes of the area and worth taking your time over, as the forests are filled with surprises, and wonderfully cool during summer.
To reach Bloukrans Forest Station take the Natures Valley / Coldstream exit from the N2 toll road.
Initially the path trails through pine plantation before making into indigenous forest in the upper parts of the Stinkhoutkloof. The path is not difficult as much of it follows a forestry road. Why this trail is one of the most beautiful of the route is the incredible examples of tall tree ferns and fungi in the indigenous forests.
En route there are several stream crossings. Roughly 5 km into the hike is a natural swimming hole that serves as a good spot for lunch (alternatively wait until after the hike as there is a picnic site at the forest station).
The hike continues through forest and reaches the old main road, which it follows back to Bloukrans Forest Station in a circle.
Don't forget your swimming costume, good walking shoes and insect repellent (mosquitoes can get a bit much if it is humid in the forests).