Things To Do in MelvilleBraamfontein Spruit MTB Trail
Where? In Johannesburg alongside the Jukskei River.
When? Daylight hours.
How much? Free
Where: Johannesburg alongside the Jukskei River
Level: easy to moderate
Type of route: 60 km single track footpath and some tar roads, it is possible to break it up into smaller chunks
Best: any time of the year; but ride in groups of at least four
The route is little more than a path alongside the Jukskei River, but what makes it so popular is being able to ride along a greenbelt in the middle of a city as well as being able to join up with the path from various points along the route – Albert's Farm, Emmarentia, Delta Park, the Study Centre in Louise Avenue (Parkmore), Sandton Field, Riverside and Bryanston Drive.
It's also difficult to get lost; you simply follow your nose once you're on the path (except for the area just after you cross Jan Smuts Avenue at Craighall, which appears to dead-end, but actually crosses the Jukskei to the other bank). Look out for Rattray's Weir, built in the early 1900s.
The northern parts of the trail passes many lovely rock pools and the bird life around these is particularly lovely.
The single track path is smooth, relatively flat with few technical bits. It can get busy as the route is not exclusively an MTB route. Trail runners, dog walkers, kids on bicycles and hikers use the Spruit as well. The most popular stretch is between Emmarentia and Craighall.
The Braamfontein Spruit was opened in 1981 as a hiking trail. Over the years it was almost forgotten, except by a couple of zealot hikers who walked the trail no matter what. Now its popularity as an MTB trail is growing.