Things To Do in Pilgrims RestProspector's Hiking Trail
Where? Start just outside Pilgrim's Rest at either Morgenzon plantation or Pilgrim's Rest hut, Panorama Route
When? Daylight hours.
How? Call +27 (0)13 754-2724
How much? Price on request
Start: just outside Pilgrim's Rest at either Morgenzon plantation or Pilgrim's Rest hut
Finish: back where you started
Duration: five days, 62.5 km
Our tip: Hikers are often unprepared for the beauty of the hikes and wish they had more time. Plan a more leisurely option (two-day hike), or tag on another day on the end.
This is a series of trail options – anything from a two-night to a five-night trail – that explore the area around Pilgrim's Rest, renowned its scenery, along paths formerly used by gold prospectors who scoured the rivers, creeks and waterfalls.
The birding in the area is particularly good, but various mammals too are often spotted on the route, including a herd of wild horses and bush pigs.
The two-night 20.9 km Peach Tree Creek trail starts at Pilgrim's Rest, heads to Morgenzon and then back again via an alternative route. The route explores former diggings, the coco pan tracks and crosses the Blyde River, follows an historical railway line and heads up to an indigenous forest via patches of grasslands, wattle and protea. The return is short, allowing time to explore the village.
The three-night 41.3 km Black Hill trail is the same as the five-night trail for the first three days, starting out from Morgenzon Hut. The hike heads to Black Hill, follows the course of a couple of streams, explores historical paths, and then heads to Excelsior hut the following day, before going back to Morgenzon via a viewpoint on Themeda Hill.
The 53.9 km Morgenzon four-night trail starts at Pilgrim's Rest Hut and travels in similar vein to the two-day option to Morgenzon Hut, then Black Hill hut, Excelsior hut and back to Morgenzon.
The 62.5 km five-night Prospector's trail, starts at Pilgrim's, and because it explores various wagon routes, the original Robbers Pass and a number of different types of habitat – indigenous forest, grasslands, fynbos and rock formations – gives one a real sense of the area. The trail spends a night at each of the different huts.