Things To Do in BarbertonQueen Rose Trail
Where? Nelshoogte forest reserve, in the mountains east of Barberton
How? Call Contact Barberton Tours for bookings.
How much? Price on request
Start: Nelshoogte forest reserve, in the mountains east of Barberton
Finish: Nelshoogte forest reserve
Duration: 2 days, 21 km
Fitness: fairly fit, and you'll need a good pair of hiking boots
Our tip: there are also options for mountain bikers in the reserve
Those who have walked the Queen Rose Trail argue that it is by far the most scenic trail in the country. It's quite a claim to make, but not difficult to understand given the lush landscape in amongst the mountains of the eastern escarpment where the Queens and Montrose rivers meet.
The hike is set in the Nelshoogte Nature Reserve between Badplaas and Barberton.
Much of the hike is spent on the river banks of the Montrose and Queens rivers in amongst riverine forest, waterfalls, pools, indigenous trees and a diversity of plants.
The hike is divided into two sections and you can do either first. The Montrose section is 13 km and is mostly downhill (there is an initial incline, so it isn't free sailing the whole way), whilst the Queens River section, which is predominantly uphill, is 8 km.
Montrose section to Makesh hut, 13 km, begins with an uphill through a pine plantation, before descending to Alvin's Falls. Most of the rest of the hike is along the river banks, which can get slippery at times. The latter part of the day trails through open grassland to Makesh hut (solar powered with a natural pool).
Queens River section to Queens View hut is 8 km and climbs through indigenous bush and riverine forest along a valley. Despite sounding like a cool walk, it can get rather humid. A suspension bridge, foefie slide and a number of pools make the day enjoyable.