Things To Do in TokaiTokai Forest MTB Trails
Where? Tokai Arboretum, End of Tokai Road, Tokai, Constantantia Valley, Cape Town
When? Daylight hours.
Collect a permit from the Tokai Tourist Office in Tokai Road.
How much? Price on request
Where: Tokai forest, Cape Town
Level: easy to extreme
Type of route: some of the toughest single track MTB trails in the country
Best: perfect throughout the year but avoid on weekends as it's rider-central; either go during the week, or very early weekend morning
Because the MTB trails lie in a working plantation (trees are felled all the time, in other words) trails never remain the same. The trail you rode last month will look completely different this month (be prepared that routes are closed and changed all the time).
Tokai's landscape is changing slowly too; changing from commercial timber plantation to become a biodiverse conservation concession; a protectorate of more than a few endangered fynbos species.
The Tokai Forest MTB trails are an institution; enough so that a whole website is devoted to them – tokaimtb.co.za
The trails are developed and maintained by volunteers after an agreement with Mountain to Oceans Forestry (signed in 1997) that allows riders to negotiate trails with the landowners and managers of the Tokai Forest area.
Volunteers meet on build days – the first Saturday of every month – between 9am and 1pm and invite anyone who is interested to help fix the trails. The intention is that these trails eventually become financially sustainable, and a world-class experience.
As the trails have extended and adapted over the years so Tokai MTB trails have become a destination in their own right; a tourist attraction not only for the local community of mountain bikers, but visitors as well.
The trails combine cross-country riding with downhill trails for all riders – from beginners to professional athletes.
Park at the Arboretum and then ride, any time, Monday to Sunday, sunrise to sunset. Or join a night ride on Tuesday, Wednesdays and Thursdays; out by 10pm.
The network is extensive and divided into:
Green graded trails – easy flowing single track trails with little uphill that are good for beginners of any age; usually short distance
Blue graded trails – for those with green graded trail experience; expect certain obstacles like logs, roots, rocks, a few man-made trail features (with alternative bypasses), steeper climbs and descents
Black graded trails – for expert riders who want the technical trail features, steep and rough terrain and no alternative bypasses. Remember the full Monty – elbow pads, knee pads, helmet.
Download the trails on the Tokai MTB website. And make sure you have a valid permit (get your permit from the Tokai Tourist Office in Tokai Road).
No helmet. No ride.