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The new trails opened to mountain bikers today link the existing Table Mountain trails around Rhodes Memorial to Constantia Nek. This has come about after years of negotiation between SANParks and interested parties.

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To follow the trail, riders need to exit the Table Mountain trails at Rhodes Memorial and follow the M3 bike path towards Newlands Forest. As always, please be aware of pedestrians and dogs as this is a very popular walking and running route. After the entrance to the parking for Newlands Forest, riders need to follow signage and take a right turn up the next road. You will then come to a locked gate: the code for the combination lock is on the back of the signage, it is important to note this.

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ccs-58780-0-81152000-1480596776.jpgRemember that the password for the lock on the gate is on the route signage

From here the trail climbs steadily, and there are some interesting technical sections to keep your climbing (or descending) skills sharp. Before entering Kirstenbosch at the top of the climb, there is a steep downhill which for most will be a portage section.

ccs-58780-0-34944800-1480596777.jpgThere are some interesting rocky climbs in the lower Newlands Forest section
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ccs-58780-0-38246100-1480596778.jpgKeep a sharp look out for dogs and pedestrians
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ccs-58780-0-99742400-1480597035.jpgThe entrance to the portage section before crossing into Kirstenbosch
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Kirstenbosch have put in some serious work to the trails traversing the gardens, there are bridges, the trails are bedded with woodchips, and have a good flow. Be warned however, that there are some very steep sections.

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ccs-58780-0-80340000-1480597433.jpgLuckily some of the steeper climbs are paved

After following the upper jeep track path through Kirstenbosch, you will enter Cecilia Forest on a purpose built trail lined with woodchips. Your legs may be protesting a bit by now, but most of the climbing is done, and the views are absolutely incredible.

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ccs-58780-0-79996000-1480597462.jpgDon't forget to enjoy the view as you enter Cecilia Forest

The final stretch to Constantia Nek is on jeep tracks, commonly used by hikers and dog walkers, so please be aware and considerate, and resist the temptation to bomb too fast around blind corners.

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You have the option of continuing to the Constantia Nek Circle for a coffee a La Parada, or taking a left turn at the fork to head down to the cork tree trails alongside Rhodes Drive, where you can follow the trail all the way to the Cecilia Forest car park or pop over Rhodes Drive at the Southern Cross Drive intersection to connect to the greenbelt network that links to Tokai.

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