As you pull into the parking area, you can immediately see the level of effort that has been put into the trail park. At the entrance to the park you can find the Trail Café, where you can get light meals, snacks, cold beverages and coffee. There is also an array of bike equipment should you find yourself needing to do some minor emergency bike repairs, like replacing a tube, and don’t worry if you don’t have a bike you can rent one there too.
Just across from the Trail Café is where the magic starts as this is where you can find the pump track, a great flowing never-ending loop system that offers anyone at any skill level hours of fun and a surprisingly good workout.
After cruising around on the pump track for a while, Rob Dormehl the man to thank for this amazing place, came over and introduced himself to the Monster crew. What a legend, one of the friendliest and most down to earth characters you will come by. After chatting to him for a few minutes he offered to show us around and even drive in convoy with us to the top of the trails, to make sure we didn’t get lost.
The drive was great and allowed us to really see all that the park had to offer, although at times the dirt road did prove to be a bit of a handful to navigate and unfortunately one of the potholes claimed the radiator of our van (the same van that we had planned on using to shuttle ourselves whilst on the trip), leaving us “vanless” for the rest of the trip. Again just proving what kind of a guy Rob is, he immediately jumped under the van to take a look at the damage, even though coolant had leaked all over the ground.
After a few tears, we unloaded everything out of the van and into the Monster Energy truck, leaving only our bikes out so we could finally ride the trails. The trail that Rob had taken us to was named Jungle Fever which seemed appropriate given that a whole troop of baboons decided to take a break, from whatever it is baboons get up to, and chill on one of the long tabletops. Standing at the start of Jungle Fever was thrilling as the only thing we knew for certain about the track was that it would be a blast and had us frothing at the mouths.
Jungle Fever turned out to be everything we could have imagined, it’s the main jump line at the trail park, featuring a large double jump, several large tabletops, some short and tricky rollers and some great berms. It’s fast and flows well, allowing even experienced riders to push themselves and have some fun. One thing to take note of though, and I guess this really is the case with all good trails in South Africa, is that at times there are some steep climbs, nothing that’s going to make you feel as though you’re climbing half way up Everest, but just something to take note of, although it’s only fair that one earns all the smiles you’ll be enjoying while bombing down the trails.
Getting back to the Trail Café is great because, not only did you just have a fantastic ride, but you can finish it off with some cold drinks, or even a milkshake if you’re feeling a little wild. Needless to say we opted for the Trail Cafés fantastic tasting Nutella and peanut butter milkshake followed by a few more loops on the pump track.
Overall the Garden Route Trail Park is an amazing place, and one that any mountain biker has to go check out, even if only once. It offers more than 25km’s of clearly marked, well looked after single track that will remind you of why you fell in love with mountain biking. Thanks again for everything Rob, you really are a champion.
Do yourself a favour and plan a trip down there, you will not regret it, we promise!