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Mountain bike enthusiasts can select from five starting points with trails to suite varying fitness and skills levels. Neethlingshof offers a 20km (405m elevation) as well as 36km (998m elevation) route that will include various new single track sections. Fort Simon is the 36km route starting from the opposite end with a challenging 998m elevation, while Bellevue is ideal for novices with mostly jeep track and only 277m elevation.  The Jordan route has been extended and now features a lovely new piece of single track designed and built by Conrad Stoltz, former triathlon world champion.

The Bottelary Hills MTB Trails were opened by the Bottelary Hills Conservancy in April 2011 and allow controlled access to the conservancy via dedicated routes. The rolling hillsides feature vineyards, farmland, conservation areas and trails comprise of farm roads, jeep tracks and numerous single tracks. While never too technical, there are challenging climbs and a variety of distances on offer for riders of all fitness levels.

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To ensure that these routes continue to offer exciting new mountain bike experiences to riders, the BHRC has invested R150 000 in new trail developments this year.  Trail-Blazers planned, designed and built the original trails and have played an integral part in trail maintenance and route developments over the past decade.  In addition, they make a significant investment in community development through the employment of local youths.  Not only have they generated 200 man days in the past six weeks, but also transferred valuable skills to the team.

Conrad Stoltz was commissioned to build the new 1.2km Jordan single track.  Riders can look forward to a flowy single track in natural terrain with unique granite dome rides that is suitable for all levels of riders.  On completion of his first project in collaboration with the Bottelary Hills Renosterveld Conservancy, Stoltz stated that views of the ocean, mountains and vineyards will take your breath away, (if the climb doesn’t). Additional single track sections were also completed by Trail-Blazers and the owners of Jordan.  “Nature lovers will appreciate the Renosterveld with its abundant wildlife. An eagle soaring on the breeze, sharing the trail with duiker and, if you're lucky, you may spot the caracal and its cub stepping into the brush. The location and its people are fantastic and made this one of my favourite builds. Hopefully it brings pleasure to riders for many years to come,” concluded Stoltz.

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The new single track section on Wolwedans Vineyards offers spectacular views, while the new single track from Fort Simon is ideal for those looking for a challenge. Alternatively, Bellevue will ease new riders into the trails.

If you are keen to explore the trails throughout the year, you can purchase an annual permit online or obtain a day permit from various park and ride starting points at R70.

The BHRC is a registered non-profit organisation (063-324-NPO) that forms part of the Cape Winelands Biosphere Reserve. The core focus of the BHRC is to maintain, expand and sustain the large tracts of remaining Renosterveld in the area - less than 4% of the original Renosterveld in the Western Cape remains.  Funds generated through annual and day permits as well as events are used mainly to subsidize alien vegetation eradication. In addition, dedicated community programmes and projects address the socio-economic challenges of the people living and working on the farms within the BHRC.   

For more information on day and annual permits visit www.bottelaryconservancy.co.za and for event entries www.entryninja.com.