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Matjiesfontein to Touws Rivier Off Road


Baracuda
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I am planning a gravel ride across the Karoo and would like to ask if anyone has advice on riding from Matjiesfontein to Touws Rivier without going down the N1?

 

On Google Earth, I can see a path that goes down the side of the railway line. Not sure if anyone has tried this?

 

Thanks for all advice.

 

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The railway line (probably, strictly speaking, illegal) should be interiorly doable. Best part of it is probably west of Touws (read: tunnel). But I seem to recall an east-west dirt road beyond the southern ridgeline; this is likely a fantastic route for a mountain bike (or gravel bike). 

 

Correction: I see the road south of Matjies doesn't go all the way to Touws. But there are farm roads off this route that can reach Touws ... depending on how adventurous you feel. 

Edited by tinmug
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Not sure if cycling is allowed via the Anysberg nature reserve.

 

 

IF SO, then you could ride:

- Matjies to Lainsburg

- turn South, 

- Anysberg reserve

- back up to Touwsriver

 

 

 

We have done this by 4x4, except after Anysberg we went to Montagu.

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I did a small stretch on the N1 from the R46 to Touws River. About 8kms or so. Man it was scary as hell. That was on Wednesday last week I think. Good luck in finding a road. If you do please share it once you have done it as I do a bit of touring around that area and would be keen to ride it. Good luck. Enjoy your journey.

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Not sure if cycling is allowed via the Anysberg nature reserve.

 

 

IF SO, then you could ride:

- Matjies to Lainsburg

- turn South, 

- Anysberg reserve

- back up to Touwsriver

 

 

 

We have done this by 4x4, except after Anysberg we went to Montagu.

I think Anysberg is closed until next year February. That's what I read somewhere.
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Anysberg Reserve was closed when I arrived there but they allowed me to ride through and camp at the closed campsite. No vehicles were involved. Don't know if this is still applicable as it was pre-Covid.  I found the staff there very pleasant and obliging.

Definitely worth a try?

Edited by Sepia
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Anysberg Reserve was closed when I arrived there but they allowed me to ride through and camp at the closed campsite. No vehicles were involved. Don't know if this is still applicable as it was pre-Covid.  I found the staff there very pleasant and obliging.

Definitely worth a try?

I may be wrong but I believe they were closed because there is no water. Definitely on my bucket list.

Is it worth it?

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I am planning a gravel ride across the Karoo and would like to ask if anyone has advice on riding from Matjiesfontein to Touws Rivier without going down the N1?

 

On Google Earth, I can see a path that goes down the side of the railway line. Not sure if anyone has tried this?

 

Thanks for all advice.

Doable along the railway maintenance road. I have done it numerous times, extending N of Laingsburg as well. The Spoornet maintenance workers have never seemed bothered by us. There may be some locked gates, but the wires are totally messed (a bit like the Zim border).

 

One snag though. If ridden at pace, be prepared for some bleeding shins and possibly some bike dents because the railway ballast stone is pretty sharp. At touring speeds, no problem.

 

As an aside, I one day mentioned to my Dad that I had ridden up to Laingsburg, and he showed me my Grandads diary (Moms father), who had been postmaster in Maatjiesfontein during the Boer war, and he had to often go to Laingsburg by bike, which he did along the railway. Pretty sure that the bike was a lot heavier, no tubeless tyres and most likely single speed back then.

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Anysberg Reserve was closed when I arrived there but they allowed me to ride through and camp at the closed campsite. No vehicles were involved. Don't know if this is still applicable as it was pre-Covid.  I found the staff there very pleasant and obliging.

Definitely worth a try?

Thank you to all of you for the replies.

 

Anysberg Reserve would be ideal. I will try call in the morning although I see they closed until at least the end of the year due to the drought. If one can just ride through it, without staying overnight, it would be great.

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Few years ago we did an organised tour via Laingsburg/Matjiesfontein.

 

We did the railway line maintenance road from Laingsburg to Matjiesfontein, not the best of roads and had to climb a few gates/fences but doable. Our organiser did ask permission from the local farmers before using the road as strictly speaking its not open to public. I guess it depends on how adventurous you feel but as others said its not really strictly enforced.

 

From Matjiesfontein we went north over the N1 and then there is a gravel road running roughly parallel to the N1, sure you would be able to find a connection to Touwsriver on that road.

 

If I was planning a tour through the Karoo I would skip Matjiesfontein, take the route south of the N1 Chris mentioned via Anysberg, include the R323 via Vleiland, maybe Seweweekspoort and link up via Prince Albert. Great Karoo mountain scenery and more options for accomodation.

Edited by Skubarra
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I am planning a gravel ride across the Karoo and would like to ask if anyone has advice on riding from Matjiesfontein to Touws Rivier without going down the N1?

 

On Google Earth, I can see a path that goes down the side of the railway line. Not sure if anyone has tried this?

 

Thanks for all advice.

 

Would you mind sharing the gpx route once you have done the trip? 

 

Thanks

 

Tom

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