Yup, we love to ride

Cycling is a great way to explore the treasures of Hessequa along the backroads. Excellent dirt roads connect the towns on the mountain side and along the coast with one another and make for a great alternative to explore Hessequa. The silence, scenery and new discoveries are all worth the pedaling! There are fun roads for the whole family with more challenging single track in the forests for those seeking the best descents and more of a challenge!

Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve

Visitors are welcome to head off on mountain bikes to explore the reserve. Cycling groups are restricted to 12 people and cyclists must keep to the well-marked routes. Please note that there are no bikes available for hire and visitors will need to bring their own. Permits can be bought at the reserve office (R30 per day).

Grootvadersbosch Conservancy Trail Network

The farms surrounding The Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve boosts more than 100 km of purpose built single track. There are easy gravel road rides to challenging sections, all marked and properly maintained.  Permits available for R50 a day. Click here for more details and a map of the routes.

Sleeping Beauty’s secrets

The network of dirt roads around the town of Riversdale is well known as training grounds for local riders in preparation for races in the Western Cape. For visitors the roads through indigenous fynbos and cultivated forestry provide an excellent platform to explore off the beaten path. Get up close and personal to the agricultural experiences, various bird species, local flora and the natural beauty of the area.

Around Riversdale

Here are some unmarked, unofficial training routes to get you started:

Two easy, circular gravel roads for the whole family: 17.3 km / 27.8 km

These are longer (popular training routes for the annual Al-2-Hez race): 44 km route  /  91 km route 

And, vaious  routes on Oudebosch Guest Farm: 20 km / 44 km / 84 km


Trails conditions can change rapidly due to natural causes (e.g. fallen trees, land slides, flooding, etc). Unmarked trails can lead to remote areas further in the backcountry where there is a risk of getting lost. There is inherent risk associated with mountain biking and in the case of injury, the farther you are away from medical help the greater the danger of serious life threatening consequences.

Always be prepared and be sure your bike is in good working condition. Carry appropraite bike tools, first aid kit, water, snacks, clothing, area map, and cell phone. Handheld GPS devices are becoming more commonly used for navigating the backcountry and strongly recommended for unfamiliar terrain in remote areas. Know your abilitiy and ride within it. Ideally, ride with a companion of similar ability and let others know the trail or area where you plan to ride.

Rules of the Trail

IMBA developed the “Rules of the Trail” to promote responsible and courteous conduct on shared-use trails. Keep in mind that conventions for yielding and passing may vary in different locations, or with traffic conditions.

Ride Open Trails: Respect trail and road closures — ask a land manager for clarification if you are uncertain about the status of a trail. Do not trespass on private land. Obtain permits or other authorization as required. Be aware that bicycles are not permitted in areas protected as state or federal Wilderness.

Leave No Trace: Be sensitive to the dirt beneath you. Wet and muddy trails are more vulnerable to damage than dry ones. When the trail is soft, consider other riding options. This also means staying on existing trails and not creating new ones. Don’t cut switchbacks. Be sure to pack out at least as much as you pack in.

Control Your Bicycle: Inattention for even a moment could put yourself and others at risk. Obey all bicycle speed regulations and recommendations, and ride within your limits.

Yield Appropriately: Do your utmost to let your fellow trail users know you’re coming — a friendly greeting or bell ring are good methods. Try to anticipate other trail users as you ride around corners. Bicyclists should yield to other non-motorized trail users, unless the trail is clearly signed for bike-only travel. Bicyclists traveling downhill should yield to ones headed uphill, unless the trail is clearly signed for one-way or downhill-only traffic. In general, strive to make each pass a safe and courteous one.

Never Scare Animals: Animals are easily startled by an unannounced approach, a sudden movement or a loud noise. Give animals enough room and time to adjust to you. When passing horses, use special care and follow directions from the horseback riders (ask if uncertain). Running cattle and disturbing wildlife are serious offenses.

Plan Ahead: Know your equipment, your ability and the area in which you are riding and prepare accordingly. Strive to be self-sufficient: keep your equipment in good repair and carry necessary supplies for changes in weather or other conditions. Always wear a helmet and appropriate safety gear.

Related Links

Grootvadersbosch Trail


Cape Nature


Stilbaai Tourism Bureau


Honeywood Farm


AMA Rider


Grootvadersbosch Conservancy