The Outeniqua Nature Reserve at Witfontein just to the north of George in the Western Cape, is a protected area encompassing about 38 000 ha of mountain habitat between the coastal areas and the Little Karoo.

The lovely Outeniqua Mountains just outside George in the Western Cape

The lovely Outeniqua Mountains just outside George in the Western Cape

And the mountains are not insignificant – George Peak rises some 1337m above sea level, just 13km away, and Cradock Peak, the highest in the Outeniqua range, eclipses that at 1578m. Snow occurs sometimes on the high peaks in winter so it can get pretty cold but, in the warm summers, temperatures average out at a lovely 25°C. In spring (September and October) the landscapes are transformed into flower gardens as the proteas and ericas start to bloom, attracting sugarbirds and sunbirds to feast on their nectar. Far above black eagles and other raptors swoop about as they enjoy the thermals.

eBiking (mountain biking) at Witfontein, part of the Outeniqua Nature Reserve, is always a pleasure.

eBiking (mountain biking) at Witfontein, part of the Outeniqua Nature Reserve, is always a pleasure.

But it’s the lower slopes that are of most interest to mountain bikers and ebikers. In amongst the Witfontein pine plantations, the Hillbillies Mountain Bike Club has set out a myriad of single track paths, while the forestry roads and tracks are suitable for those preferring a less technical ride. We often cycle to Ground Zero Bike Park (there is plenty of safe parking) and then onwards up into the plantations. On occasion when we are looking for a more substantial climb we carry on up to the FM Radio mast. It’s a fairly benign ride, the only challenges being a couple of reasonable climbs and a few rock sections, although nothing to really be concerned about.

The GPX track below is a basic 15km loop that can be extended, crossed on single track and done in reverse to double the length. It’s a very convenient place to ride but one does need to consider other trail users – runners, hikers and those just out for an evening stroll with the dogs.

Check out more of our mountain biking photographs.


While not all the mushrooms are, riding at Witfontein certainly is magic!

While not all the mushrooms are, riding at Witfontein certainly is magic!

Route Distance: 15Km but there are lots of options to add distance – both single track and forestry roads.

Route Conditions: The forestry roads are pretty good on the whole – there are a few puddles to cross from time to time and a few gravel/rough climbs but nothing to worry about. The Hillbillies do an excellent job of looking after the single tracks.

Ground Zero Bike Park: S33° 56.808' E22° 27.442'

Download the Witfontein GPX Track