Walking on the Wine Side: Franschhoek Hiking Trails
Posted on the May 30th, 2014
You may be forgiven for forsaking your best attempts at moderation when it comes to food and wine in Franschhoek, but don’t despair if your willpower takes a beating while visiting here. Take an amble along one of the Franschhoek hiking trails and burn off those unwanted extra kilojoules.
Walking is one of the most popular pastimes in the breath-taking surroundings of the Franschhoek Valley and there are four main trails available to try out.
Cats Pass Trail is located in the Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve and is a 10.5 km extravaganza of gorgeous scenery, steep ascents and historic points of interest. The first 2.5 kilometres take you up the Cat’s Pass to the summit of Mont Rochelle but it’s all downhill from there. Along the route, you will enjoy unforgettable vistas of the Franschhoek Valley and the fynbos reserve, with its proteas, pincushions, Ericas, bulbs and restios. You will also pass by Muller’s Bridge, Jan Joubergat Bridge, the Cat’s Toll House and the old outspan, where travellers and their oxen took a break all those years ago. Cat’s Pass Trail has been in use since 1819.
Dutoitskop Trail climbs 700 m from the Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve office, on Franschhoek Pass, to the summit of Dutoitskop. You can expect riveting views of the Franschhoek Valley and Wemmershoek Mountains when you reach the top. A beautiful assortment of fynbos lines this 12 km route, which is moderately difficult but well worth the effort.
The La Motte Hiking Trail starts and ends at the La Motte Tasting room and meanders for 5km up the mountain and back, though luxuriant fynbos, past a protea garden and vineyards. Many birds, small mammals and reptiles are often seen on this trail.
Perdekop Hiking Trail is the longest trail available at Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve and will take you up to the Wemmershoek Peak lookout point and the summit of Perdekop. The steep climb is more than made up for by the glorious views from the top and the lovely fynbos and abundance of birds along this 15km route.