Untouched landscapes, abundant wildlife and no sight of urbanisation as far as the eye can see … hiking trails in and around George offer the newbie trekker this and much more.
Traffic on the roads is busy this holiday season, and what better way to break up your journey than to explore a few hiking trails? If you find yourself on the Garden Route, here are a few hiking trails in and around George for you and the family to try. We’ve also included a few hikes for the more experienced trekker!
Forest Buzzard hiking trail
This trail is definitely one for the entire family. Winding through the Outeniqua Nature Reserve, you can expect to wander under pine trees and past a small dam to a cascading waterfall that is the perfect resting point. Early on along the Forest Buzzard hiking trail, a few steeper inclines will leave you a bit short of breath, but the general consensus is that this is one of the easier hikes in the region. Free permits are issued on arrival at the start of the trail.
Distance: ± 2.7km
The Ferndale route
Another family favourite is the Ferndale route that runs through the Witfontein Forest. The sight of runners or mountain bikers on this route is a usual occurrence. While walking the route, try to identify different fern species or fynbos dotted here and there. This is the perfect pitstop on a long road trip.
Distance: ± 10km
TV Tower trail
The TV Tower route is another favourite for active families. The hike offers spectacular views of George and the surrounding mountains. The trail is marked well, no permits are required and once you reach the summit you can spend a moment taking in the picturesque scenery. It’s also a good time to lay down a blanket and enjoy a picnic. To get back, follow the same route down.
Distance: ± 5km
Root ‘n Roll
This trail is best for more experienced hikers. It travels around the Saasveld plantation, and you can expect to walk along a jeep track, plantation road and single tracks. The Root ‘n Roll hike should take around five hours, but this may vary depending on your level of experience and how often you stop to marvel at the beautiful surroundings. A stretch of the hike winds along the Garden Route Dam, and the Pepsi Pools en route provide tired feet with cool relief.
Distance: ± 18km
Difficulty: Moderate to difficult
Wilderness to Swartvlei
This hike begins in Wilderness and is accessible via the N2. It’s about a 15-minute drive from George. The route often sees hikers walking along the shoreline of the beach and views of cascading waves are a welcome sight. The Wilderness to Swartvlei hike will take around three to five hours, but this will vary depending on your fitness levels and how often you stop to admire the untouched coastline.
Distance: ± 19km
Getting to George to begin your hiking adventure
We fly to George from Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport; alternatively, you can fly to Cape Town or Port Elizabeth and road-trip with the family to George.