Upgrading Stellenbosch Mountain Trails
Aim of the fund
The aim of the Stellenbosch Trail Fund is to create, improve and maintain all hiking, biking and running trails in and around Stellenbosch.
Quality trails for all
Stellenbosch is arguably the home of mountainbiking in South Africa. From the first trails in Jonkershoek and Pappegaaiberg in the late 80's the use of mountainbiking as a leisure time activity in the and around the town has grown exponentially. The Stellenbosch Trail fund firmly believes that all our trails should be free for all and open and free for use for everybody. As such our trails are permit free and is kept in the high quality and upkeep through donations and corporate funding.
Why a Stellenbosch Trails Fund?
When the 2011 fires devastated the existing trails in Jonkershoek Nature Reserve, a small group of Stellenbosch individuals initiated this project to restore, maintain and extend the trails across these magnificent mountains. To do so they needed funding, as the reserve’s entrance fee is only used to maintain the main roads and not for the single tracks so loved by the riders, runners and hikers.
Yearly maintenance to repair wear and tear on the trails requires approximately R150 000, with additional funding needed to improve them further. It costs about R2 500 per day to cut trails and R1000 a day for maintenance, therefore, the value of well structured track can’t be underestimated.
The Stellenbosch trails in and around Stellenbosch draw both local and international outdoor enthusiasts and professional athletes, such as previous mountain bike world champion and 2013 Cape Epic Champion, Christoph Sauser, many of whom base themselves in Stellenbosch each Summer to train in the exceptional terrain.
They, therefore, make an extensive contribution to the town’s attraction and inject valuable support for local businesses. Furthermore, the work on these trails provides much needed local skills development and income earning opportunities. The positive impact of the upgraded trails can be reflected in the Jonkershoek visitors statistics, which increased by 64% from 2011 to 2013 to a total of 45 953, not including the annual permit holders.
If you enjoy using the Stellenbosch trails, support the Stellenbosch Trails Fund – big or small, any donations very welcome. You will enjoy the benefits next time you are on the tracks.
Share your trail experience
Seen any bad erosion somewhere or a tree over a trail let us know on our Facebook page. Or upload any cool footage or photos you have of hikes,runs or rides on one of our trails.
© Theunis Stofberg