Awesome adventure trails on your doorstep

Local vibe

Awesome adventure trails on your doorstep

MTB enthusiasts making memorable rides in the saddle!
Tracy Mashinge-Jeche

Pic by Tracy Mashinge-Jeche

If you look at the MTB scene in and around Buffalo City, it’s hotting up and you don’t need to be hard core to enjoy the thrills and spills of these outdoor trails. We’re surrounded by exceptional mountain bike trails that combine amazing scenery and offer a good dose of obstacles. Whilst am not a biker, chatting with three local MTB enthusiasts made me see how time in the saddle can be a mind-blowing experience. 

3 Silos

Spectacular adventure trail

No matter the season of the year, staying cooped up is never ideal; as humans we must never hibernate.

Going for a nature walk, looking for animal tracks, trees and birds will definitely work off those body blues.

Fortunately for Buffalo City residents, the N6 has two of the most spectacular MTB Adventure trails where individuals and families can experience new avenues of adventure and fun, all in complete safety and only a few minutes from the circle at Merrifield College.

Three years ago, very keen mountain biker, Mark Oberem hand-built trails and continues to develop them with the help of “our very own resident expert” trail builder, Jason Peach at 3 Silos.

The attractive area offers trails set in a 1 200 acres picturesque game farm environment with continuously changing terrain and vegetation which keeps the experience exciting for all, whether riders, runners or walkers.  

3 Silos has four MTB Adventure trails, namely: the Green trail with a 2km, 4km and 7,5km option and includes a popular 80-metre long floating Pallet Bridge. There is also the Yellow trail which is 10,7km while the Blue trail is 18,5km long and the Red trail covers 21,5km.

“Everyone in the family can come and enjoy the trails,” says Oberem. “The 2km is fun for the little ones. “

“It has become a fantastic family destination and has grown into something a lot bigger than we anticipated”, said co-owner Oberem. 

The trails are open 24/7 and they operate on an honesty box system.   3 Silos is also pleased to host its own parkrun which started in December 2015 and takes place every Saturday morning hosting more than 350 runners. Opening the 3 Silos Café was a great initiative as walkers, trail runners and mountain bikers can grab a delicious meal and a cup of coffee or refreshing drink afterwards.

“The parkrun really boosts the café,” says co-owner Lorraine Clark-Miller, Mark’s sister.

“We offer an open menu as we have discovered that families don’t like being restricted to buffets.

“We have completed our mountain bike cross country trail and have just hosted the Eastern Cape Cross County Mountain Bike Provincial Champs.”

With stream crossings, indigenous forest, birdlife, game and floating bridges and just a few minutes  from the hustle and bustle of the city, 3 Silos creates sheer bliss and is a great family destination for physical activity,  with the promise of a scrumptious meal afterwards

Getting there

Get yourself to “The Merrifield Circle”.  Take the N6 toward Stutterheim. Follow the N6 for 8,5km - then you will turn left just after the boat shop. At the T-junction turn right, and then turn left onto Smythelands Road. 400m down this road you will see the big 3 Silos sign on your left. Go into the gravel driveway, and the parking area and trail start is about 300m down the road.

Terrain          

•          Superbly hand crafted single track

•          Massive climb at 7km

•          Stiles, drops, stream crossings, switchbacks, climbs and descents

•          A generous dollop of hard grunt.

Distance        

•          Green trail - 2km, 4km and 7,5km

•          Yellow trail -  10,7km

•          Blue trail - 18,5km

•          Red trail - 21,5km

Vegetation     

Amid eucalyptus plantations, densely wooded valleys, savannah grassland and indigenous riverine forest.

Technical Difficulty

Tight bends, a few bridges (even some floating ones!), nothing crazy. Beginner friendly.

 

For more information contact 3 Silos on

3siloscafe@gmail.com or 076-178-4696

 

Hillview

A breath of country fresh

Have you felt like ditching the pavement and heading into the country because you’re tired of the claustrophobic nature of city life? 

Well l have, and visiting Hillview made me see the endless opportunities to be explored by trail running and mountain biking enthusiasts.

Trail running and mountain biking have grown in popularity in recent years and the country offers a way to escape the city and enjoy open spaces and fresh air. Whether one is planning to train or to enjoy the outdoors, slow run with friends or jog alone, Hillview is the ideal place for that.

Owner Bradley Schwartz was proud to show the Buffalo City 360 team around his farm and trails.

“Our official opening was on 5 December 2015 and the trails are up and running. People are coming in and enjoying the trails already. The full package is trail running, mountain biking, picnicking and bass fishing,” says Schwartz.

Hillview trails consist of the 2,8km kiddies/novice loop, the 8,25km for the adventurous and the 15,6km for pushing the boundaries. The trails are open 24/7 and also operate on an honesty box system. For R10 per person on weekdays and R20 on weekends,  participants can enjoy green flora, bird life, fishing along with awesome hill views.

“As part of future plans and upcoming developments l would love to build a kiddies area, introduce push bikes, swings and hopefully an eatery. So far individuals and groups come for the trails. Everything will be up and running for families to come and enjoy the outdoors soon,”  said Schwartz.

 Try a new trail you haven’t tried before and enjoy some time outdoors conquering the routes or relaxing. 

With continuous modifications and improvements, the trails constantly present a new, fresh challenge ensuring that regulars have as much, if not more, fun than first time visitors to the trails.

The turn-off to the left to get to Hillview is on Dew Point Road, about 10km from the Merrifield Circle, thereafter follow the signboards.  Go past the Hillview Farm on the right, down a small hill and into the trail parking area.

So adventurers: Take advantage of the environment that the N6 route provides and even if it means bundling up on a cool winter day or staying cool on a lovely warm day, get outside and play!

 

Getting there

Drive 10km from Merrifield traffic circle. Turn left on Dew Point Road. Take first road right (you’ll see our sign board). Drive 3,6km along the gravel road past Mel’s Fun Farm, go over the causeway, up the hill. Our actual farm is on the top at the right; however go past it, down a small hill and turn right into parking area

Terrain          

•          Climbs and descents

•          Single Track

•          Drop-ins

Distance        

•          Kiddies/novice loop - 2.8km

•          For the adventurous - 8,25km

•          Boundary pusher - 15,6km

Vegetation     

Lots of flora and fauna, bird life, dam, savannah grassland and indigenous riverine forest.

Technical Difficulty

Great for beginners, intermediate and expert bikers

For more info on Hillview contact

bradleyschwartz@ymail.com or 082-652-4330 

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