Updated: Jul 13
Howick is a bit of a spiritual heartland for MTB in KZN, with some of the oldest and most classic trails in the province. It also happens to be our home base.
Trails: 7/10 Facilities: 7/10
“The riding around Howick is definitely a bit more raw and technical than some places, but thats how we like it. In the old days, guys like Ken Pascoe (A model of Pyga is named after him), established some of the early trails that remain classics today.”- Gavin Ryan, trail manager
The wording on their website says raw and unplugged, and that pretty much matches our experience……sort of.
I actually think things are a little more refined now in the Howick Trails. What I found was a variety of trails that offered a range of experiences but all had that fantastic, riding through the trees feeling that the area has become known for.
Its hard to beet screaming through pine and wattle tress on a ribbon of single track stretching out in front of your wheel.
For the last while, Howick has been looked after Gavin Ryan and he and his small team have done a great job keeping the trails in good condition while not losing that slightly more demanding edge.
One of their challenges is the fact that their trails run through active plantations, and during our visit there were some sections of trail that we could not enjoy, but honestly, there are so many trails that riding them all in 2 days would be a stretch anyway, so its hardly a problem.
Perhaps the biggest challenge on the Howick network is stringing a loop together. We had to use the Trailforks app, which is great by the way, to link sections of trail together and find our way around. Its not an issue if you get to know the place, but first timers may struggle with this. Don't let this put you off. The exploring is worth it.
During our filming trip we stayed at an awesome self catering spot called 11Karkloof, which sits slap bang between these two trail networks, giving you door to trail access. We highly recommend staying with them. www.11karkloof.co.za
With so much to do in the area, including great little restaurants, craft breweries and coffee roasters, whats not to like?? What are you waiting for? Go book a weekend with your mates already!!!
For more info, check out their website for trail access and fees. R50 bucks gets you a day pass.
We would also like to recognise Sappi and the huge contribution they make to Mountain Biking in the area and allowing us to use their land to do what we love.