Lebanon trails, Grabouw, Western Cape
One of the golden oldies in the mountain biking timeline.
Trail: 7/10 Facilities: 5/10
Lebanon has been a name I’ve heard for years but never had the chance to go, maybe because of its sexier, at least in reputation anyway, neighbours being Paul Cluver and Oak Valley.
Being in the area recently I decided to travel with my bike along and head out for a ride on their Red 26km route.
I arrived at Oak Lane Cottages at dawn and paid my R25 using the honesty box/slot in the wall of the reception, which was easy enough to do and from my point of view a good solution for collecting funds at trail heads where people ride out of normal office time. Plus R25 is very cheap for what you get. Safe parking, toilets and showers, 4 marked trails and amazing scenery. Cheap by anyone’s maths I reckon. You can get a map when the shop is open, but there is a decent map on a sign, which helps you get orientated.
The trail proved to be a good mix of gravel road through fruit orchards and forest, jeep track and single track through forest and fynbos. Recent fires have burnt a lot of the Lebanon hillside but it did not detract from the beauty of the place. Riding along and being able to look up and see stunning mountains, dams, orchards and vineyards is a treat and good for the soul.
Being relatively short at 26km, the manage to squeeze in a lot, with single track just when you wanted it, a downhill when you were a bit tired of climbing, and a long downhill off of Lebanon mountain that was rollercoaster fun with simple technical sections that are easy to deal with.
Signage is often a problem in working forests/farms, and I did have the odd problem finding a sign, at one point having to make an educated guess when there was no sign to be seen. I dont mind being lost on a bike, but this may worry some. If you are that person, it may be good to download the gps tracks before your ride.
I loved my ride at Lebanon and left feeling very happy with life. If that is not what riding is about, I dont know.