Run, Hike, Bike

The trails at De Hoop Nature Reserve will unlock much more than your online  app rewards this season, with 5 unique trails to choose from, ranging from a leisurely 12km, to a more challenging 55km route for the truly experienced – there is something for everyone.

Check out the trails

Discover Unlimited Beauty

Positioned on the Western Cape’s coastline and extending an almighty 340 square kilometres, De Hoop is one of the largest areas managed by Cape Nature, and one of few parks to boast such a large diversity in marine and land animals, birdlife and vegetation!

Stretch your legs and explore this incredibly diverse landscape up close, and all it has to offer.

Home to epic events such as De Hoop Vlei MTB Stage Race & Whale Of Trail, you now get to explore this incredible landscape at your leisure.

Whether you choose to RUN, HIKE, or BIKE, let us take a closer look at what is on offer. 


Trail 1 - The Dassie 12km

Distance: 12km

Elevation: 110m

 Sightings: Water Birds & Large Game

First up, a 12km circular route that follows some rocky terrain to the southern end of the vlei (hello birders!) and back. Expect some short up and downhill stretches. This trail runs through an area that was burnt in 2006. Larger mammals such as Bontebok, Eland and Grey Rhebuck are often seen in or near depressions in the landscape where they graze. Ostrich is also common. Bring your camera for this one, there are some great views.

Good to Know! In times of high water, parts of the trail may be flooded and not negotiable. The abandoned house, half way through the trail is a study site for honey bees. Do not approach or enter!

Trail 2 - The Fynbos Trail 13km

Distance: 13 Km

Sightings: Rare Fynbos, Birds, Cape Mountain Zebra

The start and end of this trail runs along the same route. It’s a fairly rocky option with a long gradual uphill in the circular section, but easy downhill coming back. A detour of 2,6 km can be made to Tierhoek Picnic Site at the edge of the vlei for some relaxation and birding.

The fynbos vegetation along this 13km route is very unique, and quite rare. The plants here grow on Limestone and include species such as Protea obtusifo/ia (red cup-shaped flowers in winter) and Leucadendron murii (medium­ sized bushes with large whitish grey cones). Birders can keep their eyes peeled for Cape Sugarbirds and Orange-breasted Sunbirds – both endemic to Fynbos are also common in winter. Cape Mountain Zebra and Baboon can sometimes be seen along the route.

Trail 3 - The Eland 18km

Distance: 18km or 27km ( Koppie Alleen loop)

Elevation: 150m or 260m ( Koppie Alleen loop)

Sightings: Large Game and Whales in season

Note routes 3 & 4 require a high level of technical skill. Both these routes are very rocky.

After leaving the main road this path winds its way through open grazing fields – great for spotting game such as Eland, Bontebok, Cape Mountain Zebra, Grey Rhebuck, Baboon and Ostrich; thick stands of Cape reeds and rocky terrain. There are no notable long up or downhills. A detour of 8 km can be made to Koppie Alleen at the coast. This detour runs parallel to pure white sand dunes and the coastline offers spectacular views of Southern Right Whale (July – November) as well as beautiful rock pools and sandy beaches. (Yes, remember we said pack the camera!)

Trail 4 - Spyhopper Trail 30km

Distance: 30 Km – can be extended to a 45km (includes sandy track)
Sightings: Large Game, Whales in season

Note routes 3 & 4 require a high level of technical skill. Both these routes are very rocky.

This 30km route is recommended for experienced athletes. Due to the remoteness, terrain and distance, please take time to prepare yourself for the trail.

Keen and experienced athletes can look forward to a challenging route with rocky sections that require a certain amount of technical skill. Undulating vegetated dune fields approaching the coast provide a stiff challenge – along with some spectacular sweeping views of the ocean and dunes towards the latter part of the course. After the hard work, the picnic area at Koppie Alleen offers a welcome rest, an opportunity for some whale watching in season, and a chance to replenish your drinking water or go for a swim.

Trail 5 - Flatrock 55km

Distance: 55km

Elevation: 900m

Do not be fooled by the name.

“Johan Kriegler (W2W founder) and the Cape Trails team establishing a brand-spanking new track to the north of the Vlei, going all the way up to Buchu Camp, cutting out any need to ride on the main tar road. Once you reach the top of “FlatRock” single track, the burn in the legs quickly fades away as you take in the best views of the De Hoop Collection: To the South, a full view of the entire Vlei and towering sand dunes that roll towards the deep blue sea; to the East, unparalleled and unspoilt sunrises over the Potberg area; and to the West, across the historical Melkkamer and open flood plains that stretch as far as the eye can see towards Arniston and Struisbaai.  Throw some of the plentiful local wildlife in there – including Eland, Bontebok, ostriches, zebras and too many bird species to mention” – De Hoop Vlei MTB


These unique trails are available all year round for you to explore, train and enjoy at your leisure.

Gather a group of friends, training partners or your local trail group and package your own outdoor adventure.

Accommodation Options:

We offer a variety of accommodation options from campsites to suites, as well as the opportunity to book your group into our Melkkamer Manor – ideal for private groups, on the oppposite side of the Vlei where you can opt for us to cater for you or enjoy your own self catering options.

Own Risk:

Please take all necessary precautions to ensure you are fit and able to partake in any of these activities, as you would any of your self arranged training runs or rides.

These trails are used at your own risk, they are not marshalled. Should you wish for us to arrange a guide for you , please let us know at time of booking.

Are you interested in MTB Tours & Training Camps. Take a look at De Hoop Vlei MTB.

Come train in the one of the most beautiful locations in the Western Cape, De Hoop Nature Reserve. Whether you are putting in base miles or sharpening your skills for a big event De Hoop’s plethora of tracks, trails and long district gravel roads feature everything you’ll need to take your mountain biking to the next level. Plus you’ll get to enjoy the fantastic hospitality of the De Hoop Collection while you’re not riding, ensuring you’re well rested and nourished to perform to your best during each training session. Drawing on the vast knowledge of Lance Stephenson, one of South Africa’s few UCI accredited cycling coaches, the De Hoop MTB Training Camps will feature programmes designed using the latest sport science research principals.

What are you waiting for?

The trails are calling


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