Hikes, Walks & Trails
Day hikes and overnight trails for everyone, from old and youth, to the fit and physically disabled.
Outeniqua Trail (7 days)
This spectacular trail can be conquered as a series of day walks or over a full seven day period, starting at Beervlei in the upper reaches of the Park and ending at Harkerville in the East between Knysna and Plettenberg Bay.
This trail carves its way in the cool shade of undulating indigenous forest with rustic huts, a stop-over, for those endeavoring the seven day trek, or as an alternative starting point for those day walkers relative to the level of challenge you desire. The overnight cabins are regularly stocked with firewood. Water and rudimentary bedding are supplied to complete that outdoor experience.
As darkness falls, the once blue sky, through pockets of forest, fynbos and different vegetation types during the day; now exposes a brilliant black sky pitted with billions of stars, buffered with the sounds of surrounding nocturnal activity. Perfect whether you are a stargazing astrologist, star-crossed lovers just seeking a romantic getaway or simply bonding with friends.
For those who have love for the sea, this trail makes its way down to the coast where beautiful rock formations may be explored, photographs taken or picnics enjoyed. Sea caves are often visible along this portion of the trail and tell of the sheer landscaping power of the Indian Ocean.This trail offers an unforgettable experience sure to leave walkers reeling with euphoria.
Permits can be obtained from the Knysna Regional office on Thesen’s Island.
Brown-hooded Kingfisher Trail (5km – 3 hours)
Greeted by lush dense overhangs of thicket this trail is a jewel for bird watchers and aspiring botanists alike. A 2.5km walk, ends at a waterfall, a walk which playfully snakes through the Duiwe River valley and crosses the Duiwe River five times along its length. The trail lends itself to picnickers, at various points sheer-faced cliffs can be viewed or in the shade of the forest trees whilst you enjoy the beautiful surroundings.
The Knysna Turaco and sometimes the African Fish Eagle frequents the large trees of this peaceful valley and if you’re quiet enough, you may just get to marvel at this regal predator from close-up.
Duration: A 3 hour linear route totals 5km (2.5km each way) is sure to leave you visually, breathless.
Half-collared & Giant Kingfisher Trail (7km – 3.5 hours)
This trail is within walking distance of the EBB & FLOW Rest Camp. An immense wall of green punctured only by a human sized opening welcomes walkers into this cathedral of mature forest. The most popular trail in the Wilderness region it has many picnic points and lays nestled not more than 15 meters from the riverbank and may be accessed by canoe or foot, both promising a unique experience of this exquisite ecosystem.
The Half-collared crosses the Touw River by means of a pontoon to join the Giant Kingfisher trail. Trees are appropriately numbered to facilitate tree spotters in finding their favourite trees. Mostly shaded by ancient giant trees, walkers can relax as they walk comfortably on the trail to its heart boasting a magnificent waterfall where, again, picnics may be had.
Many birds especially the well-known Half-collared and Giant Kingfisher, Knysna Turaco, Fish Eagle and Black-headed Oriole may be seen. Bushbuck is also known to make graceful appearances stunning walkers with their beauty.
Duration: A 3 to 3.5 hour linear route totaling 7km to the end and back guarantees a benevolent experience.
Bosduif Loop (1 hour)
The Bosduif loop is a short challenging trail; it is an elevated artery branching from the Half-collared Kingfisher trail. This trail climbs sharply along the hillside into the forest where the vegetation changes slightly into ghostly drapes of lichens and mosses.
In total the Bosduif is unique for the short hour it takes to complete and hikers will be breathless due to its astounding beauty and steep trajectory.
Duration: 1 hour, challenging walk upward to the top of a forested valley with stunning, sunlit views of the Wilderness Lakes looking eastward over Rondevlei in a humid haze.
Cape Dune Mole-Rat Trail
There are several options on this trail: there is a 6km loop and a 3km loop which overlaps.
A beautiful, scenic trail traversing through a few different vegetation types. The sandy trail is soft under foot in some places. Portions of the trail overlook Rondevlei and Swartvlei lake.
Be sure to take liquid refreshments along on this trail.
Millwood Overnight Trail (2 days – 30.5km)
Part of the Outeniqua Hiking trail. This is a 15.5km section which can be walked as a 2 day hike to Millwood Hut from Goudveld entrance Kiosk and 15km back the second day.
Woodville Big Tree Circular Walk (45 min)
Take a short +/- 13m drive from Ebb-and-Flow Rest Camp to experience an easy 45 minute walk through lush indigenous forest which starts and finishes at an 810 year old Yellowwood Tree.
Harkerville Coastal Trail (20km)
The Harkerville Hiking Trail is not an easy route and caters for the moderately fit hikers, who have some degree of physical fitness and rock climbing ability.
The route kicks off on familiar territory for the first 7.5km, where it joins the old red route section towards the Sinclair hut. From Sinclair hut it continues to Witrivier (11km) where it is diverted onto the green and red route jeep track and finally links up with the original route at Kranshoek Picnic area. From there it follows the original route through the forest to the Harkerville office.
Hikers are treated to a spectacular view of the Indian Ocean between Sinclair hut and the Kranshoek Picnic area, as well as at the viewpoint at Kleineiland.
Due to damage caused by the recent fires, to vegetation and infrastructure, the coastal section of the Harkerville Trail is temporary closed. Maintenance work is currently underway in order to get the trail ready for use again. The coastal section has been re-routed along the coastal ridge to ensure spectacular view over the Indian Ocean. See map of the re-routed trial below.
Regarding the availability of water:
- Water is available from the nearby streams more or less half way on both days, but it is seasonal and can dry up during long periods of no rain.
- Most rivers and streams in the Garden Route drain through fynbos vegetation therefore the water is brownish in colour, but is drinkable.
The trail can be closed at short notice for safety reasons and especially during floods, fires and extremely high seas.
Please be reminded to always take the necessary equipment, food, water and emergency numbers with when doing this trail.
Perdekop Trail (9.5km)
This circular trail starts from the Harkerville forestry station and follows an easy path along a circular route back to the station. Sections of the walk are shared with the Hakerville Coastal Hiking Trail.Green flag accredited hike by the Hiking Organisation of Southern Africa (HOSA).
- GPS Waypoints: S34 02.848 E23 13.851
Elephant Trail (18km)
All three trails add up to just over 18km. Green flag accredited hike by the Hiking Organisation of Southern Africa (HOSA).
- Black: 9km; easy circular route; starts at the Diepwalle office
- White: 8km from forest station or 6.5km from Diepwalle picnic site; easy circular route
- Red: 7km; moderate circular route; starts in Diepwalle close to the office
- GPS Waypoints: S33 56.909 E23 09.434
Terblanche Trail (6.5km)
Also known as Wandelpad, this circular route starts and ends at the Grootdraai picnic site, ideal for a picnic before or after the hike.From the Grootdraai picnic site the trail heads in to the forest sharing the path with the Outeniqua overnight trail so be sure to keep right at the fork shortly after the start.
- GPS Waypoints: S33 56.716 E23 03.244
Kranshoek Trail (9km)
This circular route starts at the Kranshoek picnic site at the top of a tall waterfall, then winds it’s way through the forest down into the gorge through which the waterfall’s stream flows. It follows this stream towards the coast and then leads along the coast before going up the slopes to the plateau and back to the picnic site via the Kranshoek viewpoint.
- GPS Waypoints: S34 04.702 E23 13.672
Flora Trail (1km)
The educational walk starts in the Kranshoek picnic site. Check info boards for a flora guide of the trail.
- GPS Waypoints: S34 04.696 E23 13.671
Garden of Eden (800m)
Otter Trail (42km – 5 days)
This is a five (5) day hiking trail which starts at the Storms River Mouth rest camp and ends at the small resort village of Natures Valley in the de Vasselot section of the park. The total distance for the trail is 42km and has six (6) escape routes which have forest huts for resting. This trail hugs the Tsitsikamma coast closely to the pounding surf and zigzags where the coastal plateau rises to elevation of 200m and cliffs drops steeply into the sea.
Dolphin Trail (17km – 2 days)
This unique, guided, luxury hiking experience is a 2 day spectacular trial on the Tsitsikamma coast. Have luggage portaged and spend each evening in comfort of three different 4- and 5-star luxury accommodation. Point of departure is from Storms River Mouth Rest Camp at the Restaurant to fernery at Forest Ferns. This is made possible by a partnership between the Tsitsikamma National park, Forest Ferns and Misty mountains. The result of this is a hiking experience that will both challenge and pamper you.
It covers a distance of 17km, starting at Storms river mouth and moving east through natural fynbos and indigenous, ending on the banks of the Sanddrift River at forest ferns. This includes all meals, guides, 4×4 drive through old Storms River pass and transportation of luggage.
Other activities include spotting whales, dolphins and otters, bird watching, swimming and snorkeling.
Witelspeak Captain Harrison Trail (9km – 4 hours)
The Witelspeak Captain Harrison Trail is a circular route going in the direction of the Humansdorp turnoff. This route takes you through natural forests, streams and ferns, starts and end at the Witelsbos state forest. There is also a picnic and braai area on the route.
The duration is 1 day or 4 hours, distance being 9km.
Cadeau Hiking Trails
The Cadeau Hiking Trails are situated in the Witelsbos region and it includes two trails:
- The Elands River Trail is a very challenging one day trail. It takes up to 5 hours and the distance is 5,9km.
- The Bloubaai Trail is 5.2km long and takes up to 6 hours to walk.
Both trails offer views of the shoreline since it is situated along the coast.
Salt River via the Keurpad Route (15.1km)
Please note that the trail is closed due to recent floods in the Nature’s Valley area.
The trail starts opposite to the De Vassselot Camp site and follows the Kalanderkloof trail. The trail is 15.1km.
Grootriver Trail (6km)
The trail starts at the entrance of the De Vassselot Camp to the Grootriver Bridge. It is 6km.
Stinkhoutkloof Nature Walk (8km)
The walk starts and ends at Bloukrans Forest station. It is 8km and traverses through the natural forest and the plantation.
This trail traverses to the forest and has three escape routes which are colour coded. There is the yellow coded which is 1.4km, green coded which is 1.3km and there is the blue coded which is 3.1km. The green and the blue coded routes starts from the Tsitsikamma Khoisan Village and the yellow starts and ends at the Rugbos picnic site on the Bloukrans pass.
Goesa Nature Walk (2km)
Starts and ends at the Storms river Forestry office at Stormsriver. It is a 2km walk through indigenous forest.
The trail is divided into three routes. The green route is 1km long on it you follow a boardwalk through indigenous forest to the Big Tree. The yellow route is 2.6km, and the red route is 4.2km.
Plaatbos Nature Walks
Consists of three walks, the yellow route is 8,09km, the red route is 7,78km, and the green route is 5,09km. All three routes start at the Forestry office in Storms river village. On the yellow route you can have a picnic and a swim in the storms river at the old bridge picnic site.
The walks are relatively easy.
Blue Duiker Trail (3,7km – 2 hours)
This trail is a slightly longer version of the Lourie Trail and will take you into the heart of the forest. There you will discover the true forest giants, of which the Outeniqua Yellowood is surely the most imposing.
The trail ends at the beginning of the famous Otter Trail and is 3.7km long. It follows a circular route and ends at the Occeanettes.
Loerie Trail (1km – 1 hour)
This is a 1km walk through the forest and is relatively easy, taking 1 hour to complete. It is a must for those people who have never experienced the splendour of the indigenous forest.
The Lourie trail emerges onto plateau at the Agulhas lookout point, after a brief uphill climb. The trail then passes through a short section of fynbos, before continuing through the spectacular coastal forest.
Waterfall Trail (6km – 3 hours)
The Waterfall Trail comprises the first 3km of the world-renowned Otter Trail. At the end of the 3km stretch along the rugged coastline, the spectacular waterfall, plunging into a deep pool, before flowing into the sea, will enchant you.
We suggest that you make a day of it and take along your bathing costume and a picnic meal.
This trail will take you approximately 1½ hours to walk to the waterfall and 1½ hours back. This trail is fairly strenuous and caution must be taken at high tides.
Mouth Trail (2km – 1 hour)
Starts at Sandy Bay (next to the restaurant) and takes one along a winding board walk through indigenous forest to the mouth of the Storm River, the famous suspension bridge, the Stormsriver Mouth Cave (Khoisan Heritage Site) and to the Spirit of Tsitsikamma boat jetty.For the more energetic, the trail continues after the bridge and leads to the lookout point on the plateau. The journey to the bridge and back will take you approximately 40 minutes.