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Forest Excursions

Wilderness Section

Woodville Big Tree

The Outeniqua yellowwood tree in Woodville is a huge, tall tree that is about 31 meters. It is believed to be over 800 years old.


Goudveld, an old mining town in the lush afromontane forests is turning into an attraction for visitors to the Garden Route. This popular hide-away is 22 kilometres from Knysna, in Bibby’s Hoek to be exact. It is part of the Garden Route National Park (GRNP) afromontane forests, the largest continuous indigenous forest in South Africa. View the map of the Goudveld forest hub.


Enjoy an exhilarating downhill on the Monster Mountain Scooter, descent through indigenous forest, sweepy bends and single track (offered in Goudveld):

Knysna Lakes Section

The Garden of Eden

A superb example of Wet Highforest, an unusual forest-type with many examples of tall stinkwood (Ocotea bullata), kalander (Podocarpus jalca/us), wit-els (Pla/ylophus trifoliatus) and other tree species of the moister forest types. Short, circular walks traverse the area and an 800 metre trail for those in wheelchairs is route-marked. This site was first opened in 1926.

'Rooted in time' self-drive 4x4 route

The deep and mysterious forests of the Garden Route National Park hold many cultural stories, sites and artefacts to explore. This self-drive route takes the visitor on a half-day meander through Diepwalle and Gouna forests. From old forester’s houses to more modern forest museums, visit the biggest trees in the forest and stand in awe at the highest mountain tops. As the name suggests, the route was originally designed around 10 places of cultural interest and significance in the area. Each stop can be explored and experienced along with guidance from a newly designed route map and well placed interpretive boards.
View the Rooted in Time brochure.

Kranshoek Viewpoint and Picnic Site

One of the most beautiful spots on the Southern Cape coast. Kranshoek offers the visitor cliff-top views of the coast and a warm, sheltered picnic site. There is even a stream, with frogs, for the children to play in.

Kranshoek Picnic area

  • The picnic area is open for use however there are portable toilets for visitors to use after the fire burnt the old toilet block.
  • SANParks is fast-tracking the procurement process of new water tanks to provide drinking water by the 15th Dec 2017.

Kranshoek Trail

  • The Kranshoek Trail is still closed, and maintenance work is currently underway.
  • About 90% of the route is complete and the rest should be open by end of this week.
  • Rebuilding and rehabilitating the route will probably continue until end of Dec 2017. The trail should be up and running by the end January 2018.
  • There is a clear sign at the entrance and parking area to inform the public of closure and maintenance of routes.

Kranshoek Viewpoint

  • Currently still closed and not accessible to visitors as yet until management and scientists have finalised urgent deliverables pertaining to the area.

Harkerville Trail

  • The coastal portion of the trail is still closed.
  • An alternative scenic route was opened along the coastal ridge.
  • Bookings the trail will be open as from 20th November 2017.

Diepwalle Big Tree

The Big Tree, also known as the King Edward VII tree, is a famous landmark and visitor attraction near the Diepwalle Forest Station. This giant Outeniqua yellowwood (Podocarpus falcatus) tree is more than 800 years old and is one of the few giant trees left after the unsustainable method of tree harvesting was stopped in 1939.

Forest Legends Museum

If you venture into the mysterious Knysna Forest you will find, at its heart, the Diepwalle Section of the Garden Route National Park which is home to the Forest Legends Museum. The Museum tells forgotten stories of the hardworking Woodcutters, the mighty Knysna Elephant and of a forest with secrets which are still well kept.

Circles in the Forest

Daleen Matthee based most of her books on the forest dwellers (human and animal) in the Knysna Forest. Start a 3 or 9 km walk from the famous Daleen Matthee Big Tree at Krisjan-se-Nek Picnic Site. It follows small tracks and an old mining path along the bank of Forest Creek. The trail is in its entirety in high forest. Various forest types can be seen and the wet high forest is particularly scenic. Enjoy swimming in the water holes that make the walk perfect for a summer's day.

Jubilee Creek

A lovely picnic spot on the banks of a creek in the Lush Knysna indigenous Forest. A day walk through the Old Mining Trails to an ice cold swimming hole. Enjoy the Secrets of the Forest, mineshafts, tunnels and other hidden wonders.

Tsitsikamma Section

Tsitsikamma Forest's Big Tree

Located in the short way west of the Paul Sauer Bridge along the N2 is The big Tree in the Tsitsikamma Forest, it stretches its distinctive Yellowwood leaves skywards, towering over the other trees in the canopy. This oldest tree is estimated to be between 600 & 800 years old and 36.6 meters high. Explore the forest enjoying a 10 minute walk through the indigenous forest boardwalk.

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Did You Know?

  • The Wilderness section of the GRNP has a Ramsar site (wetland of global significance). It has the potential to conserve whole ecosystems from catchments to sea.