Cape Town - After being closed to the public for more than a year, the Steenbras River Gorge and Crystal Pools Hiking Trail are scheduled to reopen on November 1, the City of Cape Town announced yesterday.The trail was closed in May 2011 due to fire damage, soil erosion, vegetation degradation, uncontrolled access and visitor safety issues.Because of the minimal entry fee, easy access and abundance of pools to swim in and rocks to jump off, it became a major attraction, drawing crowds from all over the peninsula and surrounds. Unfortunately the crowds were not controlled closely by authorities, leading to above mentioned damage.In the months leading up to the closure of the picturesque area, many nature-loving regulars were up in arms about the way the trail was practically being destroyed by the overcrowding."The closure of this area to the public has given it an opportunity to recover. During this time, reserve management has worked on introducing a new management system which is based on similar areas managed by other conservation authorities," said a statement by the city.A new system has been put in place to curb this, which will allow a maximum capacity of 50 people per day to enter the area. Visitors must be in possession of a pre-booked and paid permit in order to enter the area, which they will only be able to obtain at the Helderberg Nature Reserve in Somerset West.No permits will be issued at the entrance to the gorge.Important information: - Steenbras River Gorge is only open from November 1 until the end of April and will be closed during the winter period. - In the interests of visitor safety, a minimum of three and maximum of 10 persons per group will be allowed. - No children under the age of 12 will be allowed to walk in this area. - Hikers need to be fit to complete this trail. - There will be a tariff of R60, 00 per person, as per the City's tariff document.Until an electronic booking system is in place, bookings can be made at the Helderberg Nature Reserve main gate during operating hours. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or visitwww.capetown.gov.za/naturereserves.