Go east for Pretoria's best new trails

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Some of the trails have good shade, with trees adding a sense of speed (Photos: Reuben van Niekerk)
Some of the trails have good shade, with trees adding a sense of speed (Photos: Reuben van Niekerk)
  • Grootfontein bike park offers trails catering to all levels of riders
  • The family made a massive investment in the building of trails on their farm
  • Grootfontein is perfectly situated in the Pretoria East riding hotspot

The Grootfontein bike park, just outside Pretoria, is a new mountain biking venue that caters to all levels of riders.

Owners of the Grootfontein farm on the eastern outskirts of Pretoria were sitting with a section of land that wasn't suitable to the seed farming they specialise in. Not wanting the land to lie idle they decided to put it to use by building a mountain bike park that caters for all.

 Investing in trails

The family called on renowned trail builder Dirk van Schalkwyk from Dirt Lab and with an initial investment of R2.5m carved a piece of mountain bike heaven into the hillside and surrounding marshlands of their farm.

For example, the builders moved many tons of soil to build what is one of the biggest flow lines in South Africa complete with numerous table top jumps, berms and switchbacks culminating in a 9m gap jump.

Pretoria mountain biking
There is a great pump track too (Photos: Some of the trails have good shade, with trees adding a sense of speed (Reuben van Niekerk)
Pretoria mountain biking
You feel a true sense of mindfulness, riding here Some of the trails have good shade, with trees adding a sense of speed (Photos: Reuben van Niekerk)
Pretoria mountain biking
And of course, you can get all the post ride refreshments you need (Photos: Some of the trails have good shade, with trees adding a sense of speed (Reuben van Niekerk)

Trails for everyone

The green trail is a family friendly, well-marked and easy to ride trail catering for all skill levels, with multiple splits to choose from it winds around the hill through a Blue Gum forest followed by a Poplar tree forest into the marshlands. This trail can be linked with the blue and black trails for some extended fun riding and was recently extended with the green mielie and soybean routes for up to 30kms of riding.

Grootfontein’s more advanced 3.5km black trail challenges riders with a decent climb and rewards with a flowing downhill ride.

A 4.46km lap course has been built for serious cross country riders, with multiple up and down sections, a gap jump, some wooden steps and a series of berms that test the fitness and skill level at the same time.

There are a choice of six Enduro lines offering an exhilarating downhill ride through a Black Wattle forest, each track is approximately 1km long with an average downhill gradient of 20%.

A north shore section consists of three narrow raised platforms each with its own challenges. Varying drop-off platforms allow riders to hone their skills and a world class pump track transports riders back down to the trail head.

The park currently hosts monthly shuttle days for those wanting to get the most out of the Enduro trails as well as monthly night rides across all the trails.

Pretoria mountain biking
There are downhill section with some technical features, for more daring riders (Some of the trails have good shade, with trees adding a sense of speed (Photos: Reuben van Niekerk)

Future plans

Grootfontein is busy with a rezoning process that will allow them to set up additional infrastructure such as a permanent restaurant, tented camp and facilities that will cater to the needs of kiddies parties.

The bike park is well located as the surrounding area buzzes with cyclists who use the gravel roads in the area to bank their weekend miles. The park offers a great extension to those rides and has also become a popular halfway stop for riders looking for a coffee, cold drink or snack from the current container style tuck shop.

It might not offer 100km of trails but Grootfontein offers something for everyone, from the beginner to the serious downhill rider. Riders looking to build their fitness can link all the trails together for approximately 40km of riding and a good morning out.

The park has established relationships with many of the clubs in Pretoria allowing members to ride here as part of their membership or at a discounted rate.

Grootfontein bike park is located on Garsfontein road, just 10km from Woodlands boulevard shopping centre. Pricing for a day pass is R40 for youngsters and R60 for adult

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