Why Northern Farm remains a must for Gauteng MTB riders

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Some natural riding, close to Gauteng's urban edge (Photo: R24)
Some natural riding, close to Gauteng's urban edge (Photo: R24)

Northern Farm is a non-profit trail park situated within the Diepsloot Nature reserve. 

Conveniently located midway between Johannesburg and Pretoria, in the shadow of Lanseria airport, the park remains a popular weekend spot for mountain bikers.

Northern Farm is one of Gauteng's original trail parks and where many experienced riders got their fix on aluminium hardtail 26-inch bikes, in the early 2000s.

After a recent visit to Northern Farm after not riding there for a few years, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the property has retained all of its charms.

The 2600-hectare property was established in 1954. It comprises green grasslands and woodlands and is the home of the bovelder, a uniquely South African breed of cattle. 

In addition, the many dams scattered across the property are home to an abundance of birdlife, 270 species, including Blue Cranes, Fish Eagles and Goliath Herons.

The majority of the routes comprise jeep track, but more flowing singletrack has been created of late.  

Most of the riding isn't technical and makes for a fun and relaxing experience that remains popular with a wide variety of riders from kids to beginners and serious weekend warriors.

Northern Farm offers four set routes, however, riders are welcome to mix and match sections as they get to know the park to make their own route.

The 12km Green route is perfect for the whole family as it follows the excellent gravel roads.

A 22km Blue route incorporates gravel roads, the superb singletrack through the blue gum forests, and the Mamba trails.

The 34km Red route gives riders a taste of everything that Northern Farm has to offer. It consists of the majority of the significant farm roads and most of the established singletrack sections.

Lastly, there is a 52km Black Route. This takes riders along all the trails of the farm, including the more technical singletrack sections alongside the Jukskei River.

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