I love the outdoors and have put together my favourite hiking trails in Johannesburg. If you happen to be in Cape Town, San Francisco, and Washington, I also put some of the most amazing hiking trails that I did in those cities.
Johannesburg and Surrounding Areas
Hennops Hiking trail
I did the trail with few friends which made it more exciting. The Hennops hiking trail consists of 4 trails setting out from Hadada Camp covering distances from 1.5 to 10 Km’s. Two unique features on the trail are the river crossings either using the suspension bridges or a cable car. No booking is required.
The cost is R100/adult and R50/schoolchildren.
For more information
Modderfontein Reserve trail (Gauteng)
One of my favourite trails is the Modderfontein Reserve. I had the privilege of also going with a group of friends. The reserve offers up some awesome trails, and a variety of game and birdlife
a. The 10 km trail that we did was easy going and not technical, with some amazing views along the way. One of the coolest things about the trail (In addition to the awesome views) is that afterward, you can enjoy some awesome brunch, lunch, and live music at the farmer’s market which is situated inside modderfontein reserve. Loved the seafood paellas and gourmet waffles at the Market.
Cradle Moon hiking trail (Gauteng)
Another winner is the Cradle moon hiking trail. Cradle moon offers spectacular views. We did the 9 Km trail and for the photographers, there are a variety of spectacular places to take some snaps. One of the coolest things about Cradle Moon is when you thought you are done with the spectacular view of the hike, then boom, you see one of the most amazing lakes and the water feature built on the Crocodile River. You will find a variety of waterbird species that live in and around the lake. There is also a beautiful dead tree in the centre of the lake. According to their website, the dead tree “becomes a living Christmas tree in the evenings as the sacred ibis, cattle egrets and other water-bird species make it their night-time roost”.
Other activities you can do at the lake are paddling, canoeing, fly fishing, and open-water swimming as it is a clean and safe body of water. According to their website, Cradle Moon Lake “has played host to multiple swimming events including the Rockman Ultra Triathlon and the Midmar Mile qualification rounds”.
Another exciting feature is the Restaurant overlooking the lake and the water features. They offer an ala carte menu, and the food is amazing.
For more information about the Cradle Moon
Another one of the most amazing hikes I have ever done. On a clear day, you will see picture-perfect views of “Table Mountain, Camps Bay, The 12 Apostles Mountain Range, Clifton beaches, Signal Hill, Robben Island, and the city”. There are different routes that you can take, and the hike can take you 1.5 to 3 hours up and down depending on the route, level of fitness, and the amount of time you spend at the top.
The two coolest things about this trail are the routes that led us to a series of ladders and chains to climb to the top (The staples). That was one of the scariest things I have ever done, going up the staples. Not even bungee jumping at Tsitsikamma can beat that. The second coolest thing is the view as you make your way up the mountain, and then bam, you get to the top and there is a 360-degree view of Cape Town, very breath-taking.
I had to throw in my all-time favorite hike at Angel island in San Francisco. It reminded me so much of Lion’s head in Cape Town. You can take the ferry from either San Francisco or Tiburon to Angel Island and start the hike there. The Island is home to many species of wildlife including deer, lizards, and birds including hawks, owls as well as many more species.
The trail that we did was moderately easy and took us about an hour to get to the top. We stopped at different places to enjoy the view at the top. The real prize was at the summit, where just like Cape Town you can enjoy a 360-degree view of San Francisco Bay. One word “Amazing”, according to their website, the Island also offers “open-air tram tours as well as guided Segway tours that offer the same views from the perimeter road while providing an in-depth history of the island”.
Shenandoah National Park (Virginia)
While in Washington and you want to leave the hustle and bustle of DC, needing some quiet and a bit of exercise, you can do a nice trail in Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. It is 75 miles from DC. The Park has different trails with waterfalls, a variety of flowers, and spectacular views. There is also wildlife that includes deer, songbirds and our host also told us that there are black bears (We do not have bears in South Africa, so was curious to see one). I wonder what I would have done had I encountered one.
I enjoyed the trails a lot. It was awesome with beautiful views. I Did a short hike that presented a viewpoint on top of a rocky talus slope with incredible views of the Shenandoah Valley, Massanutten Mountain, and beyond.