The Helderberg Nature Reserve is the prime location for those looking to spend a little quality time in nature, take a few snaps of epic vistas, and get their hearts pumping. Situated in the Overberg Region, there’s plenty to do and experience when taking a walk along one of the eight walking trails available.
Choose between a series of trails that range from not-too-bad to “make sure you have hiking shoes on.” With endless nature just waiting to be explored, the Helderberg hiking trails should definitely be on your hiking bucket list.
Here’s what you can expect when taking a walk on the Heldeberg side:
If you’re looking to stretch your legs after a delicious picnic on the lawn, then the Baboon Traverse is great. It’s a new section of the trail that links Watsonia, West Peak, and The Dome via Porcupine Buttress and is only 400 metres, making it super easy! Plenty of views are guaranteed.
For those looking for a bit of a longer walk, the Sugarbird is perfect. It takes around 45 minutes to complete and is an easy 2.9 kilometres, making it a perfect layout for the kids to enjoy too!
Watsonia is the only non-circular route when exploring the beauty of the Helderberg Nature Reserve, but this one is slightly longer and more strenuous than the previous two. Make sure you bring along a pair of comfortable shoes and a water bottle because you can expect to complete this trail in three hours with breaks. It’s a 4-kilometre trail.
You probably won’t get to spot any caracals when walking this trail, but it provides a nice little energy boost for those looking to enjoy a semi-quick walk in nature. To reach this trail, you’ll have to venture onto the Protea Trail, but it provides a nice little taste of both trails without having to pump those endorphins too much. The trail itself will take you about an hour, but keep in mind that you’ll need to hop onto the Protea trail, so it should take a bit longer. You can expect to be on this path for about 4.4 kilometres.
Enjoy a refreshing 6.2-kilometre hike along this route, which provides breathtaking views of the mountain but is sure to get you sweating. This trail should take you about two hours to complete, or a bit longer depending on your pace.
Expect to walk in a loop along slightly rocky terrain. This route will take you around three hours to complete, or a bit more depending on breaks. Bring your camera and plenty of water, as this can be a bit of a toughie at 8.2 km.
Don’t expect to complete this trail quickly, as it should take about five hours with breaks. This trail takes you outside the nature reserve, so expect to enjoy spectacular views of nature and the surrounding area.
Okay, if you’re an experienced hiker, then this might provide you with a bit of a challenge. There are pretty steep uphill and downhill sections (protect your ankles at all costs), as this route goes to the top of Helderberg Mountain. The effort is well worth the views you’ll enjoy, but expect to spend around seven hours trying to complete this trail.
This is not for the faint of heart. The Dome takes you straight to the top of Helderberg Mountain. It’s hard work with very little shade (bring your hat) and should take around eight hours to complete. It’s definitely a workout that you won’t forget anytime soon!
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Picture: @helderbergnaturereserve / Instagram