Holidaymakers in Nelson Mandela Bay will be in mountain biking heaven when Hopewell Trails is officially launched on December 17.
Criss-crossing the pristine 3 000-hectare Hopewell Conservation Estate 15 kilometres west of Port Elizabeth, the sun-soaked trails suit all skill levels and offer everything from kiddies’ courses to advanced technical sections.
The trails are owned and managed by the exclusive lifestyle estate and the undulating terrain varies from fynbos-covered hills to sub-tropical Eastern Cape bushveld in the kloofs and valleys.
“There are numerous routes to choose from, all of which are graded according to difficulty and distance,” says trail manager Lex Holmes.
According to him, the beginners’ route is an easy 12 kilometres, with the intermediate and advanced routes measuring a respectable 25 and 80 kilometres respectively.
“Depending on riders’ needs, undertaking combinations of the various routes will also be an option,” he says.
Although developed specially for residents of the estate, which lies just off the Old Cape Road in the vicinity of St Alban’s, Hopewell Trails is open to the public and a mere R30 will get you in.
“From a safety perspective, riders are required to ride in groups of no fewer than three,” says Holmes.
With special rates for children and large groups, it is the ideal family escape when PE’s beachfront gets too blustery.
Situated on the Hopewell Nature Reserve, the estate is securely game-fenced with an abundance of indigenous wildlife. Riders are likely to encounter recently reintroduced species like the Cape mountain zebra, eland, kudu and over 130 types of birds that fill the skies.
The eco-friendly development is a work in progress, with the accommodation, clubhouse, cafeteria and ablution facilities currently under construction. Secure parking is available at reception.
Holmes says day-trippers can look forward to the addition of braai facilities and a kiddies’ play area to complete a great day out.
“We are also establishing an airpark with a 1 200-metre runway and hangars to cater for the aviation enthusiast. This should be finished by February.”
Hopewell Trails is open seven days. In summer, gates are open between 6am and 7pm and in winter from 7am to 6pm.
For more information, contact Lex on 083 342 8306, visit www.hopewellconservation.co.za or go to Facebook.
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