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Banhoek Conservancy

Franschhoek - Western Cape Boland

Ridden this Trail? Review it now
Ridden this Trail? Review it now
Trails: 37
Total Distance: 68
eBikes: Yes
Shuttle-friendly: No
Cost: A day pass is R60
Security Rating: 4/5

Banhoek Conservancy Mountain Bike Trail in Franschhoek, Western Cape Boland, is one of the best mountain bike trails to experience in SA.

Best suited for: 

Beginner, Intermediate and Experienced riders.

What we love about it:  

It wasn’t too long ago that there were no established mountain bike trails in the Franschhoek area. But that’s changed entirely, and it’s now home to one of the country’s most exemplary mountain bike trail networks.

There’s a junction between Stellenbosch (our No. 5 trails network) via Bothmaskop, which brings you over into the Banhoek Valley via a piece of bushy singletrack. The descent into the Banhoek Valley is via the Skyfall descent. A switchback masterpiece that’s longer than you expect but, at the same time, over too soon. But, once you’re near the summit, it’s incredibly scenic as you gain elevation and take in the surrounding mountains. The trails form the Banhoek Conservancy network, which offers primarily purpose-built singletrack trails that deliver speed, flow and challenges, eventually dropping you out at the tar road near Pniel.

A few kilometres down that same tar road is the entrance to Boschendal, one of the oldest wine estates in the country and now a mountain biker’s haven. The trail network at Boschendal is expansive and incorporates the slopes of the Simonsberg. As a result, it caters to all rider levels and includes a fair dollop of gradient if you’re an intermediate or experienced rider.

Overall, the Banhoek Conservancy Trails Network includes the Banhoek Valley and Boschendal. You buy your trail permits for Banhoek’s trails at Boschendal or via the website as part of the Wine Lands Regional Permit.

Among the annual events held on the trails are the Savanna Origin of Trails and the Fedhealth MTB Challenge.

 

Have you experienced the Banhoek Conservancy?

Please tell us what you think by leaving a review of your ride.

Additional Trail Facts

Signage

The signage at Boschendal is good, but the directional signage on the Banhoek trails is relatively small, so you only really see it when you’re quite close to it.

Grading

As with many South African trails, the trails aren’t graded according to IMBA’s skill level grading system. You can, however, find the Boschendal trails on Trailforks https://www.trailforks.com/region/boschendal-wine-farm-21770/and the Banhoek trails on Tralforks https://www.trailforks.com/region/banhoek-conservancy-trails-26521/ where they are rated either Blue or Green.

Trails

At Boschendal, there are five marked mountain bike trails, all starting at the Rhodes Avenue gate:
Yellow 4km
Green 9km
Blue 11km
Red 15km
Black 23km + (Black XL – extensions of Black)
The Banhoek Conservancy Trails are less structured in terms of a specific loop or distance, but there are a few rider-created loops worth tackling here (click on the ‘Routes’ tab): https://banhoekconservancy.org/trails-info/

Off the bike

In recent years, Boschendal has become a multi-function venue, which includes restaurants, picnics under the beautiful old trees, horse-riding, wine-tasting and farm tours. There’s also a pump track and play area which are very popular with kids. The accommodation there is impressive and worth booking for a couple of nights so that you can really experience the trails without rushing.

Summary

It’s hard to describe the beauty of riding mountain bikes here. You are surrounded by majestic mountains which alter the horizon to almost a work of art in any direction you ride. The ascents aren’t just a way of getting up, they’re thoughtfully built to make the climbs engaging, while the descents are longer than you expect, which is always a bonus. Always!

Cost

There’s a R60 day rate to ride the trails with both Banhoek and Boschendal offering annual permits too.

Trail and Facilities Rating
Trail Ratings
Car Park
Trail Head
Trail Description
Trail Signage
Trail Maintenance
Trail Quality
Scenic Beauty
Post Ride
Trail Reviews
David Lewis
03 May 2022
Great trails with various descent options and views for days. The build team is doing fantastic work and continuous maintenance and development
Schalk Duvenage
03 May 2022
Very well maintained trails. More bike park than natural. Lots of fun! Good chance of crossing paths with some antelope as well.
View more reviews
Charles Osborne
25 April 2022
Stunning trails with out of this world views and amazing singletrack.
Dominic Conradie
22 April 2022
Great trail. Love the flow and the climb is not bad for the long and amazing down hill.
Malin Sanne
01 April 2022
What an awesome time, love these trails!
Leigh Julius
01 April 2022
Beautiful views,great single track and downhill flow
Jacques Sasman
30 March 2022
This trail is flowwy and fast, great place to practice your pumps and jumps!
Jason Campbell
22 March 2022
Perfect for the early morning rides so you dodge the heat in the area, majority of trails are exposed but a lot of fast flowing trails with a couple features if you keep your eyes out for them
Ryan Bennewith
15 March 2022
Tough, engaging climbs. Epic views. Very fun single track descents
Robert du Preez
10 March 2022
Trails flow so well and are constantly maintained. Never bad braking bumps or damaged berms. The trails are always perfect
Gavin Duxbury
11 February 2022
Stunning trails, great flow, very very good condition. Sometimes there is a coffee barista there, but mostly not.
Karl van Niekerk
04 February 2022
Very good trail. The parking facility is very good. There is a toilet and security at the gate. The trails themselves are very good. Some of the best fun to be had in the area. There is long single track connecting to various neighbouring farms, but also localised flow trail lines keeping me coming back for more. Post ride is confined to what you brought along.
Jeremy Bruce
04 February 2022
Awesome trails. Good effort. Feels like you are super high up. Great views. Some nice technical sections mixed with good flow
Bernhard Teuteberg
03 February 2022
Fun varied trails with great views
Boshoff Spengler
17 December 2021
This is a great trail
Boshoff Spengler
10 December 2021
This is a great trail
Team Tread
30 June 2020
The descent into the Banhoek Valley is via the Skyfall descent, a switchback masterpiece that’s longer than you expect, but at the same time, over too soon. The trails from there form the Banhoek Conservancy network, which offers mostly purpose-build singletrack trails that deliver a combination of speed, flow and challenges, eventually dropping you out at the tar road near Pniel.
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