Green Belt Trail
Braamfontein Spruit Mountain Bike Trails, located in Johannesburg, Gauteng, is one of the best mountain bike trails to experience in SA.
Beginner, Intermediate and Experienced riders
The Braamfontein Spruit is a river that runs northwards through Johannesburg’s northern suburbs. Over the past two decades, the green belt it occupies has become a source of great enjoyment for various outdoor activities, including mountain biking. Initially, the community did trail-building and maintenance – unofficially. Still, about two years ago, it got more formal with the establishment of the non-profit organisation Jozi Trails. There is now around 40km of urban singletrack that’s consistently maintained, and security patrolled.
For Jozi Trails, that is, Braamfontein Spruit mountain bike trails, proper signage is a central focus. It is the world’s largest urban forest of municipal parks, and, like the hundreds of Jozi residents who visit each year, we love it! On all of the new and existing trails, there are almost 100 Jozi Trails signs.
Many complete beginners do their first few rides on the Spruit because it’s so accessible and unintimidating. If you’re a marathon racer, you can get in a decent 2-3 hour ride by incorporating ‘upstream’ and ‘downstream’ directions – or vice versa, depending on where you join the trail.
It also includes some large City of Joburg parks, including Delta Park, Emmarentia Dam/Botanical Gardens and Alberts Farm.
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Since Hollard began to support Jozi Trails, the company responsible for the Spruit trails, signage has been added in places. But it’s not classic trail signage, but rather to indicate which sections are for mountain biking and which are for walking/running to eliminate any potential collisions. It’s best to initially do some rides with a local or Spruit regular to find out where the different trails go.
The trails aren’t graded. It’s a common-sense system. If the trail segment looks challenging and risky, avoid it…
The distance you ride is up to you. There’s no formal trailhead although many use the car park at the intersection of Conrad and Hillcrest roads as their start and finish point. For the younger or more skilled riders, there are some segments that offer world-class jumps and berms, including the Scout Hall jumps in Bryanston, Hurlingham Jump Line in Hurlingham and the Top Line and Tree Line at Delta Park, among others.
Because the trail passes through many suburbs, there are plenty of coffee-stop options. In most of the area south of Conrad Drive, it’s a very child- and beginner-friendly place to ride, with other park-like activities and play areas to be found.
Possibly South Africa’s most popular mountain bike trail, Braamfontein Spruit offers a stimulating ride for all levels of rider – you just need some local knowledge (or a Spruit regular) to find exactly which sections have your ideal fix.
Nothing – it’s all on public land/city greenbelt.
Many complete beginners do their first few rides on the Spruit because it’s so accessible and unintimidating. If you’re a marathon racer, you can get in a decent 2-3 hour ride by incorporating ‘upstream’ and ‘downstream’ directions – or vice versa, depends where you join the trail. It also incorporates some large City of Joburg parks, including Delta Park, Emmarentia Dam/Botanical Gardens and Alberts Farm.
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