Groeneweide Hiking Trail is a beautiful trail just outside George. Its not a very difficult trail and can be enjoyed with the whole family and children. There are many pit stops that can be taken so pack in snacks for a picnic and remember to bring with water! The first being the crossing of the Kaaimans River. Further down stream is a shallow pool for your first dip. There are three distances to choose from, 13km (Red), 11km (Blue) and 9km (Green). They form a set of loops which are interlinked. Be on the lookout for the different coloured trail markers and stick to the path, getting lost in the forest is no fun. The trails are mostly forest single tracks and paths used by woodcutters.
There are many rivers to cross like the Perdekraal River and many little rock pools to take a dip on hot days. Don’t forget to take with your camera, there will be lots of breathtaking things to capture. The water in the streams is drinkable, the dark colour is due to the tannins and humic acids from the leaves on the forest floor
Vegetation on the trail includes Palmiet, Outeniqua Yellowwood – of which there are some majestic specimens, Onderbos, Ironwood, Bastard Saffronwood, Stinkwood, fungi in different colours on felled wood and seven-week ferns.
Bird-life is plentiful. Narina Trogan, Olive Thrush, Chorister, Cape and Starred Robins and the Knysna Loerie. But because of the low light under the canopy they are seldom seen. However, you can try to identify them by their calls. Wildlife includes Blue Duiker, bushbuck, vervet monkeys, baboons and bush pigs, as well as the predators leopard and caracal who are illusive and shy and rarely encountered.
Remember that this is a place for everyone to enjoy respectfully, so please do not litter and leave it clean for everyone to enjoy.
Distances: 9km, 11km & 13km
Route markers: Square signs with coloured feet on representing the three different distances.
Permits & Cost: Self-issue permit at the trail head.
Directions: The trail starts at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Saasveld Campus which is situated along the old Knysna George road.
To get to Saasveld turn onto the Saasveld/Seven Passes road out of Courtney Road in George (At the Pine Lodge Conference Centre). Follow this road for 5km and turn left into Saasveld.
Once you entered the campus follow the road until you reach the sports fields then turn right just before the sports field. The trail starts near the tree line on the left hand side of the road after you pass the last sport field. You can park at the building on the right.
Enjoy Groeneweide Hiking Trail in George!
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