Introducing the Newlands Forest to Constantia Nek mountain bike trail

We joined the Table Mountain MTB Forum for the opening of the new mountain bike route linking Table Mountain and Constantia Nek, through Newlands Forest, Kirstenbosch and Cecilia Forest. Check out the pictures and route details below.

MTB Map Newlands to Constantia Nek.jpg

 

The new trails opened to mountain bikers today link the existing Table Mountain trails around Rhodes Memorial to Constantia Nek. This has come about after years of negotiation between SANParks and interested parties.

 

Table Mountain Trails Rhodes Memorial to Constantia Nek 2.jpg

 

To follow the trail, riders need to exit the Table Mountain trails at Rhodes Memorial and follow the M3 bike path towards Newlands Forest. As always, please be aware of pedestrians and dogs as this is a very popular walking and running route. After the entrance to the parking for Newlands Forest, riders need to follow signage and take a right turn up the next road. You will then come to a locked gate: the code for the combination lock is on the back of the signage, it is important to note this.

 

Table Mountain Trails Rhodes Memorial to Constantia Nek 3.jpg
Table Mountain Trails Rhodes Memorial to Constantia Nek 5.jpg
Table Mountain Trails Rhodes Memorial to Constantia Nek 6.jpg
Table Mountain Trails Rhodes Memorial to Constantia Nek 9.jpgRemember that the password for the lock on the gate is on the route signage

 

From here the trail climbs steadily, and there are some interesting technical sections to keep your climbing (or descending) skills sharp. Before entering Kirstenbosch at the top of the climb, there is a steep downhill which for most will be a portage section.

 

Table Mountain Trails Rhodes Memorial to Constantia Nek 10.jpgThere are some interesting rocky climbs in the lower Newlands Forest section
Table Mountain Trails Rhodes Memorial to Constantia Nek 11.jpg
Table Mountain Trails Rhodes Memorial to Constantia Nek 13.jpgKeep a sharp look out for dogs and pedestrians
Table Mountain Trails Rhodes Memorial to Constantia Nek 14.jpg
Table Mountain Trails Rhodes Memorial to Constantia Nek 16.jpg
Table Mountain Trails Rhodes Memorial to Constantia Nek 18.jpgThe entrance to the portage section before crossing into Kirstenbosch
Table Mountain Trails Rhodes Memorial to Constantia Nek 19.jpg
Table Mountain Trails Rhodes Memorial to Constantia Nek 22.jpg

 

Kirstenbosch have put in some serious work to the trails traversing the gardens, there are bridges, the trails are bedded with woodchips, and have a good flow. Be warned however, that there are some very steep sections.

 

Table Mountain Trails Rhodes Memorial to Constantia Nek 23.jpg
Table Mountain Trails Rhodes Memorial to Constantia Nek 25.jpg
Table Mountain Trails Rhodes Memorial to Constantia Nek 27.jpg
Table Mountain Trails Rhodes Memorial to Constantia Nek 28.jpg
Table Mountain Trails Rhodes Memorial to Constantia Nek 29.jpg
Table Mountain Trails Rhodes Memorial to Constantia Nek 30.jpg
Table Mountain Trails Rhodes Memorial to Constantia Nek 33.jpgLuckily some of the steeper climbs are paved

 

After following the upper jeep track path through Kirstenbosch, you will enter Cecilia Forest on a purpose built trail lined with woodchips. Your legs may be protesting a bit by now, but most of the climbing is done, and the views are absolutely incredible.

 

Table Mountain Trails Rhodes Memorial to Constantia Nek 34.jpg
Table Mountain Trails Rhodes Memorial to Constantia Nek 35.jpgDon't forget to enjoy the view as you enter Cecilia Forest

 

The final stretch to Constantia Nek is on jeep tracks, commonly used by hikers and dog walkers, so please be aware and considerate, and resist the temptation to bomb too fast around blind corners.

 

Table Mountain Trails Rhodes Memorial to Constantia Nek 36.jpg
Table Mountain Trails Rhodes Memorial to Constantia Nek 37.jpg
Table Mountain Trails Rhodes Memorial to Constantia Nek 39.jpg

 

You have the option of continuing to the Constantia Nek Circle for a coffee a La Parada, or taking a left turn at the fork to head down to the cork tree trails alongside Rhodes Drive, where you can follow the trail all the way to the Cecilia Forest car park or pop over Rhodes Drive at the Southern Cross Drive intersection to connect to the greenbelt network that links to Tokai.

 

Table Mountain Trails Rhodes Memorial to Constantia Nek 40.jpg
Table Mountain Trails Rhodes Memorial to Constantia Nek 41.jpg

 




85 Comments

marko35s, Dec 02 2016 08:46

I was walking my dog there recently and a woman with four dogs (too many for her to control) threatened me with a tazer because my one wanted to sniff her ones. People!


She knew you were a dentist, there can be no other reason.

DJR, Dec 02 2016 09:09

She knew you were a dentist, there can be no other reason.

Ha ha, probably just my face!

Wannabe, Dec 06 2016 09:08

We are planning on riding this trail this coming weekend.

Is a permit needed, and if so, where do we get it?

marko35s, Dec 06 2016 11:34

We are planning on riding this trail this coming weekend.

Is a permit needed, and if so, where do we get it?

You need a permit for any of the bits that go through TMNP land, so essentially yes if you want to do a reasonable distance.

Given the eye watering price of day permits if you intend doing this a few times I would get an annual activity permit.

I always found the easiest place to get the permit is Tokai but they are closed on weekends.

Copy and paste from another thread - 

Purchasing of activity permits can be done on weekdays at the Tokai Wildcard Sales Offices, while Cape Town Tourism Offices located at Kirstenbosch, Simonstown, the Airport and the centre of town offer other alternatives to purchase the Activity Permit (these sites are open on weekends too).

HowardSteele, Dec 07 2016 07:39

We are planning on riding this trail this coming weekend.

Is a permit needed, and if so, where do we get it?

Daily Mtbike permit rate......R75 for the day 

Daily permits available 7 days of the week..Tokai ,Kirstenbosch ,Silvermine and (city )TB..cnr Berg and Castle

The Activity permit fees have increased to R500 PP/PA....but there is a alternative option
So Although the Primary member costs R500 PP you can have up to 3 Additional members @ (R215.00)pp 
(they don't have to be family members)
# So if you get 3 other riders as additional members they only pay R215pp 
... split/share the total cost by 4 and you can get your permit for R286.25 PP/PA
You don't have to all go in as a group one person can do all the paperwork 
The main member obviously takes his ID...and the other 3 if they are physically going to the offices.
1. So you will require 2x passport sized photos...
2. a certified copy of their ID's
3. the form below completed and signed.

 

http://www.capetowng...k-activity-card

or

https://www.sanparks...permit_form.pdf

 

Ok you can ride from Signal hill to Silvermine ...But looking at average day riding .

The price of the permit equates to 4 rides at daily rate of R75 

Less than 12 Craft beers or a meal for 2 at the Spur

 

Tokai trail ride

newlands forest ride

Deer path

Silvermine............and its paid for 

Add 30 bucks for the year and you can add the Vlakkenberg loop to your Newlands ride.

http://www.bikehub.c...tb-trails-r5726

 

(Deon), Dec 07 2016 07:52

Thanks Howard :thumbup: . Was looking for this post from Facebook, glad you knew where to find it.. it was yours after-all . ;)

Wannabe, Dec 07 2016 07:55

We are from the other side of the Boerewors Curtain, for most of us this will be an once off ride. :ph34r:

HowardSteele, Dec 07 2016 08:18

Thanks Howard :thumbup: . Was looking for this post from Facebook, glad you knew where to find it.. it was yours after-all . ;)

Howzit yes on my facebook page ...Tokai Mountainbike and Trail news

https://www.facebook...22508718004244/

 

We added part of the Newlands section onto out evening greenbelt ride ...That climb from Southern cross drive gate was a bit of a surprise ,will try get onto the Tokai trails on Sunday.

Headshot, Dec 07 2016 01:46

My wife and I duly coughed for annual permits on Tuesday and then rode the section from the Neck to Rhodes mem yesterday.

 

The section in K Bosch is particularly lovely. It was surreal riding our bikes through an area we have previously walked through so many times. The section towards the NF end of the trail particularly good with the mountain looming close.

 

Newlands Forest is also fun and has some proper rock gardens in it. Don't expect a friendly reception - the dog parents we encountered have a bad attitude. We were courteous and friendly but that wasn't good enough - we should have rung our bells too! Even though we saw the people in question at the same time they saw us! Duh!

 

Oh, there is also the stench of dog feces when you enter Cecilia and no doubt on a bad day in NF too. 

 

All in all a lovely piece of trail that is surprisingly challenging all on its own. They call it a transit route but its actually a proper MTB ride in its own right.

TriGuru76, Dec 07 2016 06:57

I wanna see a hands up on who actually manages to RIDE down the rock garden after that long climb?

It is pretty technical with some big @ss boulders in the way?

Any one? Any One? Bueller, Bueller? 

Captain Fatbastard Mayhem, Dec 07 2016 07:20

I wanna see a hands up on who actually manages to RIDE down the rock garden after that long climb?
It is pretty technical with some big @ss boulders in the way?
Any one? Any One? Bueller, Bueller?


I'm itching to try it. But not riding for the next week or so.

Headshot, Dec 08 2016 01:01

I wanna see a hands up on who actually manages to RIDE down the rock garden after that long climb?

It is pretty technical with some big @ss boulders in the way?

Any one? Any One? Bueller, Bueller? 

Thats a real black route descent - marked Blue because its a portage section. I bet someone will manage it - I won't even try unless I am wearing knee pads - lots of scope for painful slow speed crashes there...

DJR, Dec 08 2016 01:07

Sure any 29er will easily do that. ;) 

Wannabe, Dec 08 2016 01:18

Sure any 29er will easily do that. ;) 

 

 

I'll report back on Monday if they can....  :ph34r:  :whistling:

Eddy Gordo, Dec 08 2016 02:10

My wife and I duly coughed for annual permits on Tuesday and then rode the section from the Neck to Rhodes mem yesterday.

 

The section in K Bosch is particularly lovely. It was surreal riding our bikes through an area we have previously walked through so many times. The section towards the NF end of the trail particularly good with the mountain looming close.

 

Newlands Forest is also fun and has some proper rock gardens in it. Don't expect a friendly reception - the dog parents we encountered have a bad attitude. We were courteous and friendly but that wasn't good enough - we should have rung our bells too! Even though we saw the people in question at the same time they saw us! Duh!

 

Oh, there is also the stench of dog feces when you enter Cecilia and no doubt on a bad day in NF too. 

 

All in all a lovely piece of trail that is surprisingly challenging all on its own. They call it a transit route but its actually a proper MTB ride in its own right.

One of the reasons why I havent ridden there. I seem to attract dog attacks and even when we go for a walk there I get charged by a dog and then get treated like I am at fault.

Wannabe, Dec 12 2016 12:20

Did the trai yesterday, and it is one stunning ride.

 

Did not encounter any problems with any Dog owners, not even the ones walking with their dogs off the leash.

 

Did however have a bit of a run in with two (actually just the one) lady runners on the Contour Path. We passed them on the climb up, and they were walking in the middle of the road, obliviously chatting away. We gave them a wide berth with a friendly "how do you do"

 

We regrouped at the top, and was busy chatting, taking in the view and taking a few snapshots, and they passed us again, this time in a slow jog and still in the middle of the path.

We started the downhill and the front guys passed them with room to spare. As I approached them the lady on the right moved over into the right hand side of the path. I slowed down behind them and alerted her of my presence by shouting "passing on your right"

She whirled around and started shouting at me, saying we must slow down, the trail does not belong to "us".

I wanted  to shout back, "neither does it belong to you, and you are just being spite full in blocking the trail." 

But I just passed her by going onto the right hand verge, and continued on my way down, passing a number of other runners / walkers and dog owners without a problem or a sideways glance.

 

Shame, she either had PMS or was full of envy of us, obviously out enjoying ourselves.   :whistling:  :ph34r:

Headshot, Dec 12 2016 01:19

Did the trai yesterday, and it is one stunning ride.

 

Did not encounter any problems with any Dog owners, not even the ones walking with their dogs off the leash.

 

Did however have a bit of a run in with two (actually just the one) lady runners on the Contour Path. We passed them on the climb up, and they were walking in the middle of the road, obliviously chatting away. We gave them a wide berth with a friendly "how do you do"

 

We regrouped at the top, and was busy chatting, taking in the view and taking a few snapshots, and they passed us again, this time in a slow jog and still in the middle of the path.

We started the downhill and the front guys passed them with room to spare. As I approached them the lady on the right moved over into the right hand side of the path. I slowed down behind them and alerted her of my presence by shouting "passing on your right"

She whirled around and started shouting at me, saying we must slow down, the trail does not belong to "us".

I wanted  to shout back, "neither does it belong to you, and you are just being spite full in blocking the trail." 

But I just passed her by going onto the right hand verge, and continued on my way down, passing a number of other runners / walkers and dog owners without a problem or a sideways glance.

 

Shame, she either had PMS or was full of envy of us, obviously out enjoying ourselves.   :whistling:  :ph34r:

Hahahah, the "I was here first" mentality strikes again... 

marko35s, Dec 14 2016 09:44

Hahahah, the "I was here first" mentality strikes again...

Check the latest post on the TokaiMTB Facebook page to see how one dog walker raised the threat/stupidity level higher, much higher.

Captain Fatbastard Mayhem, Dec 14 2016 09:49

Check the latest post on the TokaiMTB Facebook page to see how one dog walker raised the threat/stupidity level higher, much higher.


Jeepers

marko35s, Dec 14 2016 09:55

Jeepers

Yes that would just about cover it.
For those that don't do Facebook here is a copy and paste of the post. We have sent it on to PPA,Table Mountain Bikers and reported it to SANParks -

For the Cape Town MTB Community. I had an incident this morning in Cecelia forrest with a walker and his dogs. I was coming down along one of the demarcated cycling roads and saw a walker and his dogs and slowed down accordingly. As I came to pass the walker at a slow pace he started yelling at me and said "I'm carrying a gun and if you hurt one of my dogs I will shoot you".
Please can I ask the MTB community to be courteous, gracious and thankful to the walkers who we are now sharing trails with. Doug Bird posted a video on trail etiquette about 10 days ago which is worth a watch.
It is clear that the walking community is not happy with the MTB community. Lets win them over through our attitude and behavior as we share the trails, give them right of way, let them know you see them, and don't race the new sections that we can now ride that have been walking only up until now.
Tokaimtb mountainbike central Bike Hub The Bike Park at Constantia Uitsig

lechatnoir, Dec 14 2016 09:57

Check the latest post on the TokaiMTB Facebook page to see how one dog walker raised the threat/stupidity level higher, much higher.

 

For those without access to FB, could you provide details? thanks

Meezo, Dec 14 2016 09:58

Check the latest post on the TokaiMTB Facebook page to see how one dog walker raised the threat/stupidity level higher, much higher.

post here!

MTBeer, Dec 14 2016 10:02

One of the reasons why I havent ridden there. I seem to attract dog attacks and even when we go for a walk there I get charged by a dog and then get treated like I am at fault.

something like this?

 

marko35s, Dec 14 2016 10:17

post here!

Copy and paste from Facebook -
For the Cape Town MTB Community. I had an incident this morning in Cecelia forrest with a walker and his dogs. I was coming down along one of the demarcated cycling roads and saw a walker and his dogs and slowed down accordingly. As I came to pass the walker at a slow pace he started yelling at me and said "I'm carrying a gun and if you hurt one of my dogs I will shoot you".
Please can I ask the MTB community to be courteous, gracious and thankful to the walkers who we are now sharing trails with. Doug Bird posted a video on trail etiquette about 10 days ago which is worth a watch.
It is clear that the walking community is not happy with the MTB community. Lets win them over through our attitude and behavior as we share the trails, give them right of way, let them know you see them, and don't race the new sections that we can now ride that have been walking only up until now.
Tokaimtb mountainbike central Bike Hub The Bike Park at Constantia Uitsig

HowardSteele, Dec 14 2016 10:48

Copy and paste from Facebook -
For the Cape Town MTB Community. I had an incident this morning in Cecelia forest with a walker and his dogs. I was coming down along one of the demarcated cycling roads and saw a walker and his dogs and slowed down accordingly. As I came to pass the walker at a slow pace he started yelling at me and said "I'm carrying a gun and if you hurt one of my dogs I will shoot you".
And he's the one who is actually breaking the law

SANParks Regulations

20. DECLARE FIREARMS AT GATE – All firearms/dangerous weapons of any sort, any explosive, trap or poison must be declared upon entry, and firearms will be sealed;