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
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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
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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
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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
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Table Mountain Trails Rhodes Memorial to Constantia Nek 28.jpg
Table Mountain Trails Rhodes Memorial to Constantia Nek 29.jpg
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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
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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

kader01, Dec 28 2017 06:03

Dankie dankie

kader01, Dec 28 2017 06:04

Safe as houses - just be courteous and aware of walkers especially during this season.




Dankie dankie

DJR, Dec 28 2017 07:33

Absolutely no incidents that I know of since it opened just over a year ago. I live close by and ride it regularly. Enjoy. It really has become one of my favourite rides. 

StokedAboutSpokes, Feb 09 2018 09:56

Hey guys! I am wanting to take a group of beginner riders on this route tomorrow morning. Starting from Newlands. What is the easiest way to get back to Newlands once we have reached LaParada? Even if it means taking some type of transport back

Headshot, Feb 09 2018 10:46

Hey guys! I am wanting to take a group of beginner riders on this route tomorrow morning. Starting from Newlands. What is the easiest way to get back to Newlands once we have reached LaParada? Even if it means taking some type of transport back

The safest but not easiest would be to ride back the way you came. Alternatively, ride back down Rhodes Drive past Kirstenbosch. The out and back route on the mtb route is fairly strenuous with a lot of climbing. 

porqui, Feb 09 2018 11:27

Hey guys! I am wanting to take a group of beginner riders on this route tomorrow morning. Starting from Newlands. What is the easiest way to get back to Newlands once we have reached LaParada? Even if it means taking some type of transport back

 

Some may not agree but I would think twice about taking beginners on this route - not all that technical but physically tough. You NEED to be fit to enjoy this one

 

Rather take them on the Constantia Greenbelts from the top of Southern Cross Drive to lower Tokai Forest and back. Really nice trail.

dirtypot, Feb 09 2018 11:37

Rather take them on the Constantia Greenbelts from the top of Southern Cross Drive to lower Tokai Forest and back. Really nice trail.

 

I'd recommend the other way around though.  No beginner wants to end a ride at the top of a hill!  
I've taken a few noobies along this route and they've all enjoyed it.  It's a great intro route.

DJR, Feb 09 2018 03:36

Hey guys! I am wanting to take a group of beginner riders on this route tomorrow morning. Starting from Newlands. What is the easiest way to get back to Newlands once we have reached LaParada? Even if it means taking some type of transport back

If you are going to leave a vehicle at the end, then start riding from Constantia Neck, because it is easier from that side and end at the Newlands Forest parking area. Newbies will find it easier because although there is still a lot of up and down, you start high and end low.

 

If you are going to do a loop, tthen start from Newlands. That way you do the one massive climb in the beginning and thereafter some smaller ups and downs to Constantia Neck.

 

To ride back from there, this is the best easiest route if you don't want to backtrack:

 

1. At the boom just fefore Constantia Neck, turn left

2. Follow the route down to the top of the Cork Oak Trail

3. Ride Cork Oak Trail to Cecilia Forest parking

4. Cross the tar road and ride down Spilhaus to the bottom of the Lower Kirstenbosch single track

5. Ride up the Lower Kirstenbosch single track

6. End up at the top Kirstenbosch gate on Rhodes Drive

7. Ride along the right side verge along Rhodes drive, then onto the road and straight on into Canterbury Drive

8. Left into Glastonbury Avenue

9. Left into Winchester Avenue

10 Right into the Liesbeeck River Trail single track.

11. Stick to the Liesbeeck via Riverside Road

12 At Paradise Motors turn left on the sidewalk along the M3

13. Ride up to M3 Rhodes Avenue intersection

14. Take cycle track on left of M3 all the way back to the Newlands Forest parking where you started.

 

The urban part of the ride is equally beautiful and you will see where the really rich old money of Cape Town live. The bits of tar that you will ride are not busy and except for one or 2 crossings of busy roads, not a safety problem. Also, the return leg is mostly downhill. The only climbing is in the short sharp Lower Kirstenbosch single track and the hill up from Paradise motors.

Hackster, Feb 09 2018 08:22

Just be careful of taking a shortcut downhill through Constantia if you don't know the layout of this suburb. Those roads have a bad habit of curling back on themselves...

 

Consider going down Constantia Main road and having a brekkie at Chardonnay Deli or one of the spots nearby. Organise a shuttle home. Anyone still strong can ride back up through the greenbelts and then home via the route that DJR describes above.

StokedAboutSpokes, Feb 12 2018 10:56

If you are going to leave a vehicle at the end, then start riding from Constantia Neck, because it is easier from that side and end at the Newlands Forest parking area. Newbies will find it easier because although there is still a lot of up and down, you start high and end low.

 

If you are going to do a loop, tthen start from Newlands. That way you do the one massive climb in the beginning and thereafter some smaller ups and downs to Constantia Neck.

 

To ride back from there, this is the best easiest route if you don't want to backtrack:

 

1. At the boom just fefore Constantia Neck, turn left

2. Follow the route down to the top of the Cork Oak Trail

3. Ride Cork Oak Trail to Cecilia Forest parking

4. Cross the tar road and ride down Spilhaus to the bottom of the Lower Kirstenbosch single track

5. Ride up the Lower Kirstenbosch single track

6. End up at the top Kirstenbosch gate on Rhodes Drive

7. Ride along the right side verge along Rhodes drive, then onto the road and straight on into Canterbury Drive

8. Left into Glastonbury Avenue

9. Left into Winchester Avenue

10 Right into the Liesbeeck River Trail single track.

11. Stick to the Liesbeeck via Riverside Road

12 At Paradise Motors turn left on the sidewalk along the M3

13. Ride up to M3 Rhodes Avenue intersection

14. Take cycle track on left of M3 all the way back to the Newlands Forest parking where you started.

 

The urban part of the ride is equally beautiful and you will see where the really rich old money of Cape Town live. The bits of tar that you will ride are not busy and except for one or 2 crossings of busy roads, not a safety problem. Also, the return leg is mostly downhill. The only climbing is in the short sharp Lower Kirstenbosch single track and the hill up from Paradise motors.

 

Thanks everyone for the recommendations! We have been doing the ride from Peddlers to the coffee trucks by La Parada most Saturdays. We have done this about 4 times now and decided to do something different. We ended up starting at Newlands Forest and did a loop very much on par with DJR's instructions... It wasn't easy for most of them but with enough breaks they still enjoyed it and found that the first big climb up Newlands is well worth the ride through Kirstenbosch. Thanks again everyone!