The trails at Boschendal offer something for everyone. They have been designed to be accessible for novice riders, while still offering a variety of options to challenge riders looking to upskill.
Permits need to be purchased from the stand next to the Deli. Conveniently, coffee can also be purchased along with your permit, so you can get your caffeine fix before heading out on the trails.
From the Deli it is a short ride to the entrance to the trails on the opposite side of the R310, and about 20 metres from the main entrance to the farm.
Heading out onto the trails we nearly didn’t make it any further than the Orchard Skills Track, which we ended up riding at least six times. In my mind a genius addition by the trail builder. This short, relatively flat piece of trail lets riders practice the skills they will need for the remainder of the route. Like the rest of the route it has been well thought out, and is easy for a complete novice to ride, but has swooping berms, doubles, gaps and tabletops of varying size which riders can use to build up confidence, before heading further up the mountain.
The route then meanders through the farm climbing the lower slopes on open jeep track, with vineyards on either side. The burn starts to kick in when you hit the Big Bunny Switchbacks, and the gradient increases along with the view. Endorphins and sweat will be flowing by the time you hit the top jeep track contour which undulates to the drop-in to the aptly named Sugar Bowl (it gives you an addictive, fizzy high).
If you are feeling perky continuing to the highest point at 532 metres above sea level, and riding the spectacular Inferno descent is highly recommended.
The trails are predominantly manicured: smooth flowing berms, and switchbacks, scattered with kickers that will have a smile on your face the whole way down.
On a hot day the swim platform and shaded picnic spot at the dam offer an excuse for a welcome break.
Things to do on the farm
Boschendal is a fully working farm, and their vineyards and fruit trees have been joined by vegetable gardens and a growing herd of free range, 100% pasture fed Angus cattle. Activities range from trout fishing, horse riding, picnics, a guided vineyard tour, cellar tour and a spa. Wine tasting is offered at the Werf Wine Tasting Room, as well as at the Cellar Door, where you can relax and enjoy Boschendal wines in the shade of historic oak trees.
The food is worth a visit in its own right. During our stay we ate at the Werf Restaurant and Farmshop & Deli and the food at both was mouth-watering. Nothing pretentious or overly flamboyant, just wholesome, flavourful food served and presented well. Portions were generous, and value for money were good at both venues.
Most of the vegetables used in the dishes are grown in the farm's exquisite and abundant vegetable garden, and the remainder sourced from local farms, and therefore the menu shifts with the seasons.
Breads, pastries and desserts are made in the farm's bakery, and bakers work from around midnight to ensure goods are served fresh out of the oven daily. The flourless chocolate cake from the Farmshop & Deli is a must-try after a long ride.
Aside from great steaks, you can grab a piece of biltong for longer rides at the Werf butchery.
The Farmshop & Deli also stocks a range of products including Boschendal’s own pasture-reared Angus Beef, Boschendal pasture raised eggs, freshly picked produce from their food garden, fresh farm bread, artisanal jams, home-made preserves and local olive oil, which you can take home with you to placate any loved ones left behind.
Guest accommodation is a recent addition to the farm, and includes the exclusive and historic Rhodes Cottage (built by Sir Herbert Baker), the elegantly restored Werf Cottages and the Trout Cottage where we stayed. Cottage guests enjoy access to the entire farm where they can walk and cycle on trails through pristine mountain fynbos, dine under the stars, enjoy picnics and sundowners in exclusive areas, and fly-fish or swim in the dams.
Trout Cottage is located across the road from the main farm, conveniently on the same side as the main trail network and serves as the perfect base for a weekend away riding bikes. It offers accommodation for 6 people (2 twins and 1 bunk bed) in three rooms with a fully equipped kitchen, two bathrooms, a living room and its own yard and stoep on which to enjoy a cup of coffee and the incredibly scenic views.
To find out more or book your stay visit the Boschendal website or keep in touch via the following channels:
Please take note of a newly advertised package for TROUT cottage:
· Minimum 2 nights stay
· R3,000 per night
· Sleeps 4 adults and 2 kids
· Includes FREE 1 braai basket for any 1 of the 2 nights
· Valid until 30 Sep 2017
When booking please refer to the TROUT package as advertised on Bike Hub with the voucher code TROUTMTB01.