Hiking In Franschhoek
Hiking in Franschhoek is an experience not be missed. The Franschhoek Valley is nestled between beautiful, dramatic mountains. It’s the first thing you notice as you come into our valley! Beautiful, majestic mountains! It is the one thing all our visitors agree on. Wine tastes may differ but the mountains have a tremendous impact on everyone.
PLEASE NOTE: The Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve is now OPEN as the Franschhoek Pass has been opened after recent repairs.
NEW HIKING TRAIL NOW OPEN
We are pleased to bring you our latest hiking trail newly opened in the Franschhoek valley. Our FAN ALOE trail is a one hour koppie ramble (rocky outcrop), which offers stunning views of the Simonsberg mountains to the west and the valley with the Berg River Dam to the south.
Franschhoek's two endemic plant species, the Blushing Bride Protea and the Fan Aloe, feature prominently on this trail.
Join us for a sundowner hike and enjoy a glass of Topiary wine from the koppie.
Berg River Dam Conservation Area: Snake Alley
A fairly easy ramble of about 6km with an extra 2.5km stroll from the gate to the start of the hike and back (total 5km). The road from the gate is a wide, flat dirt road which is very easy to negotiate. It passes the Berg River Dam on the right and continues along the Berg River to the bridge which is the start of the hike.
The hike itself is not strenuous and has a short incline to get to the contour line along which we walk to get to the concrete road and back down to the bridge. It is a flat path but is rocky and uneven. A great hike with lovely mountain and dam views, good for those not looking for anything too strenuous.
Your experienced guide will show you the way, point out animal tracks in the soft sandy areas, give you a brief history of the valley, identify birds and flowers as they are seen and on cold days, a mid-way stop for coffee is always enjoyed. Plenty of photo ops of the valley spread out below you to be had, don’t forget your camera phone.
Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve: Uitkyk & Vista Trail
From a relatively easy (if a little steep) 2 hour ramble to more strenuous hikes, we have a trail to suit all abilities and fitness levels in the Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve. Wonderful views, beautiful Fynbos (the smallest and most diverse Floral Kingdom in the world) and endemic bird life are all waiting to be enjoyed.
The distance from the main gate to the vantage point at the terminus of the Uitkyk Trail is about 3km from where you double back to the main gate.
The trail is fairly straight and also only rises about 360 metres in total.
Once past Breakfast Rock the trail mostly follows the westerly valley slope of the Perdekloof stream.
The trail crosses a stream just beyond Breakfast Rock; this is a wonderful place to stop – the water is safe to drink and very refreshing.
The Uitkyk trail terminus and panoramic viewpoint boasts a spectacular view of the secluded Wemmershoek valley and Wemmershoek Dam. Great photo opportunities.
After a short rest there we start the return along the same route.
Notes: If walked in an anti-clockwise direction this trail has a steep downhill slope.
The Vista Trail starts and ends at the Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve main gate. This circular trail includes the Breakfast Rock Trail and a short section of the Du Toitskop Trail. Most hikers walk the Vista Trail in a clockwise direction.
The trail climbs about 275m to reach an elevation of 1028m above sea level.
Start on the Breakfast Rock Trail, the Vista Trail branches off to the left after about 925m from the main gate. It’s about 315m to the panoramic viewpoint.
At the Vista viewpoint the trail swings northerly and easterly for about 150m, rising sharply by about 40m over this distance.
On this part of the trail Lion’s Head and Table Mountain can be seen through the Helshoogte gap between Simonsberg (right) and Groot Drakenstein Mountain (left) on a clear day.
The Vista Trail continues more or less easterly for another 300m, rising more than 60m to meet the DuToitskop Trail. Pass the Breakfast Rock and we make our way back to the gate.
The Berg River stretches from Franschhoek up to Velddrift 270km further north and the source of the river is the Franschhoek mountains. The Berg River Dam is situated at the source and is nestled between the peaks which make for excellent hiking country.
The Snake Alley Trail is a relatively easy 7km hike starting at the bottom of the mountain alongside the Berg River. After a short walk we cross a small stream and make our way up to the first contour line.
Our walk continues on the snake-like route (hence the name), and ends at the top of the concrete road where we make our descent back to the bridge.
The paths we use are the old forestry roads which are no longer in use and have been reclaimed by the fynbos. Loads of beautiful natural vegetation, endemic birds and other creature's tracks and scat to look out for. Stunning mountain and river views and access to the cool, clean and sparkling mountain water.
We meet at the Franschhoek Adventure Centre and make our way to the vineyard where we find the start of the trail. We walk through some fairly rough ground next to the Chardonnay block and then begin our climb up to the koppies. We traverse 4 of the 7 koppies and stop to have a little wine tasting and appreciate the awesome view. You will also have a chance to check out our two endemic plant species grown only in this area, the Franschhoek Fan Aloe and the Blushing Bride Protea.
We make our way back to the tasting room and enjoy a glass of bubbly before returning to Franschhoek.
- Permits for the Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve, the Berg River Dam area and the Fan Aloe trail.
- Transfers to the trails if 1 to 3 pax. More than 3 you will need your own transport.
- Wine tasting on the Fan Aloe Trail.
- Experienced knowledgeable nature guide.
- Bottled water. We no longer supply bottled water in single-use plastic. Please bring your own in a re-usable bottle. Our tap water is very good to drink.
- Light backpack
- Drinking water preferably in a reusable water bottle.
- Hiking boots
- Comfortable clothing
- Light wind or rain jacket for winter.
We meet at and return to the Franschhoek Adventure Centre which is at Shop 5, upstairs @ 62 Huguenot Rd, Franschhoek (right next to the Tourism Office).
Duration: 3-4 Hours
Duration: 2.5 Hours
Fan Aloe Trail:
Duration: 1 Hour
Price: R250 (incl wine tasting)
Snake Alley Trail:
Duration: 2.5 to 3 hours