Blackburn Ravine

Mike Ohlsson has put together an awesome trail run which takes in a variety of trail and promises to be a fun day out.

When: 07h00, 4 September 2010
Where: Constantia Nek Restaurant
Distance
: 21.6km circuit
Registration:
online
Cost
: R50 donation

The route starts at the Constantia Nek Restaurant. There is a small venue to the side of the parking lot that is going to be the venue for the day. The route heads about 100m down the road to Hout Bay before going through the gate onto the path leading to Vlakkenberg.

A long set of stairs leads up Vlakkenberg, with vineyards to your left, and Silvertree Estate on your right. After just more than 1km of climbing, you will reach Vlakkenberg Nek, and drop down a rocky path in to the valley beyond. At the bottom of the valley you will pass over some boardwalks before heading up the other side in the direction of the Constantiaberg Mast.

Trail to East Fort
Trail to Manganese Mines

As you reach the top of this hill the trail curves right before hitting the tar road. Turn right onto the tar road, and head up the hill about 100m until you find the trail heading off to the right to the Manganese Mines above the Hout Bay end of Chapman’s Peak Drive. After the burn of climbing Vlakkenberg, this section is a welcome relief as you stretch your legs on this easy single-track that follows a contour above Hout Bay valley.

Manganese Ore

You will reach the Manganese Mines above Chapman’s Peak Drive, and start dropping down steeply through some sharp switch-backs. After about the third bend, take the path heading south toward Noordhoek, leaving the trail you are on as it continues down to the road.

Blackburn Ravine
Blackburn Ravine

You will now be following a gentle uphill until you reach Blackburn Ravine. Blackburn Ravine is a killer — be thankful you are not taking it on from the bottom! Its a steep climb up to the Lookout Platform.

Follow the wooden boardwalk away from the deck in the direction of Silvermine Reservoir, and then turn left up to Constantiaberg Mast. This is a steep, but fairly short climb. You will reach the fence around the mast at the back left corner — turn right and follow it around to the opposite corner where it meets the tar road.

Start off down the road, taking the first trail leading off to the left, you uwill cross the road once more before continuing down some technical single-track towards Elephant’s Eye and the Tokai Fire Lookout. You will pass the signposted trail leading off to the right to Elephant’s Eye, heading to the Lookout. Just before reaching the lookout, take the trail leading down to the right, which soon heads left, down to the Tokai Arboretum.

A technical descent followed by a series of tight switch-backs leads to Level 5 of the Arboretum. Head left toward Cape Town on the level jeep track.

After a few kilometers you will continue along some comfortable single track. You will then hit the top of a mountain bike single track called the Cobra which takes a sharp turn to the right and then commits suicide down the hill. You will head left and continue along the contour of the mountain, still on a comfortable single-track.

At the end of this section, the trail takes you up a set of switch-backs into Vlakkenberg Saddle. You will hit the tar road leading up to the mast; turn right and follow the road down the hill and through the gate before taking a left onto the trail that will take you back to the trail you came down on from Vlakkenberg Nek. Turn right and head back up to the Nek, and then make a quick little descent down the stairs to Constantia Nek.

For more info, contact Mike by email: michael_ohlsson@hotmail.co.uk

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By David

Outdoor adventure enthusiast living on the Garden Route.

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