14 Nov 2012

New mountain biking trail in Hopewell Nature Reserve

Shannon Bradford

Port Elizabeth’s Masters and Ladies Cycling Club is expanding on its successful road cycling activities by adding mountain biking to its calendar.
The club is going off-road with its own mountain biking trail, which will have direct access through the Hopewell nature reserve.

It is proposed to have a reception facility in former stables on a property which forms part of the three thousand hectare Hopewell estate. The estate is one of South Africa’s only nature reserves with a residential component.
Situated on the urban edge of the city, two kilometres off the Old Cape Road, and about a 15 minute drive from Newton Park, the reserve is easily accessible for a ride before or after work and at weekends.
Members of the Masters and Ladies Cycling Club and their guests will be able to ride along 40 kilometres of existing single track trails, which will shortly be expanded to 90 kilometres of hiking and riding trails, according to developer Brian Corrigan.

The trails will take riders through a range of biomes, ranging from different types of grassy fynbos through to valley bushveld in the kloofs and northern section of the property. The topography ranges from open plains to undulating hills and technical sections with more demanding climbs and descents, catering for all ability levels.
Following a massive restoration programme, the reserve will offer riders the opportunity to view a range of indigenous game species including eland, kudu, red hartebeest, Cape mountain zebra, mountain reedbuck and springbok. There are also over 130 resident bird species in the area including the martial eagle, African fish eagle, Denham’s bustard and nesting blue cranes.

In conjunction with Hopewell Conservation, the club plans a number of cycling events through the reserve next year, according to Denis Ehlers, Chairman of Masters & Ladies Cycling Club.
“There is a need to cater for mountain biking enthusiasts and we plan to do just that. Hopewell is the most accessible fenced and secure wilderness area for riders based in Port Elizabeth and provides a safe and eco-friendly environment for the cyclist to get back in touch with nature”, he says.
A club social ride is scheduled for December 17th.

Media Release for Hopewell Conservation Estate
By Siyathetha Communications
Contact: Siyathetha: Ed Richardson: 083 656 9757
Hopewell Conservation Estate: Brian Corrigan:  071 106 0306