After being very pleasantly surprised and impressed by the Paarl Trails, which we wrote about here, the team involved has not rested on its laurels and has been constantly upgrading, updating and fine-tuning in an effort to be the most complete trails network in the country. Here’s a summary of the progress made in the past few months.

“We have been pretty crazy over the last few weeks with about 15 new and revamp projects , and in this rain it has been interesting!” said Darren Herbst, founder of Paarl Trails. “But we are about 90% complete and should be all done by the end of September 2022.”

In terms of trails Darren and his team, led by Duan Stander, have completed the following:

  • Added a new climbing trail from Laborie
  • Added a new XC Route in the forest at the top of Laborie
  • Upgraded ‘The Wall’ downhill trail on the Spice Route section
  • Revamped the Rhebokskloof Trails
  • Upgraded with rollers, bigger berms, tabletops and hip jumps the Sky Dive and Pinecone Flow Trails
  • Upgraded some sections of the Purple Trail
  • Resurfaced trails at Specialized Paarl Adventure Centre with clay, plus added some new features

“We have also almost finished completely remarking all the trails with what we believe to be better boards. We have also added a location feature at key intersections throughout the network so that riders can ride multiple trails without getting lost,” explained Herbst.

New trails description map boards have been installed at all the trailheads with a full map of the network as well as a zoomed-in map of the area where the board is located. Top MTB Trails rating QR codes have also been added to the sign boards, restaurants and coffee shops in the area to encourage the rating of trails after each ride.

“Another trailhead has been added next to Rhebokskloof at Ridgeback. This is to allow access to the Purple Trail, Sky Dive and Pinecone flow trails so you don’t have to start and finish at Rhebokskloof, which is quite a ride in terms of time,” explained Herbst. “You can also access the rest of the Paarl Trails network from Ridgeback too, so it makes a lot of sense. It’s already proving a popular addition for those just wanting to session the flow trails.”

With expansive, stimulating trails, weekly guided rides aimed at various types of rider, the weekly Hero Legacy Project, which is focussed on 2-13 year-olds, collaboration with local businesses and the launch of a WhatsApp Bot that makes engagement with the Paarl Trails very easy, Paarl Trails is undoubtedly proactive and progressive and ensuring it retains its place among the top MTB trails networks in the Western Cape – and South Africa.

Find out more about Paarl Trails here.