Wilderness hiking trail. (Photo: Supplied)
Known for its abundant natural beauty, the Garden Route continues to thrive almost a year after the devastating fires ravaged through the lush landscape.
However, the popular tourist region was quick to recover, ensuring that annual events remain on track as far as possible and that beauty is restored to the Route.
SEE: #LoveSA: 11 Garden Route festivals perfect for long weekend escapes
The Wilderness section of the Garden Route National Park (GRNP) adds to the area's string of exquisite natural offerings, boasting a number of hikes and trails ideal for all levels of fitness.
Flying SA's 'green flag' high, four additional hiking trails in the Wilderness recently received Green Flag accreditation from the
Hiking Organisation of Southern Africa (HOSA).
"This brings the number of
accredited hiking trails to 18 in the Garden Route National Park. Twelve are in the Tsitsikamma section of the Park, 2 in the Knysna sections and
the recent 4 in the Wilderness section," says GRNP's Nandi Mgwadlamba.
"Two of Knysna’s hiking trails - Perdekop in Harkerville and the Elephant route in Diepwalle - received Green Flag status accreditation by HOSA back in 2015," she adds.
The four accredited trails are the Half
Collard Kingfisher trail (9.65km), Dune Mole Rat Trail (8.2km), Woodville Big
Tree (2km) and the Circles in the Forest (3.4km).
According to Mgwadlamba, there are more
people walking trails in Knysna, Wilderness and Tsitsikamma.
"A total of 667
people walked hiking trails in Knysna during the Easter Weekend only," she says, adding that the
Garden of Eden had the most walkers - 266 of the 667 - while the King Edward Big tree saw 140 walkers, Kranshoek had 132 walkers, 70 walkers took on Diepwalle, while 59 walked Perdekop.
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482 people walked the Half-collared Kingfisher trail only in Wilderness during
the Easter Weekend compared to 356 last Easter," says Mgwadlamba, adding that the increase of walkers can be attributed to the Garden
Route Festival that takes place over the same period.
"People are also walking
trails in groups and are including hiking as one of numerous activities to do
in the Park," she says.
of hiking trails
Following the Knysna fires, here's an update on the progress of some hiking trails to be ready in time for the Knysna Oyster Festival in July 2018.
"The trail was
re-routed in December 2017 pending the recovery of the burnt area however the
coastal portion of the trail is still closed," says Mgwadlamba. However, there's an alternative scenic route open along the coastal ridge, and bookings for the
trail are open.
Mgwadlamba says that the Kranshoek
Trail is still closed with maintenance work currently underway. "About 90% of the
route is complete but rebuilding and rehabilitation of the route is underway."
The viewpoint remains closed says Mgwadlamba, adding that it is "not accessible to visitors as yet until management and scientists
have finalised urgent deliverables pertaining to the area".