If you are looking for anything from an easy 5km run with the kids, to a hardcore mountain run of 30km with your trail friends, then Jonkershoek is the place to go. There are endless opportunities & trails to explore, all depending what mood you are in.
Starting from the main gate there is a circular gravel road on the valley floor that leads to various mtb single tracks criss-crossing the valley, hiking trails, as well as plantation roads heading up the slopes on both sides.
For an easier run with loads of single track, head left on the mtb single tracks that come out near the main gate. Although you gradually climb all the way up the left slope, it’s less taxing than some of the hiking trails further into the valley. These single tracks cross the main plantation roads every now & then, so you can head off them if you need to run some flatter terrain. Remember to always give way to descending mountain bikers.
You can run Jonkershoek many times & still find new trails or roads to run everytime.The best part of any Jonkershoek run is that as soon as you decide to head home, there’s a lot of smooth manicured mtb single track heading all the way down back to the main gate.
For a longer, more technical run, follow the right fork of the valley road & then head right onto the plantation single track. From here it’s a “gentle” climb till you reach the single track contour path on the right hand side of the valley. This contour path runs all the way to the start of the Swartboskloof climb, pass the Fire Hut, various streams & small waterfalls, with more little trails snaking off it, either down into the valley, or up into the mountain. One such trail summits to a spectacular view of the Helderberg Basin. Water along Jonkershoek’s upper contour trails is abundant in winter.
Once you’ve reached Swartboskloof you have two options. Head back down into the valley via a technical single track or head up the quad busting Swartboskloof. Once you’ve crested this climb you will be rewarded with magnificent views of both the Jonkershoek & Franschoek valleys. From here there are a few hiking trail options into the adjacent Hottentots Holland Mountain range, so it helps running with somebody that knows the trails.
You are now in technical mountain trail terrain, so watch your step as the descents back down into the valley can be treacherous at times. As Jonkershoek forms a horse shoe of sorts, it is possible to come out on the left hand side upper contour path, known as the Panorama trail that leads back to the entrance of the valley. The Panorama trail is also accessible from the bottom valley gravel road, about 5km from the gate, and on its own is a 17km trail back to the main gate. Following the Panorama trail, crossing various streams and gorges, you can eventually find a plantation road to follow back down, or make use of the Specialized created mtb downhill single tracks. Again, just be aware of mountain bikers coming down.
Although Jonkershoek have a few streams running down the mountain, its best advised to carry water in summer, especially on longer runs. In winter, water sources are plenty.
Remember that as with any mountain run, conditions can change quickly, so make sure you carry the required gear for all conditions.
After your run, enjoy a cup of coffee at the little coffee shop right at the main gate, or head a few kilometres down the road to Ride In Cafe where you can have a nice warm shower, change & then enjoy a cup of coffee or breakfast and reminisce about the adventure you just had.
Quick Trail Info
Safe parking : Yes
Access fee : R25
Safe trail to run alone : Yes, but it’s always better having company when doing a mountain run.
Technical/Challenging/Knee-breaker : : Lower slopes & mtb trails easy running, higher contour path & mountain trails very technical.
Steep Uphills/Climbs and Descents : Steep climbs & descents on higher contour paths.
Going to get wet : In Winter a lot of little streams to be crossed, & trails can be wet underfoot. Running in snow also a possibility.
Beginner friendly : Relatively on the lower slopes
Great View : Stunning views across the Jonkershoek, Helderberg & Franschoek Valleys.
Trail distance : 5km – 40km
Suggested coffee shop/retaurant nearby : Ride In Cafe 021 8833985