The Garden Route on South Africa’s South-Eastern Coast is not only renowned for its vast variety of indigenous forest & other flora, but also for some spectacular hiking trails. Right at the start of the Garden Route in Mossel Bay lays a little gem, the St. Blaize Trail.
The St. Blaize Trail is a popular 13.5 km trail that follows the 30 metre contour along the cliffs westwards from the Cape St. Blaize Lighthouse and ends at Dana Bay. It begins at the Cave below the Lighthouse, and ends on the beach at Dana Bay (it can be run in either direction, or do an out & back run), and is clearly marked in white with the sign of the Oystercatcher, as it forms part of the greater Oystercatcher trail starting at the Gourits river mouth.
The trail starts with a short, but steep climb from below the cave up onto the contour path. The trail is a little technical & undulating at times, and drops down to sea level a few times via little boardwalk stairways. Following these stairways down & back up adds quite a bit of vertical ascent on your run if need be.
In the middle of the trail you’ll find the Pinnacle Point Golf Course with little guard houses on either side. A quick check in/out sets you on your merry way, running around well manicured greens & tee boxes. Just watch out for flying golf balls!
The trail offers dramatic sea views, excellent whale and dolphin watching, and has some trail dassies for company, but beware of snakes (especially puff adders) in the summer. The trail is quite exposed to the elements so carry water, and exercise caution in wet weather, high winds, and mist.
Quick Trail Info
Safe parking : Relatively, but locals suggest parking at St. Blaize rather than Dana Bay as more people around in Mossel Bay. Don’t leave valuables visible in car.
Access fee : No
Safe trail to run alone : Yes, but it’s always better having company if new to a trail.
Technical/Challenging/Knee-breaker : Few rocky technical sections.
Steep Uphills/Climbs and Descents : Not too much, unless you take stairways down to sea level & back up.
Going to get wet : The trail is very exposed. Exert caution in wet weather, high winds & mist.
Beginner friendly : Moderate degree of fitness required.
Great View : Stunning ocean/cliff top views with lots of fauna & flora.
Trail distance : 13.5km one way. Out & back can be < 27km Suggested coffee shop/retaurant nearby : Big Blu, The Lighthouse Restaurant or Delfinos are all within a couple of metres from the parking lot below the St. Blaize lighthouse.