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Hogsback Visitors Guide - Hikes & Walks in Hogsback

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With stunning mountain scenery such as the three peaks that make up the Hogsback Mountains (known as the Hogs), and with Tor Doone peak which provides a beautiful backdrop to the Hogsback village and the indigenous Afromontane forest with its many waterfalls and clear streams, bird life and other wild life you will find that most activities in and around Hogsback are related to experiencing the outdoors in one of the most beautiful and enchanting parts of South Africa.

And after all that walking when your muscles are aching, take a bracing shower under a crystal clear ice cold waterfall or treat yourself to a massage or relax in the sauna at the spa.

In the evenings dine and enjoy drinks at one of the several cosy Hogsback restuarants and Hogsback pubs the village has to offer and take a leisurly stroll back to Lothlorien and enjoy the breathtaking view of the stars in the night sky.

Hiking Trails & Walks in Hogsback

General Hogsback tourist information such as maps of walks, hiking and mountain bike trails, activities etc. are available for purchase from The Edge's reception or the Hogsback Tourist Office (also known Visitor's Information Centre or VIC) which is located near the entrance of the village.

Permit Levy For Hogsback Hiking Trail Maintenance & Forest Conservation

Please note that we encourage all guests to help preserve and maintain the Hogsback forests by purchasing their R10 (per adult over the age 16) Hiking Trail Maintenance and Forest Conservation Levy Permits from the Hogsback Tourist Office (also known Visitor's Information Centre or VIC) which is located near the entrance of the village.

The funds raised from the sale of these permits will be used for trail maintenance, new and improved signage and reforestation programs to help improve the environment in Hogsback and keep Hogsback beautiful as possible.

Walking & Hiking in Hogsback

One of the best ways to experience the beauty, the silence and the restfulness of Hogsback is on foot. There are scores of hiking routes and walks that will take you through the forests, up the mountains, past the waterfalls, and to the spectacular views.

Equipped with comfortable walking shoes, fresh water, and maps that are readily obtainable locally, you will be able to explore those routes that suit your preferences for environment, degree of difficulty, and duration. Some of the shorter walks can be combined. See locally available information brochures for more information.

Hiking always involves some degree of risk. Hikers should obtain local information at the time of the walk, and should always leave information on their planned walks with a responsible person.

These trails vary from short easy walks to trails taking 3-4 hours and longer.

Here is just a sample of the many hiking routes from which you may choose.

  • The Labyrinth at The Edge

    The Labyrinth at "The Edge" is an eleven-circuit Labyrinth, similar in design to the Labyrinth in the Chartres Cathedral in France. It is one of the most intricate Labyrinth designs. Our Labyrinth at "The Edge" has a diameter of 29 meters and a circumference of 91 meters. The length of the pathway is 700 meters, and the total distance of the walk to the centre and out is 1.4 kilometers, making it one of the largest Labyrinths in the world! It was completed in 2002. Suitable for all, young and old.

    Grading of hiking trails guide

    1. An easy stroll A. No exposure to heights
    2. Tiring.B. Some mild rock scrambling
    3. StrenousC. Moderately exposed
    4. Exhausting & only for the very fitD. Very exposed
    The time in brackets indicate the average duration of the walk

  • 39 Steps Falls and Hogsback Arboretum (15 mins) (1A)

    This easy stroll starts in Oak Avenue (opposite Redcoat Lane) and takes you through the Arboretum and on to the 39 Steps waterfall.

    The Arboretum is a garden of trees from all over the world, and includes several Californian Redwood trees, now well over 100 years old. Trees have markers showing their botanical and common names.

    We at Lothlorien Cottage in Hogsback love trees and we reccommend a visit to the Hogsback Arboretum as it is a wonderful place for an easy and leisurely or romantic walk amoungst the trees or to enjoy a quiet family picnic.

  • Madonna and Child Falls

    Madonna and Child falls can be reached via a moderately steep downhill walk from Wolf Ridge Road (4 km from Redcoat Lane or village green) or by a longer route from Main Road, via the Big Tree (an 800-year old Yellow wood). This route takes you through the indigenous Tyumie forest and includes the Swallow Tail falls and the Bridal Veil falls (2B)

    With a little bit of imagination, an outcrop of rock on the face of the falls helps to form the shape of the "Mother and Child" - hence the name of the falls.

  • Swallow tail top from Wolfridge road (1A)

  • Kettlespout Falls

    Kettlespout Falls can be reached via several alternative starting points and routes, depending how long you want the walk to be.

    Kettlespout top path (1B).

    Kettlespout to Tyumie falls & down (3C)

    Under the right conditions - good flow of water, with the wind blowing strongly in the right direction - the water is blown as much as 5 meters upwards before coming down in a spray of mist. A spectacular sight.

    The Circular route 1B, the Contour path to Tor Doone, Fort Michel (with a beautiful view from the top of Tor Doone) (2B) starts in the Arboretum opposite Redcoat Lane

  • The Three Hogs

    For a breathtaking view, climb the Hogsback mountains.

    Hog 1 Amatola section (4D)

    Gaika's Kop (3C)

  • Tyumy Pools walk.

    A lovely walk next to the Tyumy River with a spectacular view when you reach the top.

  • The Three Waterfall trail

    Starting about 15 km outside Hogsback, this trail is more than worthwhile for the more adventurous hiker.

  • The Bluff Walk (45 mins)

    Located just beyond the Edge, this comfortable circular stroll along the Bluff, a large grass field leading up to a clif offers spectacular views of the Tyume Valley hundreds of metres below and of the surrounding mountains.

    Enjoy the Watsonias and Proteas in spring, and other wild flowers including the yellow iris (Moraea spathulata) and the unusual yellow Crassula as well as Satyrium orchids in summer.

  • Military Path (40 mins) (2B)

    From Hangman's Tree in Redcoat Lane starts another easy walk. It takes you from Red Coat Lane (at the Village Green), into the indigenous forest, and links up with the Alice - Hogsback road some 2 km from the Village Green.

    British soldiers used this century-old path on their way between Fort Hare (in Alice) and Fort Michel (near Tor Doone). Look out for "Hangman's Tree" in Redcoat Lane - according to legend it was used for executing deserters in those days.

  • Sunset loop (3B)

  • Big Tree (1 to 5 hours)

    The Big Tree. Walk from Main Road to the Big Tree, an 800-year old Yellowwood in the indigenous forest. The Narina Trogan, orange Thrush, bush cap and other bird species have been spotted around here.

    From the Big tree you can return to Main Road, or walk on to the Swallow Tail Falls, the Bridal Veil Falls, and Madonna and Child Falls.

  • The Plaatjieskraal Art & Craft Trail

    To experience the gentle art of living treat yourself to a leisurely cruise through the Plaatjieskraal Trail. Take the third turning left after Arminel and trickle up and down the hills, over streams and waterfalls, taking in the lifestyle of some of Hogsback's Artists and Crafters.