It’s been nearly 2 years years since the devastating fires destroyed most of Tokai but after a tiresome process and a committed team of builders and volunteers, the trail network is set to re-open at 7am on Saturday 10 December 2016. Initially, this will form part of a trial run on weekends until last bits of burnt trees are removed.
The extent of the fire damage totaled some 5000 hectares of land and destroyed much of Silvermine and Tokai in the process. Following an appeal from Tokai MTB for financial assistance to rebuild the trails, the Pedal Power Association paid for two professional contractors for 62 trail-build days, as well as additional labour and materials. “In total we this year spent some R145 000 on Tokai, but it is such an important part of the off-road trail network that we had to assist where we could to get the trails to reopen soonest,” said PPA CEO, Robert Vogel.
The limited trail access will be reassessed on a week-by-week basis in consultation with Amarider, underwriters of the indemnity. Signage including maps, indemnities and conditions of entry have been installed at pay points and trail heads. Marshals will be stationed at hot-spots to assist riders and monitor compliance.
While 80% of the original trails have been rebuilt the environment has changed radically. Most of the pine trees have either been burnt or felled so there will be very little in the form of shade. Sunblock and ample hydration are highly recommended if you intend to ride the new trails this weekend.
RHODES MEMORIAL TO CONSTANTIA NEK CORRIDOR
The corridor officially opened last week (1 December). While it’s not particularly technical, the trail from Rhodes Memorial to Constantia Nek requires a certain level of fitness in order to negotiate the many steep climbs that punctuate this route. A Sanparks ‘My Activity MTB’ (Level 3) permit is needed to legally ride the trails which are shared with other trail users such as runners, walkers, dog walkers. Users needn’t worry about where to go as the trails are clearly marked.
WHERE DOES IT START?
From Rhodes Memorial (going towards Constantia Nek) follow the footpath below Newlands forest until 200m past the entrance to the Fire Station. From there you will need to follow the clearly marked signs until you reach a locked gate. (The gate key number is 1234. Please keep the gate closed). From Constantia Nek side, you access the trails via the short tar road directly across the restaurant. There is no connection from Newlands to the single track near Mount Pleasant – you can only access Newlands from the cycle path below the forest.
WHERE DO I GET A PERMIT?
Permits can be bought at the San Parks office in Tokai or at any Cape Town Tourism kiosk. The annual permit costs R500 and you’ll need to bring along 2 passport photos and proof of ID. Please be aware that if you take along 2 or more friends when purchasing a permit, you will receive a discount for the second and subsequent permits.