Forestry SA introduces online recreation map

Around 30% of forest management-owned land is unplanted and a large portion is set aside for dedicated conservation. The conserved areas include vast swathes of grassland, riverine ecosystems and indigenous forests. Besides their obvious conservation value, these areas provide ample recreational opportunities on top of what is provided by the plantation forests themselves.

Whether it’s trail running, hiking and mountain biking adventures you seek, or serene days spent bird-watching, picnicking and taking in spectacular views, the new Forestry Explained recreation map makes accessing these activities and attractions in forestry-owned land around South Africa easy. Its interactive nature allows people to explore what’s on offer as well as find important information for the perfect day out in the woods.

Below are a few of the fantastic attractions and activities you can experience on forestry-owned land in SA

Mpumalanga’s waterfalls – many of the famous ‘Panorama Route waterfalls’ are actually situated on forestry land owned and managed by state-owned SAFCOL, including Berlin Falls, Lisbon Falls, Mac Mac Falls and Pools, Bridal Veil Falls, Lone Creek Falls, and Marie Shires.

Mountain biking getaway – take a long weekend and explore the plantations, indigenous forests and open grasslands of Karkloof and Howick in KwaZulu-Natal. Enjoy the incredible scenery, amazing biodiversity and the 100km-plus of biking trails through this Sappi-owned land.

‘Big 4’ forestry hikes in four provinces – the famed Fanie Botha and Tsitsikamma hikes, as well as the beautiful Magoebaskloof and Jonkershoek trails, offer breathtaking views, diverse scenery and wealth of biodiversity. These fantastic forestry trails are a great way to explore the distinctly different landscapes of four provinces.

Kaapsehoop scooters – take a two-hour scooter adventure through the Kaapsehoop plantations, over streams, beside magnificent rock formations and waterfalls. If you are really lucky, you might also get a glimpse of the wild horses for which town is renowned.

Trail running triple – forestry-owned land hosts three of South Africa’s best trail running venues, with routes to suit all levels of experience and fitness. Jonkershoek’s Red Phoenix presents even experienced runners with a challenging descent, while the 20-km Karkloof trail and 21-km White River routes are great tests of endurance. All three have a number of great short running trails perfect for those wanting to take their first steps in the sport.

Text supplied by SA Foretry. Images: Unsplash

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