By Terence Vrugtman
Kloofendal is a small nature reserve in the middle of Roodepoort. The reserve used to be well known for its functional amphitheater and animal shows on the weekend. It's the perfect small and quint escape from the city and offers 8km's of trail in total. While it may not the longest of trails, it is certainly not short on quality. In additional to its trails, Kloofendal has well maintained picnic benches and ablutions. The trails are split into 3 main routes, joining 2 of them together makes for a nice 5km route suitable for anyone!
Is it for beginners? Yes!
The reserve offers a true trail experience without forcing you out of your comfort zone. It features both easy to run single tracks and technical bits to train the eyes and feet. Its amazing views and hills are just the right size for anyone. I like to use the route as a weekly time trial to monitor my improvements and wake up the legs for the week's running ahead. As you progress you can add in another 2km of trail to mix things up.
Is it for Elite Athletes? Yes!
The technical section along the trail allows for great training. A smooth and easy trail ideal for the faster training sessions and the route is often empty allowing for intimate moments between you and your mind. If the 5km lap isn’t enough, Strubens Ridge is across the road and is ideal for hill reps!
Start at the information board, run around ‘Planet Walk’ and the picnic tables as a short warm up. Make your way through the south west gate and into the reserve. Make sure you close the gate, from there follow the Red route markers leading you up the single track towards the south west side of the park. Follow along the pylons and cross the broken concrete bridge over the dried stream. Tackle the first of 3 the nice hills, as you get to the top a slight left reveals the second of the 3 consecutive hills. Once at the top, you would have climbed a total of 100m in 1.5km. The trail then leads downhill towards the 3rd hill. Thereafter you can have fun on the ‘sprint section’. The sprint section is an awesome flat-ish technical piece of single track that encourages you to bolt as fast as you can. The contoured single track lead has an amazing view of Kloofendal and the surrounding areas. The end of the sprint section introduces a long downhill I call ‘Mini’ Rockeries’. After running under the pylons for about 200m you break off the trail left heading further down until a sudden right turn towards the stream. It’s a technical crossing and then a slight hill, after the crossing take an immediate left and following this track till the next pylon. Just before the Pylon you turn right again, the trail becomes more technical as you go along. Finally the trail heads north after a tricky rock section and leads you into a forest type section. Follow the blue markers and you won’t get lost. As you exit the final gate you will notice you have finished right back where you started at the information board.
The trail is 5km and has an extra loop if you want to make it longer.
- There is secure parking,
- The venue is secure and well maintained,
- There is not drinkable water along the route, so make sure you're prepared,
- There are buck, hares and dassies to see along the trail,
- Bring your own toilet paper for the toilets,
- Keep the trail clean, how you found it, leave only footprints
- The trail is great training for the Spring Break Trail Run, in September,
Get on the Trail and share your thoughts - @TVrugtman
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