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Great Trails of South Africa

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WHY GO

Red Barn has it all if
you’re keen to run trail or mountain bike in the Jozi area: Safe venue (
electric fencing and extra security on weekends), varying terrain and 25km of world-class trails and single-track designed for
the USN Mountain Bike Cup, no less. There is also an Acrobranch aerial cable
setup for kids and various other outdoor options.

 

WHAT YOU GET

Midstream-banner-scaled Great Trails of South Africa Features

Situated upon the edge of an extensive stand of
eucalyptus trees, the well-maintained, multi-use trail meanders in and out of
the plantation and through agricultural fields and grasslands spreading onto
the wooded Kaal River course. Keep in mind that you’ll be sharing the venue
with riders, but folks are doing this all around the world without getting
grumpy. You can plan to run at least two to three hours, so it’s well worth a
visit.

 

WHERE TO RUN

Start at the Big
Red Barn, where you can check out a large-scale map showing the full network of
trail options. Signage is based on IMBA (International Mountain Biking
Organisation) code: Green circles denote casual riding, blue circles denote intermediate,
while black diamonds denote advanced. If you’re looking for an easy route, head
out of the gate and to your right along the entrance road, looking out for the green
circle signs onto the single-track to your right after 500m. Once you’re on the
single-track, you will start winding your way through the eucalyptus stands, moving
closer to the Kaal River. Keep right until you reach the banks (2km) and then
follow the course left, occasionally dipping off onto a quick little
‘jakkalsdraai’ into the surrounding grasslands. Watch out for riders,
especially along the wooden stiles and bridges spanning the dongas here and
there.

 

Approximately
4km into your run, keep left to traverse along some ploughed fields. This takes
you up towards the opposite fence, and you’ll cross the main entrance gravel
road. Follow the fence line through a few straggly cypress trees, then drop
back down towards the river at around 7.2km. You cannot really get lost, as you
have the fence lines, access road and river course to use as navigational
handrails. For this very reason, I did not stick to a specific route, and ended
up doing an enjoyable run just shy of 12km.

 

RED BARN FAST FACTS:

TERRAIN: Single-track,
gravel road

MAP: www.thebigredbarn.co.za
or at venue

ACCESS REQUIREMENTS: Permits for sale at venue

FACILITIES: Shop, ablutions, etc. on site

CELL RECEPTION: Full signal

BEWARE: Speeding
mountain bikers

TIME OF YEAR: Year round, thunderstorms in summer

 

GETTING THERE

The ‘Big Red
Barn’ is an antique hay barn which has been salvaged and restored on Sunlawns
Estate, a 200ha farm just on 15min from Centurion. Look for the turn-off onto
the M18 off either the N1 or R21; the ‘Big Red Barn’ is located equidistant
between these two highways – look out for the signage after around 15min. GPS
COORDINATES:
25 55 52.10″ S / 28 14 02.18″ E LOCAL INFO:
www.thebigredbarn.co.za

 

STAY HERE

Check out www.lekkeslaap.co.za for literally
thousands of B&Bs, self-catering and other accommodation options in the
immediate area.

 

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