Purpose of the Club
Cathkin Trails Club was set up in March 2017 as a proudly non‐profit organisation with the purpose of building and maintaining a network of mountain bike and running trails in the Cathkin Valley area for the benefit of the local residents, the local tourism establishments and all visitors to the valley.
The Club is financed by donations from participating tourism establishments, sponsorships from enthusiastic members as well as the small fees charged to riders and trail runners using the routes. All the fees and donations go back into maintaining and building the trails ‐ these are not enough yet to be sustainable but as we extend the network and build interest, we hope for the trails to soon be self‐sufficient.
Runners and Cyclists sign an indemnity and pay at the various start points and receive a wristband for easy identification by landowners and other trail users. These funds are all accounted for and records kept for the club by the treasurer. The current fees are R50 per day for cyclists, R20 per day for runners, and R200 per week for both runners and cyclists. There are also annual members who pay R1200 per annum for unlimited use of the trails.
The requirement for trails and adventure tourism is a very strong trend in our local tourism market, and the spin‐offs to local tourism are already benefiting the various start venues on the trails, with tourists and residents alike stopping in during and after a ride, and these venues forming the meeting point for some regular events.
There are also positive long‐term benefits for all accommodation establishments as the area becomes known as a mecca for adventure tourism and trails. There are further plans in the pipeline with the support of N3TC to possibly link the northern berg with the central and southern berg as a vast trail network.
We have currently provided new jobs to 5 staff for trail building and maintenance, which are paid for by sponsorships and the club funds.
We also hope, in the future, to extend the community benefits to include guiding and possible partnerships with rural establishments for outrides and adventure tourism.
The club has a constitution and is run by a committee of keen volunteers, interested land owners and members of various tourism establishments. There are Land Access agreements in place with the various land owners which benefit both the land owners and the
club. These assist the land owners to be able to restrict access during harvesting or other activities and impose responsibilities on the club and its members to maintain and keep the trails clean, and also provides some indemnity to land owners for users of the trails.
Trail Building and Marking
- 30 km of trails have already been built and marked so far – these are the Peak View and Ardmore loop.
- There are a further 10km or so of trails which have been built and are ready to be marked and included.
- There are a further 20km plus of trails in Dragons Peaks and Mountain Splendour which are agreed in principle to be included in the club and will form part of the trails once these links are complete. This gives
a total of 60 plus km of existing trails.
- Finally, the intention is to extend the trails into the Sappi plantations as they support these trails projects, and to apply to them for this approval. This would give a total of 90km of trails making up the network.
- The signage has been standardised to comply with the International Mountain Biking Association grading system. They have location numbers for safety and include the emergency number for the Okhahlamba Fire and Emergency Services, who have a copy of these trail maps in their control room.