Braamfontein Spruit Hiking Trail
Way-back in 1981, the municipalities of Johannesburg, Randburg and Sandton joined forces to open a hiking trail following the course of this tributary of the Jukskei River, one of the sources of the mighty Limpopo River. Over the years the trail has fallen into disuse due to a number of reasons including the security fears of walkers. A few diehard hikers have, however, refused to give up and admit defeat and still continue to walk the trail. I believe it is time that hikers' need to take a fresh look at this jewel of nature and again explore this trail that is in our 'own back yard'.
Jukskei River Catchment area
From the above map you will see how the Braamfontein Spruit and Sandspruit form tributaries of the Jukskei River.
Convenient and safe parking for the cars of hikers is available at Delta Park Environmental Centre, Sandton Field and Study Centre and Emmarentia Dam.
Maps of the trail
Suggested sections of the trail
Times and distance quoted are for the combined outward and return trip. Those arranging to be collected at the far end can half the time and distance
Delta Park, Parkhurst, Greenside, Melville Koppies Emmarentia Delta Park 5-7 Hours 15km
This is quite a long walk and much of it is along pavements. The trail passes the Pirates club in Parkhurst and follows the side of Parkview Golf course before briefly traversing Melville Koppies. The trail then returns via Emmarentia Dam to Delta Park.
Delta Park to Emmarentia Dam and return 3 Hours 7,5km roundtrip
A fairly easy walk along the banks of the spruit. Some lovely pools along the way. A visit to the Cafe at the Floreum at Emmarentia is an ideal place to take a break. Care needs to be taken at the crossing of Rustenburg road at Victory park. This makes a lovely afternoon walk.
Delta Park, Roosevelt Park to Montgomery Park and return 4-5 Hours 11km
Another fairly easy walk. The trail leaves the Westdene spruit at Tana Road and follows the left hand bank as it gently climbs towards its source in Greymont Hills. As the Roosevelt Park Golf Course is fenced, one has to pass this by way of roads on either side. On the far side of Beyers Naude you will also find a fence but there is a gate on the left hand side. The trail passes read beds and some interesting rock formations. This is another afternoon walk for the whole family
Delta Park to Sandton Field and Study Centre and return 5-6 Hours 12km
This section of the trail starts at Delta Park and follows the left-hand bank of the spruit downstream for some distance, crossing Conrad Drive, Blairgowrie and Jan Smuts Avenue and passing Rattray's Weir and the Craighall waterfall. The trail then crosses the river to the right bank by way of a bridge. The trail then follows the river bank for a while before climbing up along a powerline servitude to avoid crossing private property in Glenadrienne. The trail however soon returns to the banks of the spruit and again crosses to the left bank before crossing William Nichol Drive. A short walk follows to Sandton Field and Study Centre. Be carefull when crossing the weir as it can be slippery. Well earned refreshments can be purchased from 'The River Cafe'
Sandton Field and Study Centre to Rivonia Witkoppen Road 6-7 Hours 14km
The trail continues along the banks of the spruit past the River Club Golf Course. This section of the trail is very beautiful, with large boulders, pools, wide shady banks, rocky outcrops and some areas of indigenous vegetation. The trail finishes close to the confluence of the Braamfontein Spruit and the Sand Spruit. Although this section is quite long, it is easy walking along a well defined path. Towards the end of the trail, it passes under the N1 highway and across Witkoppen Road in Paulshof.
Sandton Field and Study Centre to West Street Sandton via Outspan Spruit 4Hours 12km
Another delightful excursion is to follow the same route as above, past the River Club Golf Course as far as the riverside shopping centre. From here you branch off to the right and follow the Outspan tributary. The route starts by following East Road past a beautiful lake and reed bed until one reaches the crossing of East Hertford Road. From here you can either carry on along the banks of the spruit (maybe overgrown) or take the parallel road that runs to the right hand side. At the next junction one rejoins the spruit and continues through the beautiful Outspan Park until Kelvin Road. It is a short distance until Marikana Road is reached and the trail ends at the end of this street.
In common with other urban parks and recreational areas, there is always possibility of security problems. As long as you walk in a group there should be no problems. My advice is that hikers using the Braamfontein Spruit area should walk in groups of a minimum of four adults which should include at least one adult male. All valuables should be left at home and the walks should only take place during daylight hours. Johannesburg City Parks do their best to ensure the safety of walkers but the onus must at all times be on the hiker to ensure his or her own safety.
When I walked the Braamfontein Spruit recently, I was quite amazed at the beauty and variety of nature that is available at no charge, right here on our doorstep, within the Johannesburg municipal boundaries. It is a really worthwhile exercise taking a walk along the spruit.
Johannesburg City Parks
Under whose jurisdiction the trail falls
+27 (0) 11 712 6600
Braamfontein Spruit Trust
An organisation devoted to the conservation and preservation of our natural heritage along the rivers of the northern catchment area of the Jukskei river. Visit their pages at www.footprint.co.za/bst.htm
Footprint Hiking Club
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