Korannaberg Hiking Trail/Merrimetsi Hiking Trails

Marquard/Winburg, Eastern Free State

Trail Closed


The Korannaberg Hiking Trail is situated close to the historical Free State town of Winburg, once the seat of government of the independent Orange Free State during the latter part of the 1800s. The trail traverses a 7000ha conservancy and is quite remarkable for the richness of its flora and its scenic beauty. The trail is well marked and can be considered quite strenuous but should be included in any list of trails to do.

         
 

The Accommodation

The base camp consists of an old barn set under the shadows of nearby sandstone cliffs. The barn is equipped to take up to 15 backpacking hikers and 24 hikers doing the Merrimetsi day trails.

 

 

The ablution block
 
         
 
 

The Merrimetsi Barn provides a comfortable starting point for the trail. It has a two plate electric stove, pots, kettle, pans, 3-legged pot, braai grid and wood and fridge.

 
         
 

The ablutions consists of three hot showers, two flush toilets and four basins.

 
The Ablutions
 
         
 
The start
 

The trail-Day 1- 18Km

The trail starts by crossing grassland before entering a beautiful forested kloof.

 

 

         
 

A beautiful crystal clear stream runs through the kloof, ideal for a quick swim before the ascent through to the top of the kloof.

 
 
         
 
 

The hiker passes lovely rock formations and pools.

 
         
 

As one nears the top ,the views back down the kloof are beautiful.

 
 
         
 
 

On reaching the top one views some further rock outcrops that one approaches across open grassland. When reaching the rocks, there is a large rock overhang that is an ideal place for lunch.

 
         
 

The afternoon walk starts with a short climb and then levels out for a pleasant walk through grassland following the top of the escarpment and passing some interesting rock outcrops. The trail then descends to cross a valley before a steep climb that takes every ounce of energy to achieve. There follows a short walk across grassland to the overnight cave.

 
 
         
 
 

The cave is hidden among indigenous trees and has an enclosed section that provides protection from the elements on cold or wet nights. Water is obtainable from a nearby stream. There is a toilet and firewood provided.

 
         
 

The Trail- Day 2- 12Km

The second day of the trail is probably even more spectacular than the first. More beautiful rock outcrops and some amazing panoramic views of the farmland far below.

 
 
         
 
 

It is really worth taking time to savor this beautiful area.

 
         
 

The trail eventually descends steeply back to base camp along a path shared with the Merrimetsi day trails.

 
 

Merrimetsi Day Trails

For those hikers that don't feel like doing the backpack trails, there is the option of doing a choice of three day trails that return the hiker each night to the Merrimetsi Barn. The distances  are 10Km (approx. 4hrs), 14Km (approx. 6hrs) and 6Km (approx. 4hrs).

Conclusion

The Korannaberg and Merrimetsi Trails are not new trails but will be new to a number of the new hiking fraternity. Even for those who have previously done this trail it is certainly worth another visit. The trails are longer than most of the recently introduced trails and should provide even the fittest and most "seasoned" hiker with an outing to remember.

Trail accredited by Southern Africa Trail Owners Association

Bookings

The Koranna and Merrimetsi Hiking Trails can be booked through

Jacana Travel Marketing and Reservations

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Telephone  0861Jacana (0861 522262) or +27 12 734 2978

Fax 012 734 0159

 e-mail info@jacanacollection.co.za

 


Footprint Hiking Club

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