Footprintlogo6.gif (25506 bytes)

Outeniqua Hiking Trail

(Beervlei to Millwood)


The Outeniqua hiking trail is situated in the Outeniqua mountains between George and Plettenberg Bay in the Cape Province. The main features of this trail are the beautiful Knysna forests with their numerous bubbling streams cascading through glades of Tree Ferns and the Cape Fynbos that the trail traverses along the mountain ridges. The trail in total covers a distance of 106.5 Kms and there are eight overnight huts provided for the hiker.

Day 11 (16 Kms) Beervlei to Windmeulnek

The trail start from Beervlei hut situated at the Beervlei forest station. The hut is comfortable and can accommodate up to 30 people. The first part of the trail is relatively level and though indigenous forest. After a while the trail descends to cross the Hoekkraal river. The river is not a major obstacle and can normally be crossed with ease. From the river the trail rises steeply until a forestry road is reached. The rest of the day is spent winding upwards along forestry roads until eventually Windmeulnek hut is reached after about 6 hours walking. Windmeulnek hut is perched on a mountain saddle with lovely views over the surrounding peaks.

The hut has four rooms with bunk beds and mattresses. Water is provided by means of rain water tanks and toilets are of the "pit" variety. A  cold water shower is also provided along with a covered braai area.

 
Outen002.JPG (19940 bytes) Outen001.JPG (15832 bytes)
Beervlei hut The group at the start
Outen004.JPG (29805 bytes) Outen005.JPG (22406 bytes)
The first obstacle Lovely Fern-lined stream
Outen006.JPG (11052 bytes) Outen007.JPG (18131 bytes)
Arrival at Windmeulnek Time for tea
Outen008.JPG (18166 bytes) Outen009.JPG (18341 bytes)
Time for a clean-up Windmeulnek Hut
Outen010.JPG (17892 bytes) Outen011.JPG (9063 bytes)
View from Windmeulnek Hut Sunrise over the mountains

Day 2 (17 Kms) Windmeulnek to Platbos

The second day of the trail stars off with a short climb along a ridge before a steep descent of about 500m to cross the Karatara river. This is followed by an equally stiff climb until a contour path is reached. The path passes several picturesque mountain streams with ferns and a rich variety of fynbos with many different examples of fungi. Lovely views towards the distant coastline can also be seen on a clear day. Eventually the trail descends and the last part of the day's takes the hiker along a forestry road until Platbos hut is reached. Platbos hut is a purpose built hikers hut with basic accommodation for 30 hikers. Bunk beds and mattresses are provided.

Outen012.JPG (24959 bytes) Outen013.JPG (11373 bytes)
Crossing the Karatara river Looking back at the hut
Outen014.JPG (17943 bytes) Outen015.JPG (14560 bytes)
View of the mountains ahead View towards the coast
Outen016.JPG (20393 bytes) Outen017.JPG (30251 bytes)
The path can be muddy Fern-lined path
Outen020.JPG (19702 bytes) Outen019.JPG (16892 bytes)
The path ahead Across the hillside
Outen021.JPG (22472 bytes) Outen022.JPG (21518 bytes)
Tea or water? A lovely spot for a stop
Outen023.JPG (32476 bytes) Outen024.JPG (27051 bytes)
More Tree Ferns A beautiful water feature!
Outen025.JPG (20000 bytes) Outen026.JPG (18961 bytes)
A waterfall along the trail The hut at last
Outen027.JPG (12116 bytes) Outen028.JPG (16259 bytes)
A welcome sign Studying the trail map

 

Day 3 (15,5 Kms) Platbos to Millwood

Much of the route to Millwood is along forestry road. The route is very pleasant and with the exception of the steep downhill to cross the Homtini river and the equally steep uphill that follows, the day's walk can be considered as moderate in Outeniqua standards. The day's walk takes in the beautiful Jubilee Creek and finishes at the old gold mining town of Millwood. Millwood hut is an old two story building with a wood burning stove to heat the water. Mother Holly's is a tea room run by the Millwood preservation society and provides a welcome break from trail food. Light meals, soft drinks and tea and cakes are available. The tea room also acts as a gift shop and a museum.

Outen030.JPG (27759 bytes) Outen031.JPG (24636 bytes)
The way through the forest The way not taken
Outen032.JPG (23828 bytes) Outen034.JPG (28132 bytes)
The forest has many hidden treasures Spider webs along the way
Outen035.JPG (29349 bytes) Outen036.JPG (25559 bytes)
The Homtini River Crossing the river
Outen037.JPG (29484 bytes) Outen038.JPG (26764 bytes)
A study in light Jubilee Creek
Outen039.JPG (29169 bytes) Outen040.JPG (29236 bytes)
Picnic Site at Jubilee Creek The board at the entrance
Outen041.JPG (26925 bytes) Outen042.JPG (20721 bytes)
Mother Holly's Inside Mother Holly's
Outen043.JPG (14233 bytes) Outen044.JPG (14983 bytes)
Millwood hut Do you really burn stoves?
Outen045.JPG (14729 bytes) Outen046.JPG (16501 bytes)
The stove in question A bat found in the hut

 

Continued

Click HERE to view the second page on this amazing trail


Footprint Hiking Club

To view other pages on this site please click on a hyperlink below