Trail Closure Update: 19 July 2024

Over the past three weeks, the Winelands area has experienced significant rainfall, leading to considerable disruption and flooding. The region was hit by multiple cold fronts, resulting in heavy downpours and strong winds. On several occasions, severe weather warnings were issued, including Level 4 and Level 8 warnings for disruptive rain. The heavy rains led to rising water levels, road closures, and calls for disaster management interventions across the Western Cape.

Flooding has been particularly problematic, with areas like Franschhoek Pass experiencing road closures due to storm damage.

The rainfall has been significantly higher compared to historical averages for July:

LocationRecent (July 2024)Historical Average
Paarl145 mm85 mm
Wellington138 mm80 mm
Elgin160 mm100 mm
Franschhoek152 mm95 mm
Stellenbosch130 mm75 mm
Somerset West128 mm70 mm
Bottelary Hills Conservancy135 mm78 mm
Rainfall Across Key Areas in the Winelands

The region has experienced about 50% to 100% more rainfall than usual for the month of July. This increased rainfall has led to significant flooding and challenges for local infrastructure and agriculture, particularly affecting vineyards and roads across the Winelands area​. Trails, needless to say, have not been spared and the decision of the various networks to close their trail networks is therefore expected.

NETWORKS CLOSED (AT 20/7/24)

Wine Lands North
Paarl Trails, Banhoek Conservancy, Franschhoek Wine Valley Trails and Wellington Trails, closed until further notice.

Elgin Trails (Update by Pieter Silberbauer)
Oak Valley is closed for the next week (at least). Lots of bridge damage on the farm – support with building materials will be greatly appreciated by the team. Reach out [email protected] for more details or to offer help.

“Grabouw Forest side we have manged to repair some of the trails. With the Table Mountain sandstone, the trails remain very ride-able even straight after the rains. We are asking cyclists to proceed with caution if they are desperate to be out there. The jeep tracks are totally shot, so stick to the single tracks”.

“We are busy trying to save the Trail’s End Crossing bridge at the moment. The one foundation got knocked out but the rest is still holding. So, if anyone is wanting to ride around the Eikenhof Dam in the next few days, there is one swim section!”

Wine Lands South (by Murray Williams)

You will have all been aware of the recent storms which have wracked our Winelands. Unfortunately, the rain and floods have also wrecked many of our trails.

As at Friday July 19: Our Trails team has not yet been able to assess all trails in our Wine Lands South network. Also: most trails are still extremely wet/muddy or even flooded.

Therefore, we must officially request:

FIRST: Please keep off trails, which could be further damaged by riding upon them. We know there are some jeep tracks, which could be ridden on, without damage – and you are welcome to use these. But please be extremely careful to not damage any trails further.

SECOND: Please be WARNED that the safety of trails has NOT been assessed, yet. Therefore, you are urged to proceed with caution. In particular, certain bridges have been washed away. Riding these, and any damaged trails, could be extremely dangerous.

THIRD: Certain trails have been closed by land-owners. Please obey any instruction not to enter specific areas.

Be safe, and we’ll be up-and-riding soon.

MTO/Jonkershoek

Closed until further notice. The network provided the following information:

MTO Trails Jonkershoek and Cape Nature remain closed until further notice. We have experienced some trail and road damage in the park and will be able to properly assess once the rain has moved off.

With the extreme gradient, some of the gabion baskets have failed resulting in road wash aways and landslides on the higher contours.


For the safety of the visitors and the preservation of the trails, we will remain closed until further assessments have been made and the reopening will be announced across our social media platforms.”

Bottelary Hills Conservancy

Closed until further notice.

Wine Lands Trails is an initiative between Wine Lands Cycling Club, Paarl Trails, Banhoek Conservancy, Wellington (Wild Boar) Trails, Franschhoek Trails, Elgin Valley Trails, Bottelary Hills Conservancy, MTO and Stellenbosch Trail Fund to consolidate access to these trail networks under one regional permit.

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