Millwood Mine Walk
Park your car at Mother Holly’s Tea Room (I have no idea why I find this name funny) and browse through the small gold mining museum before you embark (now I sound very clever using a BIG word) on your hike. This original building stands at the entrance to where the original Millwood Mining Village once stood.
Gold was mined briefly in this area in the late 1800’s and this is today’s beautiful outing into the forest. We start with a gentle 3km walk along the river.
Beautiful indigenous forest, ancient trees, huge tree ferns, arum lillies, mushrooms and fungi. Explore some of the old shafts dug by the miners on route. After arriving at a little waterfall (and swimming hole… I just love swimming as you might have noticed by now) we turn around and stroll back to the Jubilee Creek picnic site.
Directions: From Knysna take the N2 towards George, 8km out take the Rheenendal turnoff to the right. Follow this road for 12.6km and take the Bibby’s Hoek / Millwood Gold Fields turnoff to the right. Follow the Millwood directions to the Materolli Museum and Tea Garden, 11km.
Coordinates: S33 53.317 E22 59.738
There is no Wi-Fi in the forest, but I promise you will find a better connection.
Jubilee Creek walk
Shoo! All this walking is making me tired. Time to take a rest after our last 1 km hike!
This one is probably the most beautiful picnic spot in Knysna’s indigenous forest. This forest spot is located in two clearings, alongside a steam. The perfect spot to play in the water.
This spot was named after Queen Victoria in 1887. This was the site with the most activity during the Millwood Gold rush and the evidence can still be seen.
Hidden deep in the forest, you might even see a Knysna Elephant. Anything is possible.
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Directions: From Knysna take the N2 towards George, 8km out take the Rheenendal turnoff to the right. Follow this road for 12.6km and take the Bibby’s Hoek / Millwood Gold Fields turnoff to the right (becomes gravel just after the turn). You will reach a four way crossing with a boom, sign in and pay here. Sometimes, out of season, this boom is open and unmanned. Follow the Jubilee Creek directions to the Jubilee Creek picnic site, 10km.
Coordinates: S33 53.310 E22 58.005
And into the forest I go, to loose my mind and find my soul.
Harkerville Forest Flora Trail
After all the ‘Braaing” this weekend, we need to start walking again. So let’s start small…….again. The Harkerville Forest Flora Trail is a 1 km walk that starts at the Kranshoek picnic site. The trees are even numbered with the National Tree Number system, so this will make it easy to identify.
So, if you think it is time to start educate the kids, or even if you are like me, like trees but do not know much about them, then this walk is for you. Young and old!
Directions: Take the N2 from Knysna to Plettenberg Bay. At the Sasol petrol station, turn right and drive till you get to the Kranshoek Picnic Site.
Coordinates: S34 04.696 E23 13.671
So, in the words of one of my best friends, Johnny Walker: “Keep Walking”.
….on this day…we BRAAI!
Heritage Day is a South African public holiday celebrated on 24 September. On this day, South Africans across the spectrum are encouraged to celebrate their culture and the diversity of their beliefs and traditions, in the wider context of a nation that belongs to all its people.
The History behind it:
In KwaZulu-Natal, 24 September Heritage Day was known as Shaka Day, in commemoration of the Zulu King, Shaka. Shaka was the legendary Zulu King who played an important role in uniting disparate Zulu clans into a cohesive nation. Each year people gather at King Shaka’s grave to honour him on this day.
The Public Holidays Bill presented to the new democratic Parliament of South African 1995 did not have 24 September included on the list of proposed public holidays. As a result of this exclusion, the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), a South African political party with a large Zulu membership, objected to the bill. Parliament and the IFP reached a compromise and the day was given its present title and seen as a public holiday.
BUT….on this day…we BRAAI!
Come and stay at the Knysna Log-Inn and we will tell you our secret spot….if you take us with you.
Garden of Eden
This is not the one where Adam took the apple from Eve, or is it?
This is more of a “Leg Stretcher” than a hike. A walk really, but definitely worthwhile if you want to experience the real forest but don’t have a lot of time.
A 1km walk on a wooden board walk, wheelchair friendly, takes you through the heart of the Knysna forest. There is also numerous benches along the way.
So all you have to do, is to stop your car and stretch those legs!
Directions: Take the N2 from Knysna to Plettenberg Bay. You will see this walk clearly sign posted about halfway.
Coordinates: S34 02.071 E23 11.907
Certainly one of Knysna’s hidden gems. This is a very short walk, with steep hills and descents. Keep your flip-flops in the car for this one and take out your hiking shoes. This hike takes you all the way down to the Homtini River. Once you have reached the river, you can easily get lost there. Lost in the scenery. Wear you cozzie under your hiking gear, because this is the place to take a dip. The depth of the big pool has not yet been established, so please do not try to dive here. The water is discoloured due to all of the tannins and humic acids from the leaves on the forest floor
Take your time to look at the Fungi – amazing shapes and colors and listen to all the bird live.
Directions: From Knysna take the N2 towards George, turn off to Rheenendal. You will see the Bibby’s Hoek signpost after about 12 km. Follow this road for 2.3 km
Coordinates: S33.55.721 E22.56.406
Circles in a Forest hiking trail
Follow one of the hiking trails to experience the forest first-hand. Two trails at Krisjan-se-Nek: One trail is 3.1km (about 1.5 hrs) and the other one 9km (about 3 hrs). The route was previously knowns as the Woodcutter’s Trail, but was named after Dalene Matthee during the unveiling of the memorial. Circles in the Forest, is after all, one of her most famous books.
The route takes you to the heart of the indigenous forest, past Outeniqua Yellowwood trees that have been growing there for hundreds of years, tree ferns that are over 3 meters tall, babbling streams and exquisite fungus. If you lucky, you will even spot the Knysna Loerie.
Directions: From Knysna take the N2 towards George, about 8km out, take the Rheenendal turnoff to the right. Follow this road for 12.6km and take the Bibby’s Hoek / Millwood Gold Fields turnoff to the right (becomes gravel just after the turn). You will reach a four way crossing with a boom, sign in and pay here. Sometime out of season this boom is open and unmanned. Follow this road to the Dalene Matthee Memorial at the Krisjan Se Nek picnic site, 4km. The hike starts here.
Coordinates: S33 55.001 E22 57.467
Other: The water in the streams are drinkable, the dark colour is due to the tannins and humic acids from the leaves on the forest floor.