Running the Trails of Cape Town
Cape Town is an outdoor enthusiasts dream. Runners are particularly spoilt for choice, with so many beautiful mountain trails to choose from. There is a huge amount of variety meaning you can always find a new challenge and never need to be bored. The hills will make you work for the views, but once you get to the top you won't regret it!
Here are some of my favourite tracks that I have discovered so far since moving here at the start of the year...
A little bit of a drive out of the city, but worth it for the quieter trails and breathtaking scenery. Even the drive to get there, which takes you through the Cape Winelands, is stunning! This is my personal favourite location for trail running at the moment. For a longer run (~18km), I would highly recommend the Panorama trail- you really can't beat it. If you have slightly less time or looking for a shorter, less hilly route, the Swartboskloof/Sosyskloof loop is perfect.
This trail is a popular one! With its easy, rolling gradient and expansive views over the city and Lions Head, it's easy to see why. The other wonderful thing about the Contour path is that you can choose how long to make your run. It basically continues the whole way around Table Mountain, but it is easy to pick sections that suit your fitness level. One of our go to sections is starting at Kloof Corner and running along to Platteklip Gorge and back. My favourite time of day to run here is early in the morning as you get to see the sun rise over the city!
Newlands Forest is the perfect running destination for those hot summer days. The towering trees offer shelter along most routes, and you can cool off in the many waterfall and streams that trickle down the mountain. There are several routes that wind through the forest, so you can pick and choose new combinations every time. We have also done a few wet, winter runs here- the forest is a nice canopy to run under on those really rainy days!
Wake up early and head here for a sunrise run! As you run along the lower eastern slopes of Table mountain, through sections of indigenous forest and leaping over waterfalls, you can watch the sun come up over Cape Town. There are many different paths to choose from- you can find your way to the top of the mountain, following the contour path around, or drop down into Kirstenbosch gardens.
The Pipe track may start just meters away from the busy Kloof Nek road, but after a few minuets of running you soon feel far away from the bustle of the city. It is a popular route, but runners can enjoy the relatively flat and untechnical terrain.
I have found trail running to be the perfect way to explore Cape Town! It has allowed us to find so many new places and to really appreciate the serenity of the mountains. We have a lot more locations and routes on our 'to do' list, but let me know which your favourite trails are so we can add those in too! I'm looking forward to the summer months and enjoying more time out in the mountains.