The Mpumalanga Highlands have some of the best scenery in South Africa and if you enjoy mountain biking you should try some of the local trails near Dullstroom. Some local off-Dullstroom MTB locals-rides
Dullstroom to Tonteldoos & back: A total of 46 km on dirt road with very little traffic and very safe. Climb to 2150m soon after leaving Dullstroom. There are a few climbs along the way but the route gradually drops to 1800m. You will pass numerous trout fishing syndicates and stunning farms. A midway break can be found at Pendlehill Dairy / Cheese Farm & Restaurant, a good point to reload your carbs and protein naturally. The return trip is back along the same road with a lot more climbing!
Kruisfontein Loop – Short:43 km in total predominantly on dirt road with 14km of tar included. This route can be done clockwise (Hardcore) or anti-clockwise (Wannabe). The Hardcore option starts in Dullstroom, heads out on the Belfast road, turns left @ Birds of Prey Centre onto the Kruisfontein rd, continue down the Kruisfontein road passing private trout syndicates and 3 Estate developments before turning left @ aprox 23 km @ the Morgonzon sign – at this point you dropped from 2050m in Dullstroom to 1750m. From hear you climb for 10 km up the escarpment past Wickhams Country Retreat (remember to look back and enjoy stunning views over the escarpment and down into the Kwena Basin at the top of the Wickhams climb), the ride eases off after the Wickhams climb (be warned this is a serious climb) with a few more climbs and drops for about 9 km before reaching the Lydenburg rd, turn left onto the tar back to Dullstroom.
The Wannabe route is done in the opposite direction and is easier but has the same amount of total climb. Be careful of the Wickhams decent. It is very steep and very rocky.
T6 Tonteldoos – De Berg Ring Road:
75 km in total, predominantly dirt road plus a portion of tar. Start in Dullstroom @ 2050m and head out on the Tonteldoos road climbing to 2150m, descend to Tonteldoos @ 1800m, pass Tonteldoos and continue round on the Rossenekal / Lydenburg / Stoffberg – tar rd climbing to 2256 m before turning right onto the De Berg – Nederhorst – dirt rd. At this point you are close to the highest point –De Berg - on the Steenkampsberg - the highest point in the old Transvaal Province @ 2331m and the highest tar road in South Africa @ 2256m (extremely good chance of snow in winter after cold fronts have hit). From here you ride along a stunning ridge @ 2200m with breathtaking views to your left and right before descending as you pass Veloren Valei (declared a Ramsar Site), down the pass, along the De Berg rd past magnificent farms with a final fast decent to the Lydenburg road. Turn right just before crossing the railway line and ride along next to the railway line on a jeep track. Route can be done either way. Not for the unfit!!
Kruisfontein / Machadodorp Ring Road:
33km in total on predominantly dirt road with 11km of tar. Start in Dullstroom; continue for 9km along the Belfast rd, turn left @ Elandskloof sign. Continue to the Valeispruit sign, turn left, ride along a very quite farm road before descending to the Kruisfontein rd, turn left onto the Kruisfontein rd straight into a good climb. Drop down to the Crocodile River with a few more climbs, reaching the tar road @ Birds of Prey Centre, turn right onto the tar and ride back into Dullstroom.
Start in Dullstroom head for the Dullstroom Dam / Caravan Park, turn left just before the caravan park entrance, up the hill, turn right just before the railway track and follow the jeep track next to the railway line. Ride along next to the railway track on a jeep track past rolling hills and valleys, cross over the De Berg rd and continue up to as far as Santa Farm, which is just after Walkersons Country Estate. The return trip is along the same route.
De Berg Rd & back:
Up to 42 km of predominantly dirt road with about 8km of jeep track – Start in Dullstroom head for the Dullstroom Dam / Caravan Park, turn left just before the caravan park entrance, up the hill, turn right just before the railway track and follow jeep track next to the railway line to the De Berg rd, turn left onto De Berg rd & decide how far you want to go before turning round and returning to follow the jeep track back into Dullstroom. This route will take you past the Dullstroom Nature Reserve along the De Berg rd, which is lined by stunning farms and endless vistas of unspoilt Sub-alpine grasslands. Just before ascending a steep hill you will cross the Lynsklip River, a few dams on your right and, as you climb the hill, pass Veloren Valei on your left. Keep an eye out for Blue & Crowned Crane, Baldheaded Ibis and a variety of Raptors. There is a Quartz Crystal pit just before you reach the top of the hill on your left. As you descend down the other side of the climb you will pass a wetland area, in Veloren Valei that is home to a variety of rare endemic ground orchids.
Elandskloof, Winnaarspoort & Kloppenheim:
76 km in total predominantly on dirt road with 12 km of tar. Start in Dullstroom, head out on the Belfast rd for 9 km, turn left onto the Elandskloof dirt road continue for 13 km, turn left. Continue for 7 km before turning right. En route pass to 2 radio towers (Mareskop 2020m - at this point you will be able to enjoy an amazing view from the edges of the escarpment and down into the Kwena Basin) and enjoy a fast descent into a neck where you will turn right. Continue down through a stunning farm and Bluegum tree plantations, pass old farm buildings, a luxurious lodge and after 5 km reach a T-junction at Winnaarspoort. Turn right and follow for 4.5km, Machadodorp town and refinery can be clearly seen on your left. Ride until reaching a sign that indicates Dullstroom, turn right and continue up through an avenue of old trees and an old farmhouse. Ride along next to a crystal clear stream, up a steep rocky pass until after 7.5 km you get to the same crossing where you turned left up to the radio towers – continue straight back along the road for 7 km. Turn right onto the Valeispruit rd. 4 km along this road you will cross the Crocodile River. Continue another 3km before reaching the Kruisfontein rd after a fast decent. Turn left and onto the Kruisfontein rd straight into a good climb. Drop down to the Crocodile River with a few more climbs, reaching the tar road @ Birds of Prey Centre, turn right onto the tar and ride back into Dullstroom.
If you want to stay in the area consider staying at Stonecutters Lodge midway between Dullstroom & Lydenburg and conveniently situated for mountain biking routes in the area.