White River has always been a little gem in the Kruger-Lowveld, or “Slowveld” as we like to call it. Situated close to the beauty of the Panorama Route and just 30 minutes from our national treasure, the Kruger National Park – it boasts good restaurants, lodgings and has artists in numbers. With the altitude comes a temperate climate – a great place to stay when visiting the area.
It is also a good spot for cyclists and is getting better all the time.
Cycling from your front door you find yourself on peaceful sand tracks within minutes We locals can be seen out on the trails any day of the week and we love to share our space with visitors.
One of the first things a cyclist will notice is that White River is definitely not flat! The rolling hills of the area are covered in trees planted in deep red soil with the occasional granite dome protruding from the earth. The views from the hilltops are a spectacular green carpet of trees with dams on the valley floors.
Intrepid MTB enthusiasts have been entering the forests around White River for years, exploring trails and discovering new exciting areas in this diverse landscape. They have been doing so unofficially, but instead of barring them from the area, the people at MTO have worked closely with the town’s cycling community to formalise the trails and create a world-class mountain biking experience.
The MTO Trails officially opened in February 2018 and have become a favourite route among mountain bikers and trail runners looking for safe, clearly marked routes that offer scenic and exhilarating experiences.
The routes are located in MTO’s forestry plantations, offering a wide variety of tracks for mountain bikers, trail runners and hikers, affording them the opportunity to explore the Lowveld’s hidden treasures in areas that were previously inaccessible to the public.
MTO trails consist of over 80 kilometres of loops, from which numerous single-track trails snake off and back on again, allowing long continuous rides over a 6000ha area with very few man-made obstacles.
The routes range in technicality, from beginners to advanced options. Laid-back riders and runners can explore the scenic routes across the main dirt roads and jeep tracks of the primary loops. Seasoned athletes can tackle the side tracks, heading deep into uncharted territory.
The base loops will give you between 20 & 40 km of riding. From there the rider must venture onto the 40 km single track network around White River. The majority of single track have a 3 dimensional feel as you wind your way around the trees in the plantations, duck under obstacles in the indigenous areas or cycle through grasslands along the dams and rivers.
Remember to stop occasionally listen to the bird life, watch our birds of prey effortlessly glide through the trees, allow the African wild life to scamper back into the undergrowth and breathe in the views of one of the most beautiful areas of South Africa.
Today the White River trails are open for riders of all ages and experience. From taking a calm ride around the main route to tackling the many side-routes, it’s a great adventure.
The White River trails have already hosted several events and continue to experience a regular influx of riders from near and far, even abroad.
There are so many coffee shops in White River that cater for cyclists, like Magnolia, Zannas and Plantsman and more. We are lucky to have them!
We’d like to thank the MTB community of White River and Nelspruit for their cooperation and passion. It’s a reminder that MTO is just the guardian of natural splendour that everyone should have a chance to enjoy and appreciate.
Call 021 866 1512