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DESTINATION TRAIL:
SOUTH AFRICA

Welcome to the second season of Destination Trail. This year, we'll continue to follow riders as they travel the globe, hunting for its greatest trails. Some of what we'll find might be renowned, some undiscovered, but that's the point. After all, when expectations and attitudes are stripped away, only the essence of mountain biking remains. This is where adventure continues to thrive, and it's here that memories are made.

DESTINATION #9

STELLENBOSCH, SOUTH AFRICA

In this episode of Destination Trail, we follow Hannah Barnes and Miranda Miller as the pair ride the scorched wilderness of Stellenbosch, South Africa. While a vast network of trails have existed here since the '90s, after a massive fire scorched much of the Jonkershoek Nature Reserve in 2015, fresh funding has paved the way for even more singletrack. And today, this lemonade-out-of-lemons approach has rejuvenated existing trails and laid the groundwork for new ones, making the area a true destination for any mountain biker with a love for dusty red earth.

THE RIDERS

HANNAH BARNES & MIRANDA MILLER

THE TRAILS

JONKERSHOEK NATURE RESERVE

Situated about nine kilometers from the expansive vineyards of Stellenbosch, South Africa, the Jonkershoek Nature Reserve consists of nearly 9800 hectares of land. And because of its size and topography, it features an extremely diverse landscape for trails. First, there's the Jonkershoek Mountains, which form the exquisite Jonkershoek valley, and then there are three rivers that form and flow from these mountains. And for anyone seeking a true adventure experience, the Reserve's flora and fauna are equally diverse, with everything from Cape cobras to baboons calling the region home.

"The trails in Jonkershoek have been around since the '90s. Since the big fire in March 2015, it pushed things in a very good direction. We got extra funding and could start building new trails and redoing old ones." — Bennet Nel

In March of 2015, however, thousands of hectares burned at the hands of a raging wildfire, destroying much of the lush vegetation of the area. Today, though, reconstruction efforts are underway, and a wave of fresh funding has actually led to the creation of new trails, while also improving and restoring those existing. As you can see in this episode, the Reserve is rebounding quite triumphantly.

THE GEAR

TRAIL ESSENTIALS