Hiking Trails in Hermanus
Hiking in Hermanus is an adventure, from ancient Strandloper middens and fertile rock pools frequented by rare black oystercatchers to spectacular sea views from mountain tops where black eagles soar overhead.
The mountain behind Hermanus that makes up the Fernkloof Nature Reserve, and the mountains behind Onrus and Hawston, provide a network of more than 50km of hiking trails that can be taken at a stroll or tackled in a challenging climb.
The routes in the Fernkloof Reserve take hikers through a series of graded trails with a magnificent variety of fynbos. Over 1,600 different fynbos species have been digitised in the internationally recognised herbarium on the reserve. Plants flowering at any particular time of the year are collected and exhibited in a hut at the start of the trails and it is here you can also pick up a map and walking stick.
The Gardens at the start of Fernkloof Nature Reserve are open to the public during official opening times at no entrance fee. Enjoy a gentle walk amongst indigenous fynbos plants, look for the birds that inhabit the seasonal plant life or have a picnic on the rolling lawns with a small play park available for the children. Paved paths amongst areas of the garden are wheelchair friendly and storyboards offer interesting information about the local flora and fauna.
Galpin Hut is a rustic four-person overnight hut on Galpin Peak that can be pre-booked for a fee. All you need to pack is your bedding, towels, food and cooking equipment.
Closer to the sea and lagoon, the Hermanus Cliff Path offers hikers an experience of a completely different kind. Hugging the cliffs from the New Harbour all the way to Grotto Beach with one or two small detours on the way, the path provides a fascinating seaside trail along with some of the best land-based whale watching in the world.
Beachcombers will love the 18km long beach walk from Hermanus’s Grotto Beach to Die Plaat at De Kelders just outside Gansbaai. Only do the walk at low tide or it can be tough going in soft sand. Arrange a lift back to Hermanus or spend the night at one of Gansbaai’s B&Bs so you are well rested for the journey home.