Hiking trails in Hermanus
Huff and puff your way up a mountain or skip-along next to the seashore, there cannot be many places that offer as many options for hiking, walking, ambling, climbing, strolling, crawling or rock climbing as Hermanus does.
The massive mountain behind Hermanus that makes up the Fernkloof Nature Reserve and the mountains that reach up behind Onrus and Hawston provide a network of more than 50km of hiking paths that can be taken at a stroll or tackled in a challenging climb.
The “formal” routes in the Fernkloof Reserve take the hiker through a series of graded trails, through a magnificent variety of Fynbos of which the 1 600 different species can be found stored in the internationally recognised herbarium in the reserve. Plants flowering at any particular time of the year are collected and exhibited in the hut at the start of the trails in the reserve. Here you can pick up a handy walking stick as well as a map.
There are several fascinating gardens in the reserve where gentle walks cater for wheelchairs and notices in Braille cater for the blind.
A rustic overnight hut in the reserve accommodates 4 – pre-book with Lee at 028 312 3011. Lee is also a fountain of information about the Fynbos and the reserve.
Informal hikes can also be taken in the mountains beyond the reserve with the permission of landowners.
Closer to the sea and lagoon is a unique stretch of coastal fynbos that offers hikers an experience of a completely different kind. The Cliff Path is one of the greatest assets Hermanus has, hugging the cliffs from the New Harbour all the way to Grotto Beach (with one or two small detours onto the way). The Cliff Path provides 12km of fascinating seaside ambling or hiking and the best land based whale watching in the world.
Beach combers will love the long beach walk at Grotto Beach to Die Plaat. For hikers there is an 18km stretch of pristine beach to hike from Hermanus to De Kelders. Only do the walk at low tide or it can be tough going in soft sand. Hikers can stop over at Sopiesklip where a little cave offers shelter, or press on to De Kelders for a comfortable night in a guesthouse.
Hiking in Hermanus is an adventure, from Strandloper middens and rock pools frequented by rare Black Oyster Catchers to spectacular sea views from mountain tops with Black Eagles soaring overhead.