Gold Nugget cycling route launched during Parks Week
Thursday, 15 September 2016, 07:30
Enthusiastic cyclists gather at the starting point of the new Gold Nugget cycling route at Millwood. Photo: Supplied
KNYSNA NEWS - The gold nugget cycling route was launched on September 11 in Goudveld, Millwood. Garden Route National Park (GRNP) manager Paddy Gordon says, "We’re finding creative ways to make people feel more welcome in the park during SA National Parks Week. If cycling is the new golf, then we have found ways to upgrade existing trails to suit the entire family."
The park’s motto is "adventure is in our nature", which is in line with the SA National Parks mandate of connecting society to national parks.
Seventy-five cyclists tested the Gold Nugget route on the day, with the race divided into 5km, 7.5km and 10km stretches. There are already 10 trails in the park, mainly in Harkerville for experienced riders, but the Gold Nugget targets junior riders as well as beginners. It’s scenic and beautiful set in the middle of the forest with ocean backdrops and fynbos. Goudveld is an old mining town in the middle of the forest.
10km race winners Brendan William (Knysna Sports School) Dr Rudi de Wet
Key ranger in Goudveld, Dominique du Toit, says the area is fascinating for its biodiversity and rich history.
"Back in 1876 gold was discovered by James Hooper along the Karatara River. Later, in 1887, more discoveries were made in the nearby Millwood area. Millwood in those days had hotels, a church, a shop, a surgery, a bank, school and a post office.
The two remaining houses from that era are used as a museum to showcase the area’s cultural history as well as a restaurant (Materiolli or Mother Holly). The goldfields are also still visible."
This area is also where most of the woodcutters lived until they were removed from the forests in 1939. Renowned author Dalene Matthee wrote much about the lives of woodcutters.
Goudveld is a popular hideaway 22km from Knysna, in Bibby’s Hoek. It is part of the GRNP afromontane forests, the largest continuous indigenous forest in South Africa. It is located on the lower slopes of the Outeniqua Mountains with a magnificent variety of fynbos, birds, amphibians, reptiles and mammal species.
All three parks have free access events planned every day until Sunday, September 17, from guided hiking to bird and seahorse talks. Please visit the Garden Route section on www.sanparks.org or on social media.
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