Private Nature Reserve

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Eastford Hiking Trails

Enjoy The Wonders Nature Of Knysna

Of the many attractions to living on Eastford Estates, the beautiful natural areas that surround us must score high on the list. The combined six Eastford estates forms a large area to safely explore on foot and be totally immersed in nature. One can walk for kilometres and enjoy vistas of the Outeniqua mountains, the Knysna lagoon, lily laden ponds as well as an abundance of indigenous flora with the bird and insect life that they attract. Throughout the year one is constantly rewarded with ever changing displays of blossoms, mushrooms, and our very own colony of carnivorous plants – Drosera capensis or cape sundew.

The walking trails are not very long but can be extended, as many of the paths are interconnected. They are well maintained with some of the points of interest signposted along the way. A moderate level of fitness is required particularly for the yellowwood trail with its steep descent and the 150 steps up the other side. Be on the lookout for snakes that like to sun themselves on the paths.
Residents are encouraged to share photographs of their sightings with the Eastford community, thus encouraging more people taking to the trails and appreciating the natural beauty of our surroundings.

Start the trail at the large pine tree in Spiral Park (H) at the top of Fish Eagle drive and take time to remember the devastating fire of 2017 and the many houses that were lost. The bricks used in the Fibonacci spiral in the centre of the park were collected from each of the burned houses and symbolise the natural order and balance that ultimately prevails in the world. Vegetation regrowth along the trail bears testimony to this theory.

From the park take the servitude road beneath the pylons past house #7 Fish Eagle and continue past the electric fence, turn right at The Pond signpost. This path takes you across a paved road, cross this road and the path continues to the right just past the security camera. Along this part of the trail there are lovely views of the farms across the valley and our hamlet of the Vale.

After a gradual climb you will reach Country Estate’s top entrance road. Turn left along this road past house number 34 and turn right down the path that leads to the four-hundred-year-old yellowwood tree (D), then gird your loins for the 150 steps that take you back up the hill whilst enjoying views of the Outeniqua mountains in the distance (C). At the next intersection turn right and continue down the hill past camera #42. At the bottom of the hill turn right along the servitude towards Eastford Downs and 100 meters later left onto the Country Walk path. After a few hundred meters turn left at the Downs dam (B). At the intersection you can continue straight down the path to the Ridge Dam (A) and return to the Downs Dam along the fire break. There are benches at both dams where you can watch the busy weaver birds. Turn left along onto the fire break and right at the servitude, cross the paved road and after a few hundred meters turn left onto the path. This path leads gradually up the hill through a small grove of Keurboom trees. At the next intersection take the middle path with yellow feet marker. Cross over the servitude and continue past the pool on your left. Along this section there are plenty of Ericas that flower mid to late summer. Continue along the path past the big pine tree towards Greeff’s farm where you will turn left. Along this part of the trail, you will be rewarded with magnificent views of the lagoon and Heads in the distance. At the servitude turn right to finish where you started.

This trail consists of a mix of streets and trails and is a perfect example of the collaborative spirit that exists between the various estates. Note: you will need a key for the gate at Rickety Bridge.

Start your walk at Spiral Park (H) and head down Owl Street while enjoying the lagoon view. After 100m take the path on the left which leads to Weaver dam (I) where you will find a table and bench and plenty of weavers during their breeding season between September and January. The path leads out the other side and onto Lourie where you will turn right. Continue down the hill on Lourie, then Swallow and turn left onto the path near the camera. Follow the path to the power lines and past a thicket of wattle which is being eradicated systematically. At the next junction turn right onto Plover which will take you past the children’s play park – beware of the crocodile!

Continue along Plover and turn right down Fish Eagle and left into Nightjar. At the end of Nightjar there is a path on the right leading down to Vale dam (F). This pretty little dam attracts a wide variety of birds and if you are lucky, you may find evidence of grysbok that come to drink here. Be on the lookout for the Golden Orb spider. These large spiders are well known for their magnificent golden webs. The females usually have black legs and a yellow to white abdomen and are harmless to humans and pets.

Retrace your steps back up to the Rickety Bridge and pass through the gate (here is where you will need your key). This path crosses the paved road and continues a few meters up. Keep left at the next split until you reach the paved road. Pass below the weir and turn right up the next path. Keep left once you reach the paved road and turn right between the two brown plant pots and past the estate nursery. Here the path resumes and take you downhill towards Downs. In this area there are many paths to explore, just use the power lines as your guide as they will lead you back to the where you started. The path will cross under the power lines and take you back to the path below the pool and past Greeff’s farm. Keep left at the fence and continue along the path back to the servitude road.

Yellow Trail

Distance 3.6km
Duration 50 minutes
Elevation Gain 120m

Collaboration Trail

Distance 4.5km
Duration 1h30m
Elevation Gain 183m

PRIVATE NATURE RESERVE

Exploring Eastford’s Natural Wonders

Step into a world where the harmony of nature reigns supreme. Eastford’s Private Nature Reserve invites you to immerse yourself in the splendor of Knysna’s rich biodiversity, where rolling hills, pristine forests, and crystal-clear streams await exploration. As one of the first Private Nature Reserves established in the region, Eastford is a testament to the enduring legacy of conservation and stewardship. Here, every corner unveils a new wonder, beckoning adventurers and nature enthusiasts alike to discover the untamed beauty of the Western Cape.

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