The KZN South Coast’s incredible forests and farmlands offer a backdrop to some of the most stunning trail run locations.
This summer travellers can spend time enjoying some epic trail runs on their beach holiday.
As Phelisa Mangcu, CEO of Ugu South Coast Tourism, points out, many travellers seek a relaxing, nature-based holiday without compromising their fitness levels.
“The KZN South Coast is the ultimate holiday destination for such health-minded tourists. Our well-maintained trail runs prove increasingly popular and is a great opportunity to reconnect with nature and explore another part of the beautiful Paradise of the Zulu Kingdom," she said.
Here are some suggestions:
Rocky Bay Resorts in Scottburgh
Boasting incredible sea views and lush forest settings, runners can choose between a 4km, 6km, 8km and 10km trail run.
The running trails are marked in green while the mountain biking trails are marked orange. The property offers a restaurant, jungle gym, kids’ corner and swimming pool at the main lodge. Call 039 976 0336.
Umdoni Park Trust Golf Club & Nature Reserve in Pennington
The nature reserve has many forest walks and running trails. Home to more than 200 bird species, all trails are colour-coded and range from the half-hour Jeff’s Wild Trail to the tough 90-minute Gorge Trail with waterfall views.
There’s also the fun Interactive Trail with more than 300 informative signs on flora and fauna to the otter view site and forest pond. Call 039 975 1615.
Lake Eland Game Reserve in Oribi Gorge
Lake Eland Game Reserve’s vast bushveld, grassland, coastal forest, and wetlands ecosystems make it ideal for a scenic run.
Traverse the reserve on the walking or running trails and enjoy a meal at the restaurant and tea garden adjacent to the children’s playground. There are also beautiful picnic sites, an 80m suspension bridge, and a zip line tour. Call 039 687 0395.
ANEW Resort Ingeli Forest in Harding
Situated at the foot of the Ingeli mountain range, the forest has many trail running tracks ranging from 1.8km to 30km. One of the trails leads to a dam. Call 039 553 0600.
Ventures by Sweetdale in Margate
Set against rocky outcrops and rolling hills is this fantastic trail running spot. There are many intricate trails suited to running or walking, as well as the more challenging Alpine Hike through thick bush and streams.
The area is dog-friendly so furry friends can also get out and explore the region. Email [email protected]
Beaver Creek Coffee Estate in Port Edward
Beaver Creek Coffee Estate, known as the world’s southernmost coffee estate, is also home to some of the KZN South Coast’s best running trails.
Try the short 2.5km Espresso Route that traverses the coffee fields or the 8.5km Stoney Creek Route. The Estate Café offers plenty of meal options to energise runners. Call 039 311 2315/47.
Clearwater Trail Centre in Port Edward
Traverse a cross-section of both agricultural land and coastal forests teeming with incredible fauna and flora at Clearwater Trail Centre.
Trail runners pass through macadamia nut orchards, banana plantations, patches of forest, open grasslands, dams and stream crossings with panoramic views of the Umtamvuna River Gorge and the Indian Ocean.
The multi-purpose trails are suited to trail runners, nature walkers and mountain bikers. The trail route starts and ends at Beaver Creek Coffee Estate with easy-to-follow white stone markers with blue or green arrows to guide trail runners. Email [email protected]