The Seven Passes Route System includes some scenic routes on tarmac and gravel between George and Knysna, built by Thomas Bain and his brother-in-law. The road connects all the smaller hamlets of the area and was once the main road between the two towns. Routes also flows to the Map of Africa and around Wilderness and Hoekwil.
Map of Africa ± 27.8 km ± 768 m Moderate
Starting at the security boom gate at the entrance to the Garden Route Dam, the route follow the old original 7 Passes road between George and Knysna. This section is tar road so watch out for vehicles, the road is narrow at times. Turn right at the top towards Wilderness Heights / Wildernesshoogte and follow the road and detour to Map of Africa (gravel road).
Whites Road ± 31.0 km ± 832 m Moderate
Head east via the 7 Passes road towards Wilderness, turn right at Wilderness Heights / Hoogte road. Continue on the narrow tar road with a very steep downhill into Wilderness (for a coffee stop) and head back east via Whites road (left turn out of Waterside road) with its beautiful views. Whites road takes you back to the top towards the Seven Passes road.
Hoekwil ± 44.6 km ± 1,055 m Hard
An extended route towards Wilderness along the old wood cutter’s road towards the little hamlet of Hoekwil. Turning right at the T-junction takes you to Hoekwil before descending down the short Hoekwil pass (1:6 gradient). The bottom of the pass makes a horse shoe turn towards the west and takes you across the Touwsriver into Wilderness via Waterside road.
Lakes Loop ± 53.0 km ± 1,137 m Hard
Start by heading out along the 7 Passes road from George, continue alongside the mountain and turn right towards Sedgefield/Rondevlei. The gravel road will take you down to Bo-langvlei, past Island Lake into Wilderness via Waterside road.
ABOUT GEORGE TRAILS
George Trails is SA’s largest and most diverse network of mountain biking, trail running and hiking routes, totaling more than 1000 kilometers. Located at the heart of the Garden Route, between the Indian ocean and the foothills of the Outeniqua mountains, the picturesque city of George boasts lush indigenous forests, fynbos, pine plantations, mountains, oceans, rivers, dams, mountain passes, farmlands and semi-desert (Karoo) all within a 20km radius of a town or city centre. Dubbed the ‘Trail Republic’, George offers an incredible diversity of route options – from the historic Montagu Pass to the single tracks of Witfontein to the plantations of Saasveld, jeep tracks and beaches of Wilderness – you’ll never get bored exploring this amazing natural playground. George is also situated along the Cross Cape Cycle Route between Plett and Stellenbosch.