HUISKRANS STEERING SE KLOOF CIRCULAR ROUTE
About 6km; 2¼-3 hours
The starting point of both this route and the Steering se Kloof Return Route is 300 metres past the Middelplaas Cottage at the gate on the right hand side of the road as you go up the valley.
You go through the gate and the start of the circular route is immediately on your left against the fence. Because of the gradient and the layout of the route, it is advised to do this route only in a clockwise direction. The first part is next to the fence. It then swings away from the fence and goes through a few gullies. Then you start climbing a steep twisting path until you reach a plateau. From here you can admire the views across the Gamka River and towards the mountains.
You then walk through the unspoilt gwarrie pruimbos veld and climb some more. When you get to the renosterbos you start your descend. The trial twists as it descends until it joins the Steering se Kloof return route. At this point you must turn left if you want to go to the fountain which is quite close by. Be careful not to walk past the fountain as the route stops there and you may get lost. At the fountain you must turn around and continue down Steering se Kloof. You can also, if you do not want to visit the fountain, at the intersection immediately bear right and continue with the circular route down Steering se Kloof. You will walk through Spekbos and lower down there are beautiful examples of indigenous trees. Stop to have a look at the weathered rock formations. There are a number of caves and even a window in a rock face about a third of the way down if you know where to look. The pictures of the leopards and other animals in the book in the cottages where taken in the Kloof. However, there is no need to be alarmed. The pictures were taken with a stationary camera activated by movement. We have never met anybody who has actually seen leopards in the Kloof. However if you see them please take a picture.
This route is only for the reasonably fit, who are used to hiking.
STEERING SE KLOOF RETURN ROUTE
About 3km; 1½ hours
The route also starts at the gate described under the Circular Route.
The Steering se Kloof Return route is an easier alternative with a more gradual gradient. When you go through the gate carry on directly to the jeep track and follow it. Just past the dam on your right it changes into a hiking trial. This trial is a gradual climb through Spekbos, fynbos and for most part beautiful indigenous trees. The first part follows the bed of the river and after good rains you have to cross the river on stones. You will see the wonderful rock formations with caves and even a window in a rock if you know where to look, formed through wind erosion.
When the Kloof opens up, watch out for the intersection where the Circular Route joins the Return Route from the left. Be careful not to walk past this point as you will then be walking the far longer and difficult Circular Route in the wrong direction which is not advisable You are at this point quite close to the turnaround point of the Return Route at the fountain. You must bear right at the intersection. Be careful not to pass the fountain and carry on as there is no path once past the fountain.
This route is not difficult, but still requires a level of fitness as you do walk up a gradient going up the valley.
For this walk you go down to the picnic stop next to the Gamka River. You go through the gate opposite Die Skuur and follow the road down to the picnic spot. Park your car on the grass in the shade under the trees. Do not take the path you see on your right leading from the grass where there is no sign. Go down to the river and walk past the braai area, where a sign indicates the start of the Rivierpad. This path wanders next to the river, starting over some boulders. Along the way there are 2 benches where you can sit and relax. After about 15 minutes, you get to a grassy area. Here you can decide to either return along the same path along the river, or turn sharp right and go back to the picnic area with the alternative route through the bushes.
This route is an easy, flat route.