Nestled on the slopes of the Lady Slipper you’ll find the Slipperfields Wedding and Conference Venue. It’s a true gem tucked away in what many could mistake as just farmlands. This certainly was the impression I got when I drove up to the parking area for the first time. It was like driving up to French Chateau (no castle unfortunately). But I digress, we were not here for a wedding. We had more important things to do.
From my conversations with Jana Rademeyer who runs the Slipperfields Venue and MTB Trails, I knew there were two trail options – a easier 10km loop and a more difficult 7km one. I met up with Charl Joubert who was there to keep me company but also to look good on the camera.
First up was the 10km easy route, purely because we wanted to leave the best for last – a very important rule not only reserved for mealtimes. The first 800m of the trail was all on grass and comparable to a Karoo sheep farmer being served a salad for supper. We got down to business chewing up the grass in order to get to the good stuff. We however couldn’t stop ourselves from day dreaming of the fun that could be had if this section was a smooth, hard packed surface in combination with the already natural berms tucked away under the grass.
Smooth, manicured surfaces with slight berms meant we could pick up the pace without IT getting messy on the bends.
After the side dish we made our way over the N2 and on to the neighbouring farmlands. After a short descent we must of missed a sign and wasn’t sure where to go next so we decided to make most of the remaining day light and skip right to desert! On our way back we were lucky to meet up with Jana who was actually waiting for us at the start and would surely have assisted us with not getting lost. From the sounds of it, we missed out and will definitely need to explore that section of trails on our next trip. She also informed us of some future plans to extend the 10km route to include some more technical riding sections which we were excited to hear about. And we were also glad to hear that they are finalising the route maps which will make navigation a breeze.
Back on the saddle and a short hop over the R102 and we were greeted by a big sign directing us onto the 7km trail. From the start it was evident that we were in for a treat. Smooth, manicured surfaces with slight berms meant we could pick up the pace without it getting messy on the bends. It’s a well balanced trail with climbing and descents in the right places adding to the flow of this route. There is even the option of taking the red route. It doesn’t add much distance to the the normal green route, but it does add many smiles to your face.
Novice riders might find the 7km trail a bit too difficult – physically and technically, but we’d recommend sticking to the green route and not letting that scare you off from riding these awesome trails. A lot of work has been put into the building these trails and at 7km it sounds short but it’s well worth the outing and there’s nothing stopping you from doing more than one lap (which we’d definitely do if it wasn’t getting dark). Most of this trail is also under the cover of trees so I’m sure it’s a jol to ride any time of the day.
At the end Charl and myself were both in agreement – our tyre treads would be featuring a lot more on these trails!
For more info about the Slipperfields MTB Trails you can go to www.slipperfields.co.za or contact Jana at firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: The Slipperfields MTB Trails are open every first and last weekend of the month. Upcoming trail days are 28-29 May and 4-5 June.
UPDATE: Slipperfields has a restaurant that is also open on the first and last weekend of the month. Saturdays until 12pm and Sundays until 3pm. There’s also plenty of wide open spaces for kiddies to run around.