A Holy Grail for Trail Runners

Are you a trail runner? Then Knysna is where you have to be this July! With four trail runs taking place over the 10-day Knysna Oyster Festival in iconic surroundings it is fast becoming a “holy grail for trail runners”.

Taking place from 1-10 July this year, the Festival is known for its bucket list sport events like the 37th Knysna Forest Marathon and Half Marathon and the 2-day Knysna Cycle Tour. These events happen in the forest part of Knysna’s “natural playground” – the indigenous Knysna forests framed by the mountains in the back and the Knysna lagoon and oceans on the other side.

By their nature trail runs take people to “off the grid” areas, and the races happening during the Festival do that in spectacular style!

Saturday 2 July
The Featherbed Trail Run
“Profoundly more than just a run.” That is how race organisers Magnetic South describe the event. The adventure begins with a remote start on the other side of the famous Knysna railway line. Runners will walk across and start on the reserve. From here the route follows the dramatic coastline and traverses the Western Head to end down the “stairs to heaven” at the Featherbed Nature Reserve. There are two options – the 21 km GREAT WHITE or the 11km SEAHORSE.

The reserve is not usually accessible for visitors other than on a guided tour, so this is also a great opportunity to see usually inaccessible areas of the Reserve. Plus – your entry includes a ferry trip on the Knysna lagoon, a buffet lunch and live music!

Click here for more information.

Sunday 3 July
The Garden Route Trail Park Trail Run
A few years ago Barrington was just a farming area known for the Big Tree Nursery, beautiful vistas and herds of cows. That all changed when the Garden Route Trail Park opened. A hotspot on any adventure seeker’s list, the Park boasts a seriously hot pump track and a variety of single route tracks in valleys and mountains around the park.

This run is taking place on one of the Trail Park’s existing routes. It is a 7km fun run that will appeal to everyone, even those with basic fitness levels. The Trail Park will also be the venue for Day 2 of the Knysna Cycle Tour, so if you have a cycling buddy and want to be part of the action, this is a great option!

Click here for more information.

Thursday 7 July
The KnysnaX Trail Series Winter Run
A choice of a 6km, 18km or 25km trail run along the beautiful Knysna railway with spectacular views of the Goukamma River and Knysna Lagoon. The routes include spectacular bridge crossings and breath-taking scenery all along the Knysna railway line.

The new 25km route is for the serious trail blazers and one not to be missed. The 6km fun run is a fun scenic trail for the whole family. Children are welcome to enter, but must be accompanied by an adult.

The KnysnaX Trail series contributes to the Western Heads Goukamma Conservancy and included in the entry fee is a small fee that goes towards the alien clearing and conservancy of the extremely endangered Knysna fynbos.

Click here for more information.

Sunday 10 July
The Houtkapper Trail Run – ‘There’s gold in them thar hills’

The Goudveld Forest Reserve, in the lush Afromontane forests of the Garden Route National Park, is the home of the Houtkapper Trail Run. Only 22km from Knysna, it is nestled in the lower slopes of the Outeniqua Mountains.

In 1887 James Hopper discovered alluvial gold along the Karatara River. Later, in 1887, more discoveries were made in the nearby Millwood Forest. The evidence of gold mining is still visible and let’s agree, it is not often you get a chance to “run through gold”!

The area has a magnificent variety of fynbos, birds, amphibians, reptiles, and mammal species. The route includes the Sour Flats and the Millwood forests, and runners can choose between a 27km, 15km and 9km start.

Who knows, you may just find your own nugget along the way! 😉

Click here for more information.

See you in Knysna in July!

The 2022 Festival

1 – 10 July

Cycle – Trail Running – Running – Golf – Art – Fun Activities

Programme – www.knysnaoysterfestival.co.za

Facebook: @KnysnaOysterFestival Instagram: @knysnaoysterfestival Twitter: @oysterfestival