In a similar vein to mountain biking, trail running has grown immensely in popularity since the COVID-19 pandemic. People are more flexible with their working hours and generally have a better home-work balance. The greater Robertson area offers an astounding amount of trail running routes that are safe, scenic and readily accessible.
What makes a run a ‘trail run?’
A trail run is any run that takes place in nature. Whether it is on Jeep track, single track or no track at all, trail running is outside and away from concrete and traffic. Trail running requires slightly more focus as the terrain is not always even and uses more upper body strength as a little bit of climbing may be required and we tend to use our upper bodies to help us balance when the ground is uneven.
There is also a general rule of thumb that trail runners appreciate nature, scenic views and a bit of quiet now and then.
What do beginners need to trail run?
Trail running differs from road running as one cannot always go at their full speed and should expect obstacles and unexpected elements on a trail running route. Some think of it as a ‘fun run.’
Water and sun protection
The African sun can be vicious, and the trails aren’t always well shaded. Make sure you have enough water for the journey and sunblock and a hat to keep your skin and eyes protected.
Trail running shoes
These aren’t technically necessary, but they make an enormous difference to the confidence of the runner to have shoes with good grip that can withstand getting wet and drying along a run.
Trail running routes at Van Loveren
There are a number of trail running options at the Family Vineyards:
The Java MTB trails offer a 2,5km and 10km option. Occasionally, these are open to the public as fun run events, so join our circle if you would like to be informed as to when this is happening. The 10km route boasts around 200m elevation and is rugged and incredibly beautiful.
The Fish Eagle Hiking Trail is a 7.5km trail running route which is widely enjoyed by locals, from families educating their children in local fauna to weekend warriors who want to improve their personal best times.
Trail Running Permit
In order to use the Fish Eagle Hiking Trail at Van Loveren, a permit is required. You can buy one from the Tasting Room at the Family Vineyards which is open from 08h00-17h00 from Monday to Friday but has shorter hours over the weekends.
If you’re more of a planner, or want to start your fun run before or after our trading hours, you can grab a permit from our website here : https://www.vanloveren.co.za/online-store/MTB-&-HIKING-PERMIT-c79493012. Otherwise, you are welcome to come and use the running trails any time between 08h00-17h00.
You will not be disappointed by the trail running routes in Robertson. The biodiversity and natural beauty will soothe your soul each time your sole hits the dirt. We can’t wait to see you out there and enjoy a drink with you afterwards at the Tasting Room as we hear about the Fish Eagles and caracal you spotted on your adventure!