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Outeniqua Hiking Trail

(Beervlei to Millwood)

The Outeniqua hiking trail is situated in the Outeniqua mountains between George and Plettenberg Bay in the Cape Province. The main features of this trail are the beautiful Knysna forests with their numerous bubbling streams cascading through glades of Tree Ferns and the Cape Fynbos that the trail traverses along the mountain ridges. The trail in total covers a distance of 106.5 Kms and there are eight overnight huts provided for the hiker.

Day 11 (16 Kms) Beervlei to Windmeulnek

The trail start from Beervlei hut situated at the Beervlei forest station. The hut is comfortable and can accommodate up to 30 people. The first part of the trail is relatively level and though indigenous forest. After a while the trail descends to cross the Hoekkraal river. The river is not a major obstacle and can normally be crossed with ease. From the river the trail rises steeply until a forestry road is reached. The rest of the day is spent winding upwards along forestry roads until eventually Windmeulnek hut is reached after about 6 hours walking. Windmeulnek hut is perched on a mountain saddle with lovely views over the surrounding peaks.

The hut has four rooms with bunk beds and mattresses. Water is provided by means of rain water tanks and toilets are of the "pit" variety. A  cold water shower is also provided along with a covered braai area.

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Beervlei hut The group at the start
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The first obstacle Lovely Fern-lined stream
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Arrival at Windmeulnek Time for tea
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Time for a clean-up Windmeulnek Hut
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View from Windmeulnek Hut Sunrise over the mountains

Day 2 (17 Kms) Windmeulnek to Platbos

The second day of the trail stars off with a short climb along a ridge before a steep descent of about 500m to cross the Karatara river. This is followed by an equally stiff climb until a contour path is reached. The path passes several picturesque mountain streams with ferns and a rich variety of fynbos with many different examples of fungi. Lovely views towards the distant coastline can also be seen on a clear day. Eventually the trail descends and the last part of the day's takes the hiker along a forestry road until Platbos hut is reached. Platbos hut is a purpose built hikers hut with basic accommodation for 30 hikers. Bunk beds and mattresses are provided.

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Crossing the Karatara river Looking back at the hut
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View of the mountains ahead View towards the coast
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The path can be muddy Fern-lined path
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The path ahead Across the hillside
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Tea or water? A lovely spot for a stop
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More Tree Ferns A beautiful water feature!
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A waterfall along the trail The hut at last
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A welcome sign Studying the trail map


Day 3 (15,5 Kms) Platbos to Millwood

Much of the route to Millwood is along forestry road. The route is very pleasant and with the exception of the steep downhill to cross the Homtini river and the equally steep uphill that follows, the day's walk can be considered as moderate in Outeniqua standards. The day's walk takes in the beautiful Jubilee Creek and finishes at the old gold mining town of Millwood. Millwood hut is an old two story building with a wood burning stove to heat the water. Mother Holly's is a tea room run by the Millwood preservation society and provides a welcome break from trail food. Light meals, soft drinks and tea and cakes are available. The tea room also acts as a gift shop and a museum.

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The way through the forest The way not taken
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The forest has many hidden treasures Spider webs along the way
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The Homtini River Crossing the river
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A study in light Jubilee Creek
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Picnic Site at Jubilee Creek The board at the entrance
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Mother Holly's Inside Mother Holly's
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Millwood hut Do you really burn stoves?
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The stove in question A bat found in the hut



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Footprint Hiking Club

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