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St Fort Hiking Trail

Clarens, Free State

Now re-opened as the Cannibal Trail (March2009) Some changes have been made to the layout of the trail. More info awaited.

The St. Fort Hiking Trail is situated on the farm Letsoana Stad, five kilometres from Clarens in the Eastern Free State, approximately 300kms from Gauteng. The Eastern Free State is well known for its beautiful sandstone formations and the Clarens area especially, can justifiably be singled out as being one of the jewels of natural beauty of South Africa.

The Trail

The St. Fort Trail is a two-day backpack route with a total distance of 17kms (10 on the first day and 7 on the second day).

Day 1

The trail starts off with some lengthy up-hills that serve to get the circulation going. The hike takes one past some spectacular overhangs and crosses several crystal streams. The trail is very well laid out and marked and has several ladders to negotiate and bridges to cross. The spectacular Jacobs ladder leads down about 50m to a beautiful resting place for lunch.


The second day of the trail takes the hiker along the edge of the valley, on top of a small cliff, giving splendid views into the many kloofs along the way. Once Ruth's camp comes into view far below, the hiker has to negotiate an impressive 125 step ladder to descend for a refreshing section of the trail along the Little Caledon river. A climb to the top of Mushroom rock is well worth the effort.


There are overnight facilities at Ruth's Base Camp; the camp is a restored dairy with full facilities and can hold 24 hikers. Mike's Cave is a magnificent overhang where bushman paintings can be seen; mattresses are supplied as well as a "long drop" toilet, wood, braai grid and pots.

Accommodation at Ruth's base camp


The St. Fort trail is well laid out and constructed and is sure to become popular with hiking groups. The views of the Maluti mountains including Horeb, Woodhouse, Generalskop, Visierskerf and George's Pimple are breathtaking. The accommodation is good and well maintained.

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Telephone  0861Jacana (0861 522262) or +27 12 734 2978


011656 0606

Fax 012 734 0159



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