For this past Sunday’s hike, we decided to head to Faerie Glen in Pretoria. Even though it’s located in the middle of the city, it’s a little gem for a nature fix.
There are three main routes at Faerie Glen, the longest being around 4km. We enjoy around 10km at least, so we planned to join a few of the paths together to get as close to that as we could.
We began with a steep ascent that only got steeper. After the bout of exercise I’d had over the past few days, this hit the legs pretty hard just walking up. This would be excellent hill training for trails. The ascent eventually flattened out to a great view of Pretoria and surrounds.
We then decided to follow the higher route and stuck to the fence as close as we could. This is a very rocky path, and there was even some good climbing involved as an added bonus. We reached the end of this section and eventually headed down. The descent was just as steep as the ascent, definitely some ankle twist territory if you’re not careful.
As the path flattened out, we walked across towards the mystical sounding “Weaver’s Pool”. In summer, this would be a pretty awesome place to swim and hang out. We continued our meander of adjoining paths, eventually finding what seemed like a secret spot. A giant tree with roots and trunks entering and leaving the ground, the ground covered with green leaves and the entire area shaded. This is the “Big Bushwillow” on the map, a perfect picnic spot.
We moved along joining paths and crossing rivers, eventually heading back to the first view point and back down the steep decline. All in all the route we did was around 7km. I’d recommend Faerie Glen if you’re keen to get out for a short hike, especially if you are going to be picnicing or the like. If you want to do some good short distance trail running, this is also a great find. If you’re into longer hikes, I’d suggest giving Faerie Glen a miss for that, and rather try Groenkloof or Suikerbosrand.