Knysna has no shortage of hiking opportunities, with varied terrain and numerous ecosystems to choose from. Guided or unguided beach or mountain hikes of almost any difficulty and distance are up for grabs, the only constants being the exceptional views, fresh air and exercise.
There are thirteen recognised short hikes in the vicinity of Knysna town, which take only a few hours to complete. These include:
- Buffalo Beach
- Brenton to Buffalo Bay
- Circles in the Forest hiking trail (Old Woodcutter or Krisjan-se-nek Trail)
- Drupkelders hiking trail
- Garden of Eden short walk
- Elephant hiking trails
- Harkerville Forest Flora trail
- Jubilee Creek picnic site and walk
- Kranshoek Hiking Trail
- Millwood mine walk
- Perdekop hiking trail (Perdekop Nature Walk)
- Sparrebosch hiking trail (Fisherman’s walk)
- Terblans hiking trail
The tourist information centre will give you more information on these.
Although there is nothing to stop you from hitting the beach and just putting one foot in front of the other for as long as you please, you do need a permit to hike in the forest.
Hardened hikers looking for more of a challenge can embark on one of three multi-day hikes in the vicinity of Knysna.
Harkerville Hiking Trail – two days
This is a difficult trail with bridges, ladders, chains, steep cliffs, narrow wooden stairs and soaring heights to negotiate, but the exquisite views make up for all the extra exertion.
Otter Trail – 5 days
This trail should be on every avid hiker’s bucket list. It is a scenic extravaganza of indigenous forests, fynbos, unspoiled beaches, secret coves, icy forest pools, spectacular views, and looming rocky outcrops.
Oteniqua trail – 7 days
This is a beautiful but very strenuous trail. Although the terrain is relatively accommodating, daily distances are arduous with a heavy backpack. Only the very fit should attempt this 108Km hike.