February 09, 2023
You’re going to want to gear up with Ultimate Direction’s hydration packs and apparel after reading about these spectacular trail running locations. Cape Town is a trail runner’s paradise, and we’re here to guide you through the top 8 trails it has to offer. With a mountain at your doorstep and forests nearby, anyone residing within the mother city is spoiled for choice when it comes to picking the perfect trail to run.
Keep reading to learn more about Cape Town’s trail running terrain as well as how Ultimate Direction can help you gear up with all the trail running necessities. From hydration packs to running vests and more, Ultimate Direction has got your back.
Trail running in Cape Town is incredibly popular and for good reason. The windy city is full to the brim with gorgeous trails fit for both the expert athlete and the eager beginner. We have highlighted 8 of the best trail running locations Cape Town has to offer, from popular trails that entice the tourists, to unique, niche spots.
If you’re thinking of taking to the trails then you’re going to want to stock up on some trail running necessities. Adequate hydration is important for every outdoor adventure and Ultimate Direction understands this perfectly. We offer various hydration packs and running vests to accommodate your trail running needs. Whether you’re running a trail race or taking a casual hike, we have the gear you need to succeed.
While the Lion’s Head summit is considered a somewhat challenging route, that hasn’t prevented it from becoming a popular hotspot for hikers and runners all year round. With an average time of 1 hour to complete, the Lion’s Head summit makes for the perfect early-morning adventure. Regardless of when you decide to go, this location presents a healthy challenge and rewarding views.
The Lion’s Head trail will lead you in a spiral toward the top, allowing for 360-degree views on the way up. Hikers will find ladders and staples in certain areas as well as a climbing section that can be easily bypassed to the left if climbing proves too difficult. If you’re really feeling brave, you could take this out-and-back route during a full moon night – but be sure to take a headlamp with you.
This route boasts dazzling views of the ocean and the city bowl, from partially-paved, rocky trails lined with natural wildflowers. This trail is popular with runners of all skill levels, so you’re most likely going to encounter fellow outdoor enthusiasts here. Gear up with one of our helpful hydration packs and set out to explore this invigorating trail.
This tranquil trail is best visited in the wetter, winter months when the waterfall is at its most spectacular. Located near Stellenbosh, the Paradyskloof waterfall trail is considered a moderately challenging route, weaving through a pine forest and then further into the fynbos until you reach the waterfall.
Runners will be able to spot plenty of flora and fauna along this winding trail up the Hottentots-Holland mountain. While lacking in signage and guaranteeing muddy shoes, this trail is ideal for nature enthusiasts looking to disappear into the wilderness for an hour or two. This trail is popular with trail runners, hikers and bird watchers too.
Bursting with wildlife and beautiful every day, the Paradyskloof Waterfall trail is a wonder to behold. Be sure to pack some snacks and a jacket during this trail run, as well as adequate hydration. With one of Ultimate Direction’s hydration packs, you’ll be able to keep all of your essentials at your back and at the ready for your peaceful pause at the waterfall.
This lovely loop takes around 2 hours to complete and is protected by shade throughout most of the route. Newlands Forest is a beloved piece of natural landscape with plenty of meandering paths along the mountainside. Popular with hikers, trail runners, and locals looking for a peaceful stroll, the Newlands Forest Contour Path is a trail runners treat.
The lush, tranquil forest offers an inviting run under a cool canopy with a myriad of flora to spot throughout. Runners will be able to stop at the Carousal – a delightful picnic site along the way. With little to no wind and the occasional steep incline, this trail is perfect for runners looking to test their stamina in a welcoming environment.
Be sure to bring the right gear when undertaking this diverse trail run. One of our hydration packs will prove useful when it comes to carrying enough water to get you through the route.
This challenging route is a great option for daring trail runners looking to push their limits. The climb up Devil’s Peak is a steep haul with breathtaking views of Table Mountain and Lion’s Head at the top. While still fairly popular, this route is not very busy compared to other routes around Cape Town. The climb takes around 3 hours to complete with a bit of a scramble needed to reach the top.
This trail will require the right kind of gear in order to move about safely. The wind is known to pick up rapidly with little warning and can reach gale-force speeds in some instances. Hot on the way up and chilly at the top, warm clothing is required and adequate hydration is a must.
Don one of our hydration packs and carry a spare jacket at your back when undertaking this daunting trail. Clouds can also arise out of nowhere so it’s best not to take this trail alone. Fortunately, this trail is well-marked with a few flat sections before the final climb.
Fondly known as one of the most rewarding hikes within the Cape Peninsula, the Chapman’s Peak trail is immensely popular and the crowned jewel of Cape Town’s running trails. Surrounded by the Chapman's Peak drive, a famous scenic road, this trail is kid-friendly and the perfect outdoor adventure run for the whole family.
Runners will be able to spot indigenous trees and famous flora like the protea flower. Black eagles and fish eagle sightings are always frequent, along with the ever-present breathtaking views. This trail takes roughly 2 hours to complete and comprises some flat ground with the occasional steep incline. Walking poles will be beneficial for the occasional large step-up and step-down depending on your skill level.
It’s important to take into account the wind at the very top. While the 369-degree views are truly something to behold, you’ll have to brave the winds while you’re taking in the sights. It’s a good idea to pack a jacket for this route, you’re probably going to need it!
The point-to-point route from Plattenklip Gorge to the Upper Cable Station is well-known and well-marked As one of the oldest and most direct routes up Table Mountain, it’s nearly impossible to get lost when taking this trail.
If braving the descent doesn't sound appealing to you, you’ll also have the option to take the cable car back down and hit the tar road from there. However, the wind is known to pick up rapidly and without warning around Table Mountain, in which case the cable car will not be able to operate.
Make sure you carry warm clothing with you as well as enough water to carry to the top. A hydration pack from Ultimate Direction can be a useful addition to this hike. Keep your belongings on hand and stay hydrated the whole way through.
This trail is favoured by dog walkers and families with young children due to its close proximity to the city. Easily accessible and open all year round, the Deer Park loop is an exposed trail with dazzling views of Table Mountain and the city itself.
This trail is best taken on a cloudy day as there is little shade to be found. However, the small stream near the car park is readily available for your beloved pooch to cool off after an outdoor walk and the picnic spot is ready and waiting for your return. The Deer Park loop consists of rocky trails, challenging inclines, and breezy downhill treading.
If you are going to be running on a bright and sunny day, it’s a good idea to pack some sunscreen and plenty of water. You can carry all of your essentials effortlessly with a running vest or one of the reliable hydration packs from Ultimate Direction, allowing you to cart your belongings over the hilltops without hassle.
This easy trail is perfect for anyone looking for a casual meander through some beautiful scenery. Starting out at the Silvermine Nature Reserve, signposts will direct you to the trail. Running through the Silvermine nature reserve offers gorgeous views, plenty of indigenous flora and fauna see, as well as a dam if you’re eager to take a dip.
Runners will be able to rest at the Elephant’s Eye cave and enjoy some breathtaking views. Pack for a picnic and reward yourself with some refreshments at this shaded rest stop before heading back down the trail. This route takes approximately 3 hours or more depending on how often you stop and stare at your stupefying surroundings.
If these tantalising trail running routes have you excited to get going, it’s time to consider getting some trail running gear. Trail running, hiking, and fastpacking require essential gear to get you through your chosen route. Ultimate Direction is here to kit you out with everything you need for your outdoor adventures from hydration packs to comfortable apparel.
Whether you're a seasoned trail runner or new to the outdoor sporting industry, Ultimate Direction has the gear you need to make the most of your outdoor activities. We offer various running vests and vestas, hydration packs, and apparel to accommodate your every need. Take a look through our catalogue and pick out the ideal gear for your next adventure.
Here at Ultimate Direction, we work with athletes from around the world to bring you the best innovative fitness products on the market. All of our gear is trusted and tested by high-class fitness enthusiasts. Our gear is designed to be both high-quality and accommodating to all kinds of body types. You’re bound to find something that suits you when you take a look through our list of reliable outdoor gear. Let Ultimate Direction help you gear up so you can take to the trails the right way.