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There’s been a great deal of work by our trails team under the leadership of master trail-builder, David Baber, at Summerplace recently. More than 10km of new trail have been added to the Grey Route, including the revival of an old trail on one of the most scenic sections of the reserve.

The creation of routes has been a focus of David’s in 2023. While Summerplace has many superb trails, the joining of them to form marked routes satisfies the self-guided riding culture that most South African mountain bikers are accustomed to. There are currently six routes: Green (11km), Orange (15km), Blue (18km), Red (25km), Grey (28km) and Black (32km). Some adjustments will be made to Black in the near future to incorporate a new Purple Route.

The extension to the original Grey Route sees the distance increase from 16.1km to 28km. The new section is made up primarily of The Amber Trail. The Amber Trail was completed in September 2023 and it comprises three sections. It is named in memory of Amber Crouse, a dear friend of Summerplace who passed away earlier this year.

Amber Trail 1 is predominantly a climb over 1.7km. This is followed by Amber Trail 2, a 2.4km section that includes some of the gravel roads, but has a new section of singletrack with great views over the south of the reserve. And then there’s Amber Trail 3, which is a highly engaging 3.1km section near Yorks View that’s almost entirely singletrack.

The Grey Route extension now uses the Sunrise Trail to reach a different conclusion.

The original Grey Route finished either down Summerflow (or the main gravel road), but David has revived a section of the original Fired Earth Trail and called it Sunrise, which is now used to take the Grey Route to a new finish.

“I completed the full route of the new Grey in around 90 minutes recently. It’s got some really good climbs and descents early on and then the gradient eases a bit to make the last half a little less taxing,” said David.

“It’s an ideal route for those who have good conditioning and intermediate to advanced skill levels. It’s designed in a way that you can leave one or more sections out if you want to modify your ride. But overall, it’s both challenging and rewarding and I really like that it now has a different finish that includes the new Sunrise trail,” he added.

The new full Grey Route will be uploaded to Trailforks soon, but it is marked with arrows and ready to ride.

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