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Riding the Rails – Hoedspruit to Klaserie on the Outback Trail

Residents and visitors to Hoedspruit looking to cycle the lowveld terrain can take advantage of the unpaved service road that parallels the railroad track between Hoedspruit and the tiny, yet hip outpost of Klaserie. The route has been dubbed “The Outback” because it ends at the scenic Outback Cafe, next to the Klaserie One Stop petrol station.

Transnet maintains a 4x4 service road along the track that parallels the R40. Transnet Freight Rail’s Northeast Corridor services freight from Tzaneen and Phalaborwa. The mining or agriculturally oriented freight is bound for export from ports at Maputo or Richard’s Bay. The route is driven repeatedly throughout the day by a security team, offering a heightened sense of safety and well-being for cyclists.

The 23-kilometer track has rolling hills and an expansive vista. It is often ridden out and back, making it a solid cycle. Cycling the track to Klaserie offers a deep immersion into the thorny bushveld. Keep an eye out for birds, reptiles and mammals along the way.

The track can be accessed 400 meters beyond Le Bamba on the R40 towards Acornhoek. Look for a gap in the bush on the right-hand side with and a dirt track that will take you to the service road. Or, alternatively, park at the trending Bosveld Center, knowing that once you have completed the ride you can choose from craft beers and woodfired pizza at the Brewery to fine dining at Anne’s Cotton Club Café.

Cycle along the dirt track and pass the entrance Moditlo Game Reserve at the 17km mark. Keep going another 6km to the bridge over the R40. At this point you will see what remains of the Klaserie rail stop.

If you want to go to the Outback and the One Stop look for the service road on the left before the faded signs and old rail cars. Keep taking lefts until you arrive at the R40, 200 meters from the shops. Get a cold drink or ice cream at the petrol station or have a beer and a meal at the Outback. Bring a cozi on a hot day, for a dip in the pool!

Klaserie is a great starting place for cycling routes on the Guernsey and Orpen Roads that are bordered by Big 5 Game reserves. Klaserie is also the starting point for the grueling cycle up Mariepskop.

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