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Easy trail; Suitable for children
A network of marked trails, which includes a dog-friendly trail and an overnight hike to the hut on Galpin Peak, radiates out from the small visitor’s centre in the mountainous Fernkloof reserve behind Hermanus. You can pick up a map here and study the display of typical floral species before heading out. The 1500-hectare reserve has an astonishing variety of plants, with six of the seven endemic plant families of the Cape Floral Kingdom and about 1 600 fynbos species.
A good short option is the 90-minute Green Route around the little free-standing peak of Lemoenkop. The first part of the trail, which is shared with the Red Route, takes you along a fairly flat contour path to a stream where the paths divide. The Red Route heads off to the left, while the Green Route crosses the stream and begins to climb gently up the hill. Almost immediately, you come to a bench, where you can rest a while and take in the views down to Hermanus and the sea before continuing at a fairly steady gradient up to the top.
The final section is a bit of a scramble but there’s another beautifully located bench at the top, where you can rest and appreciate the views. The reserve stretches out below you and on a good day you see all the way over the sweeping sands of De Plat to Die Kelders and Danger Point Lighthouse beyond Gansbaai. Follow the path down to the main circular trail, which contours around the front of the mountain, back to the car park.
An informative map is available at the visitor’s centre (where there’s an honesty box) and guided hikes are available on request.