George Trails is a community project started by the Green Sport Foundation non-profit. George Trails is all about promoting George as a trail tourism destination and providing information to the user. It is not legislative in any way and provides guidelines for the responsible and safe use of the trails. Legislation is left to land owners/managers so please respect their rules and regulations at all times as it is a privilege and not a right to use their land. We can only thank our landowners for this privilege. Everyone must work together responsibly to protect this privilege and to ensure that individuals don’t spoil the privilege for the larger community.
Thanks to our Land Owners/Managers:
The George Municipality is the largest municipality in the Eden District, which is geographically the third largest district in the Western Cape. George as the district hub and main city in the region. George Municipality owns the land between Witfontein and the Garden Route Dam.
MTO Cape produces round wood logs for sale to sawmills and pole processing plants. The plantations run from Tokai in the west to Longmore near Port Elizabeth in the east. MTO Cape currently operates two sawmills, one of which is located in George. MTO currently acts as land manager on DAFF land for Bergplaas, Saasveld and the Jonkersberg plantations and as contractor in the Witfontein plantation. Once pine trees are harvested and the areas not replanted, the land is often handed back to DAFF or Cape Nature where Fynbos is established.
The Department of Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries (DAFF) is a South African government department that owns vast sections of land around the country. Around George they are the owners of the land around Bergplaas, Saasveld, Witfontein, Oubos and Jonkersberg, usually up to where the Fynbos areas start higher up the mountain.
CapeNature is a public institution with the statutory responsibility for biodiversity conservation in the Western Cape. It is governed by the Western Cape Nature Conservation Board Act 15 of 1998 and mandated to: promote and ensure nature conservation; render services and provide facilities for research and training; and generate income. The Outeniqua Reserve, Witfontein office is a well-known landmark for trail users around George. From here a variety of hiking routes start, crossing over DAFF land before ascending into the Fynbos on the higher peaks that is managed by Cape Nature.
As a leading conservation authority, SANParks is a public entity under the jurisdiction of the Department of Environmental Affairs, where inclusive conservation as opposed to previous policies of exclusion, are central to advancing the policies in line with the National Development Framework for Sustainable Development and the national Development Plan. SANParks manages a system of 19 functional national parks in seven of the nine provinces of South Africa with a total area of just over 4 million hectares comprising 67% of the protected areas under state management. Around George SANParks controls the Groeneweide hiking trails (accessible from NMU Campus), Groenkop Area, Ebb & Flow Wilderness and the stretch of beach between the Touws River Mouth (Wilderness) and Swartvlei (Sedgefield)
Please note that information about land owners/managers and land boundaries may change without notice. It is best to contact land owners/managers directly for the latest information on boundaries, access, permits, rules, etc.