The Garden Route on South Africa’s South-Eastern Coast is not only renowned for its vast variety of indigenous forest & other flora, but also for some spectacular hiking trails. Right at the start of the Garden Route in Mossel Bay lays a little gem, the St. Blaize Trail.
St-Blaize-Running-Trail-mapThe St. Blaize Trail is a popular 13.5 km trail that follows the 30 metre contour along the cliffs westwards from the Cape St. Blaize Lighthouse and ends at Dana Bay. It begins at the Cave below the Lighthouse, and ends on the beach at Dana Bay (it can be run in either direction, or do an out & back run), and is clearly marked in white with the sign of the Oystercatcher, as it forms part of the greater Oystercatcher trail starting at the Gourits river mouth.
The trail starts with a short, but steep climb from below the cave up onto the contour path. The trail is a little technical & undulating at times, and drops down to sea level a few times via little boardwalk stairways. Following these stairways down & back up adds quite a bit of vertical ascent on your run if need be.
In the middle of the trail you’ll find the Pinnacle Point Golf Course with little guard houses on either side. A quick check in/out sets you on your merry way, running around well manicured greens & tee boxes. Just watch out for flying golf balls!
The trail offers dramatic sea views, excellent whale and dolphin watching, and has some trail dassies for company, but beware of snakes (especially puff adders) in the summer. The trail is quite exposed to the elements so carry water, and exercise caution in wet weather, high winds, and mist.