Garden Route day walks are one of my favourite things to do in this area, not only is it my backyard but it boasts some of the most beautiful day hikes/walks in Southern Africa.
One such walk is the Circles of the Forest trail in the Goudveld SANParks region of Rheenendal, Knysna. With its lushness of green foliage and the trickling of water in the near background accompanied by chattering birds this gentle hike of 3 km has become one of those that just stays special.
Here you enter the forest while softly treading on a bed of littered leaves, gently placing your feet in selective spots on the earth beneath your soles, almost afraid of making a noise. The green canopy above your head scatters the filtered sunlight onto the mulchy floor of ferns and indigenous foliage of this green paradise.
The wind works its way eerily through the twists and turns of the wooded mass above you, like an invisible acrobat tugging at the branches. The trees creak and moan at the sky above, protesting at every movement.
If you close your eyes and listen, you can almost hear the forest breathe while the air caresses your skin and strokes your mind into quietness. The forest becomes your temple of solitude and the heartbeat of your existence. You do really feel alive here!
While your eyes follow your footsteps the life under the lush awning fills your vision with colours of delicate formations between the ferns and fallen logs. The forest creatures and soft fungi reveal busy life forms and play with the curious mind. In awe you gaze at the little wonders that coexist with each other and the frail balance between the fallen and the flourishing.
Along the pathway that winds deeper into this mysterious wonderland you step back into a time where seedlings became saplings and reached for the sun above like hungry babes. This is where they eventually left the ground below and grew into the majestic trees they are today. As you stand and stare at these giants of old you become respectful of what time holds in these spaces. The clocks of modern man tick away and chase life with fierceness in the world outside the forest, but here, each moment is precious, for each moment means that another tree is born and grows.
1000 year old Outeniqua Yellowwood
In the world of the majestic giants and the quiet surrounds of this endless green landscape, it’s only the birdsong that celebrates its every day, while the little creatures scurry around in its intricate habitat of wood and water to lay out the sphere around it in detail. The forest slowly grows and gathers its strength, for its work here is never done.
Tips for this Walk:
1. Where comfortable shoes
2. Take drinking water
3. Don’t forget your camera
4. Take it easy and enjoy it.
5. There is a picnic spot with toilets at the beginning/ end of the trail.