Whether you are aiming to cover some serious distance or just looking to get a few quick kilometres with spectacular views, trail running is always an adventure—and chances are, there’s a great running trail near you that’s just waiting to be explored.

To inspire you to get out there—especially with races canceled during the corona virus pandemic—we tracked down some local trails to showcase what they have to offer and why you should visit them. These running routes come in a wide range of distances and difficulty, so there’s something for everyone.

For many years now MTB Trail Parks have been a safe and exciting place for mountain bikers to escape to for training and practicing skills at...and in more recent years these bike parks have become more family orientated making it fun for all ages to go and enjoy.
With the boom of trail running events all over South Africa and more people taking up walking and running to participate in charity events and local Parkruns, these MTB Trail parks soon adapted to the need for a safe and fun venue to run or walk at. Most MTB Trail Parks now offer dedicated running / walking / hiking trails to accommodate this ever growing community of runners and walkers. Rietvlei Trails is one such MTB Trail Park that developed fresh and exciting trails for all levels of runners and walkers to fully utilise and enjoy.

Rietvlei Trails can be found on a beautiful African farm in the city called Rietvlei Zoo Farm, 15 minutes drive south of Johannesburg. This gem of a trail network sees action year-round. Runners, hikers and mountain bikers enjoy the winding trails and beyond the trails there's a wide range of recreation, education, sport and family outdoor activities. It is the ideal family outdoors destination giving visitors the out of Africa feeling in the city.


With Rietvlei Zoo Farm being a family focused venue, they take pride in offering a variation of trails for runners and walkers of all ages and skill levels. Rietvlei Trails has a choice of six Hiking, Walking, Running, Cross-Country Trails:

  • Rietvlei parkrun Trail – 5km Trail
  • Blue Trail – 5km Trail
  • Green Trail – 10km Trail
  • Red Trail – 15km Trail
  • Tswana Trail – 5.4km (Hiking)
  • Sunset Trail – 2.3km (Hiking)

Blue Trail – 5km Trail

  • This trail is ideal for beginners or novice trail runners / walkers.
  • Terrain includes: open veld grassland, iconic Rietvlei Trails forest section, man-made bridge and sand roads.
  • The trails are wide and perfectly manicured, making it ideal to take the baby stroller with and have the whole family join in.
  • This friendly trail has a mix of level surfaces and gentle hills that provide an enjoyable experience for runners and walkers of all skill levels.

Green Trail – 10km Trail

  • This trail is ideal for intermediate-level trail runners
  • It starts off on the same route as the 5km trail, going through the open veld grassland.
  • When entering the forest section it splits from the 5km route and winds down to the river bed and comes back crossing MTB trails over a man-made bridge.
  • This trail heads up the hill with some rockier sections making it more interesting.
  • Heading back down the hill this trail offers a spectacular view over the local suburbs
  • This trail takes you through some more grasslands and the one last hill with scenic views before heading down
  • The 10km trail is an ideal mix of open fast trails and technical singletrack hilly sections.

Red Trail – 15km Trail

  • This trail is ideal for experienced or advanced trail runners.
  • This trail follows most of the 10km route, starting through the open veld grassland, winding through the forest, down to the river bed and back up crossing the man-made bridge.
  • This trail heads up the same hill as the 10km trail with some rockier sections making it more interesting.
  • Heading back down the hill this trail offers a spectacular view over the local suburbs
  • The challenge comes in with the trail heading past the school fence, up a steep gradient winding through the koppie at the back of the school.
  • The trail flows through the koppie, through indigenous bush and slowly winds down to the open veld grassland
  • This trail requires some grit and endurance on the rock-studded uphills and downhills, but runners are rewarded with spectacular natural scenery that is well worth the effort.
  • Although there are some open veld sections which may heat up on sunny days, the lush evergreen sections keep the trails well shaded for the most part, providing a cooler and picturesque run.

These trails were in pristine condition, well manicured and a great mix of smooth and technical terrain. Something that stood out was the little times the running trails and MTB trails crossed each other, having the running / walking trails completely separate gives a runner peace of mind to not constantly be on the lookout for cyclists flying past you. Trails were marked well and easy to follow. It was also great to see so many families, from babies to grandparents out on the 5km trails and enjoying the beautiful outdoors.

Entry info:

  • Rietvlei Trails is offering a WINTER SPECIAL for the months of July & August 2020.
  • Purchase your Trail Access Card for R150 for 10 entries. A family can share an Access Card.
  • Day entry: R30
  • Kids under 2 years are free. Dogs on leads are allowed on the trails.

Open Hours:

  • Open daily from 6am to 6pm
  • Wearing of a mask or buff is compulsory.


Rietvlei Zoo Farm, 101 Swartkoppies Road, Liefde en Vrede, Johannesburg

For more info visit: www.rietvleilifestylecentre.co.za


Anatomic Trail Track Down – Rietvlei Trails
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