Up Your Trail Running Game by taking on the Koedoe-loop
The newly opened Koedoeslaagte Trail Park & Venue offer visitors a unique opportunity to enjoy up to 23km of trail though the famous Vredefort crater and it’s natural wilderness. Opening its gates to all forms of outdoor enthusiast - trail-runners, hikers, bird watchers and of course mountain bikers are in for a treat. Step away from the hustle and bustle of the concrete jungle and enjoy this lush bushveld experience just 10km outside of Parys. There’s no better way to appreciate nature, than by taking on the newly cut trails at Koedoeslaagte Trail Park & Venue - especially the Koedoe-loop which rewards a technical and hilly mountain loop, with beautiful views of the Vredefort Dome.
The recorded history of Koedoeslaagte dates back to the Great Trek. The Koekemoer and Van Vuurens were part of the Battle of Blood River on 16 December 1838. The Voortrekkers thereafter left the Republic of Natalia (Kwazulu-Natal today) and settled in the Eastern Free State and Transvaal. Great-grandfather Van Vuuren settled here on on Koedoeslaagte along the Vaal (River). Because of his part in the Battle of Blood River, the then Commission of Monuments honoured him by covering his grave with this commemorative stone.
One of Great-grandfather Van Vuuren's daughters married Gottlieb Rudolph Koekemoer and she inherited this part of the farm where the Koekemoers live today. The ruins of the original farmhouse is still here.
During World War II, Johannes Gerhardus Koekemoer (Hannes), was born right here on the farm. Since there has been no commercial farming here since 1971 we are left with a bushveld wilderness ready to be explored. The Vaal River is the source of life on the farm and Koedoeslaagte boasts a 1 km river front with a network of rapids, pools and islands. The farm also features its own mountain and interestingly it was here on this mountain where geologists in the 70's studied the possibility of a meteorite being responsible for the mountainous landscape in the midst of the pan-flat Northern Free State and Northwest. Koedoeslaagte is now proudly part of the UNESCO Vredefort Dome World Heritage Site.
The various trail running routes consists of loops which can be done individually or extended on depending on how long and tough you prefer it - The Tarentaal being the easiest loop and The Koedoe being the most challenging. Runners can choose from a quick 3km dash along the river or a serious 23km challenge which includes the complete farm and mountain trail experience.
23 km well-marked, purpose-built trails in an ever-expanding network of trails
- Climb a total of 564m over the complete 23km trails
Direct access to some of the best gravel roads in SA
The Vredefort Dome area is undulated with flatter terrain along the river as well as BIG climbs
Lisa De Speville, an avid trail runner in Parys, gave her view on the new Koedoeslaagte Trail Park & Venue trails.
"If you have done the 'Crater Cruise' mountain bike event, you'll be familiar with the Koedoeslaagte farm, which is about 20 minutes outside of Parys. They have an abundant trail network on the farm and have been busy with more on the mountain side of the property. I went out one weekend and took on the new Koedoe trail section, which goes up, up, up! My favourite sections were the two saddles, the plateau at the top for the spectacular views and then the surprisingly green Olienhout 'forest'. In another two months the vegetation in this whole area will be green and dense!
This is a great location to get out whether biking, hiking or trail running. The mountain side is more rocky, although the trail building has improved the surface underfoot. The river side is flatter with meandering, smooth trails.
Koedoeslaagte Trail Park & Venue has been closed to public but they are now opening their gates on weekends for you to enjoy.
Note that Koedoeslaagte is not yet open for dogs to come along with you. With people on foot and bike, in addition to horses, donkeys, bushpigs and porcupines, they will look at dedicated dog times to ensure everyone's safety and pleasure."
The Venue & Facilities
- THE "KOEDOESAAL": 600m² indoor space with canteen
- THE "KOEDOEKRAAL": a 50-seater lapa area to enjoy
- THE "KOEDOEDAM": a Filtered farm-style swimming pool for summer
- THE KOEDOE CABINS: 6x 4-sleeper cabins. see photos
- UITSIG Canteen: Be sure to take a well deserved rest after your activity to enjoy some local artisan coffee and freshly baked treats at the Uitsig canteen.
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