Glencairn Trail

It is strange how certain things suddenly happen, different bits slot together and a picture starts to develop.  Various ideas have been around for many years regarding a mountain bike, walking or jogging trail following the Els River valley and gave rise to the Source to Sea project.  The Glencairn Trail or perhaps Els River Trail or even Else River Trail (the word Else flow more easily on the tongue) proposal would be a means of discovering the Valley, a path for a family walk, a bicycle trail, a means of staying on a maintained path without having to "bundu bash". 

Philippe Samouilhan, email address This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it is passionate about this...


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Glen Ridge and possible walking, jogging and mountain bike trails




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Philippe Samouilhan, an ardent marathon cyclist and cycle mechanic, was talking to me this morning about his passion of developing a mountain bike cycle track around Glen Ridge.

There are many hundreds of cyclists on the roads and, in Philippe’s estimate, a large majority of them would prefer to use a cross-country trail to risking their lives on the public roads.  They would get their exercise, admire the view from different angles and generally get a feeling of satisfaction at their achievement. 

Philippe has a mental plan of where this trail would go, very roughly marked in the Google aerial photograph above (this particular one would be 12 kilometres long).  This would mean co-operation and permission from a number of organizations such as Navy, Table Mountain Parks, Rotary and others.  Once the influential persons have got together and given the green light to this plan, a public “stomp” day would be planned.  This would be a fun day where people would get together to follow a pre-marked route generally ‘stomping’, following the route on foot.  Mountain cyclists would also join in and test the terrain! 

This idea would, in a way, form part of the proposed Source to Sea path of rivers in the region such as following the Els River from Kleinplaasie Dam to Glencairn Beach.  Shorter and easier mountain bike trails could, perhaps, go around the Glencairn Wetland up the valley, along Rotary land to the Navy sports fields for example. 

This idea of mountain bike trails has been spoken about for many years, perhaps not reaching the ears of influential persons.  It is not a wild, crazy idea for only a few bicycle maniacs, but a general family outing project for all.  Obviously people could begin their trail anywhere along the course if nearer to their home, but somewhere there ought to be an entry payment such as for parking at the Rotary fields, security guards, picnic facilities etc.  This point could come in for discussion later once the project is off the ground. 

We can’t wait another decade for this plan to start, there are hundreds of people who will enjoy this trail and the more it is used the safer it will be for lone walkers or cyclists. 

Let us make it happen.



Welcome to G.E.E.S.E.

Thank you for visiting the GEESE website.

GEESE is the acronym for Glencairn Education & Environmental Support Enthusiasts, we are a group of people who are passionate about our vlei (valley) through which runs the River Els (Else) on its way into False Bay off the Cape Peninsula.
At times it seeps through a wetland (which was caused by man), only to form a river as it flows out into the sea, with water in it all the year round. The wetland was caused by the rail and road bridges over the Els River being built in the early 1900s on the Simon’s Town side of Glencairn Beach/Els Bay. This prevented the sea from flowing naturally and tidally up the river.

The wetland was declared a Nature Conservation Area by John Wiley, then MP for Simon’s Town, as is recorded on a rock where the Glen Road crosses the Els. There are a number of paths round the wetland, some being used by workers going to and from work, and all of them by walkers, many with their dogs.

We have two pans with different characteristics: the top one is the home of Moorhens who have raised two clutches this season, three lots of chicks in each, and the bottom, nearer the sea, is home for the Coots. There should be many more birds but there are two busy roads on either side which are inhibiting factors.