Trail's End Bike Hotel

Things to do in Elgin: Africa’s first bike hotel, ...

Trail's End is Africa's first bike hotel
and the first bicycle museum.
Daily, 8am to 5pm (day visitors)
 
021 859 5193
Grabouw
Trail's End Bike Hotel
trailsendbikehotel

Things to do in Elgin: Africa’s first bike hotel, Trail’s End

There's a bike museum, quad biking, fynbos trails & more

Last updated: Monday, 1 July 2024

Imagine a cosy wooden ski lodge on the slopes of the Swiss Alps, but instead of skiing, there’s mountain biking, trail running and hiking…That’s the idea behind Africa’s first bike hotel.

And it’s not just a hotel. Trail’s End also houses the only bicycle museum on the continent, and a kitted-out conference centre with plenty of activities to keep the team busy.


Trail’s End was established in 2016. Image: Trail’s End

FOR BIKE LOVERS, BY A BIKE LOVER

The timber beams, brick fireplaces, and library nook exude a cosy warmth as soon as you walk in. You might be greeted by founder Pieter Silberbauer, who, after three decades of building timber homes, was looking for a change that allowed him more time at home (and on his bike).

“The obvious thing to do was to convert our factory into a ski lodge for bikes,” says Pieter. Now, it’s Africa’s first dedicated lodging for cyclists, trail runners and outdoor lovers. 

Framed jerseys from legendary cyclists cover the walls, like local legends Erik Kleinhans and Mariske Strauss, and cross-country mountain bike world champion Christoph Sauser.


It’s the perfect venue for a midweek getaway, team-building workshop, family weekend away or an active adventure. Image: Trail’s End

PUMP TRACK, QUAD BIKING, HIKING & MORE

Trail’s End is fittingly at the trailhead of the spectacular Elgin Valley Trail Network. The Grabouw Forest Trails, Oak Valley and Paul Cluver Trails offer routes for all levels of cycling – from 10km to 100km by combining the various trails on the network. These trails are also fantastic on foot, for runners and hikers alike.

Beginners can practise on the Flow Trail and a pump track (it’ll keep kids busy for hours). There are awesome 4x4 trails and quad bike tours where you’ll ride through forests and fynbos and can even swim in a secluded waterfall.

Trail’s End also has HIIT, pilates and spinning classes, and you can even scale the rock climbing wall or be pampered by their in-house masseuse.


There are loads of outdoor and indoor activities to choose from. Image: Trail’s End

PRIVATE, FAMILY & DORM ROOMS

With all these activities on offer, the smart option would be to stay a night or two to recover for another day packed with activities. There are eight private rooms (with en-suite bathrooms) and eight dorm-style rooms (ideal for team getaways, conferences or even a bachelor(ette)’s weekend). 

Buffet breakfasts are included in the room rate, or add on a warm breakfast from the Trail’s End restaurant. Chef James is well known for his delicious, hearty meals, so try out the lunch and dinner options like a chunky beef burger with caramelised onions or roast veg and chickpea lasagne.


The ground floor has versatile layouts for larger travel parties while upstairs offers more conventional layouts of double, family and team rooms. Image: Trail’s End

SA’S BIKE HISTORY MIGHT SURPRISE YOU

Not only is Trail’s End Africa’s first bike hotel, it also houses the continent’s first bicycle museum. 

You can learn about the bicycle journey done by Sol Plaatje to research the effects of the 1913 Land Act, or the role of the bicycle in the emancipation of women, breaking the expectation that women should only travel by carriage or horse back. 

The museum features bikes ridden by famous cyclists like Riaan Manser. He’s the first man to travel the continent of Africa by bicycle. It’s displayed exactly as he rode it, including the (very dirty) bags and bottles he used.


Each bicycle has an information board with relevant information. Image: Trail’s End

IDEAL TEAM GETAWAY OR CONFERENCE VENUE

Thanks to the rooms, on-site restaurant, all the activities and a kitted-out conference centre, Trail’s End is the ideal team getaway spot.

The conference centre comes equipped with a screen and projector, and can seat up to 80 people cinema-style, 50 classroom-style, and 120 maximum.  

Trail’s End is also a great base to explore Grabouw, whether you want to try the Elgin Wine Route, visit the Elgin Railway Market, or speed down Cape Canopy Tour’s ziplines in the Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve.


There’s also an outdoor firepit. Image: Trail’s End

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT TRAIL’S END

Trail’s End Bike Hotel is open: Daily, 8am to 5pm (day visitors)
Find it: Worcester Street | Swannie River | Grabouw
See more info: Via Trail’s End Bike Hotel website
Contact on: info@trailsend.bike | 021 859 5193

By Khadeeja Adams

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