The Terblans Walk is an easy and beautiful walk through the indigenous Knysna forest. It starts and ends at the Grootdraai picnic site which is ideal for a picnic before or after the hike.
Introduction to the Terblans walk
From the Grootdraai picnic site the trail heads in to the forest sharing the path with the Outeniqua overnight trail so be sure to keep right at the fork shortly after the start, follow the bush pig signs. The path meanders through the forest and crosses some small forest streams. A little further there is another junction with the Outeniqua trail, keep to the right here as well. The trail comes to a gravel service road, turn right, the trail continues on the other side just a short distance down the road. Shortly after the road crossing the is a cement dam in the stream were you can take a refreshing swim. The trail later crosses a service road for the second time.
Along this section the trail skirts the forest along a blue gum tree plantation and later a pine plantation. The trail walks out onto a service road for the 3rd time, turn right here again, this is Kom-se-pad. Walk along the road to were the path turns of to the left and heads back to the picnic site. The picnic site has beautiful picnic tables under the trees and there are toilets as well. On departing you can drive back the way you came, or you can continue with Kom-se-pad, it joins the R339 between Uniondale and Knysna. It is a beautiful round trip of about 60km from Knysna.
Distance: 6.5km, circular route.
Route markers: The route follows the Outeniqua Hiking Trail in places, Terblans route markers are yellow plastic signs with a bushpig on. There are quite a couple of forest slip-paths in this area, dont mistake them for the trail.
Permits/Costs: Self issue permit at the start.
Contact Numbers: Diepwalle Forestry Station – 044 382 9762/3
Directions: Head out of Knysna towards George, along the lagoon take the Old Cape Road turnoff to Gouna / Simola, follow this road past Simola. As the road becomes gravel take the Gouna turnoff to the left. Follow this road past the Gouna Forest Station to the Grootdraai Picnic site along Kom-se-pad. This picnic site can also be reached by taking the Kom-se-Pad turnof from the R339 near Diepwalle.
Coordinates: S33 56.716 E23 03.244
Other: The water in the streams are drinkable, the dark colour is due to the tannins and humic acids from the leaves on the forest floor.
The low-down in detail
Head across the road and down the trail. At 270m there is an intersection: the left for is a connecting trail to the Outeniqua Hiking Trail – take the right hand fork.
After 460m take the left fork and head down the wood post steps.
The first kilometre is all gently downhill to the stream crossing at the 1.11km mark. The trail then heads steeply uphill on stairs for about 500m.
At 1.97 there is a fairly confusing intersection. Aim at exiting in the same direction you arrived, following the snouts of the pigs on the signs.
The left at the intersection at the 2.7km mark is another Outeniqua Trail connector, leading to the Diepwalle Hut; take a right.
Then after 2.9km dry stream bed
At 3.23km you will arrive on a forest road and need to take a right onto it. Almost immediately the road crosses a stream (drinking water) and immediately after that the trail leaves the road on the left. The stream remains on the left of the trail until you reach a small reservoir at 3.42km. When you reach the reservoir the trail heads right up the slope, switching back in the direction of the road. Then at 3.68km you will cross the road again, at 3.97km you will cross a stream (drinking water), and at 4.11km another small stream.
After 4.3km you will notice a significant change in the undergrowth as you reach the border of a pine plantation.
At 4.83km you will reach the road and to your left is a large concrete reservoir tank. Turn right onto the road until the 5.14km mark where you will turn off into the forest again. The trail then snakes along, often quite close to the road, until you reach the Grootdraai Picnic spot.