The Salt River Mouth Trail is a 3.7 kilometer lightly trafficked loop trail located near Nature’s Valley, Western Cape, South Africa that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, running, and bird watching. Natures Valley takes you into the heart of the Tsitsikamma forest; a dense, wondrous forest only overshadowed by the play of mountain and beach – for there are kilometres of white sand, and mountains that form a dramatic backdrop.
ABOUT THE SALT RIVER MOUTH HIKING TRAIL
Start: near the tea room in Natures Valley
Finish: circular route
Duration: 5 kms
Our tip: get your map and permit from the office at De Vasselot campsite
ANTI CLOCKWISE ROUTE From the picnic area, and a quick left at the fork, the initial part of the walk is something of a climb to the saddle of the hill. The route is well marked and not difficult to follow otherwise and the ascent worth it for the views from the top.
From there one descends rather sharply and heads through coastal bush to the estuary of the Salt River, whereafter the beach is your backdrop. You are left to either head up the beach, heading off the beach when close to the village, or take a cut across to the rocks on the other side of the river mouth, before heading back.
There are some rocky outcrops on the hike that need a fair amount of scrambling to surmount, but other than this the hike is fairly easy on the legs and there is ample time to drink in the views and admire the fynbos, proteas, candlewood, false saffron and keurboom trees as well as the sightings of bush pigs, Cape clawless otter and birds.
Depending on the tides and preferences, one can hike along the coast in a clockwork direction and swim in the sea at the secret beach before heading inland and upwards through the forest.