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Kasteelkop Nek Trail



1.9 mile 3.1 kilometer point to point
75% Runnable


Ascent: 1,138' 347 m
Descent: -3' -1 m
High: 1,421' 433 m
Low: 286' 87 m


Avg Grade: 11% (6°)
Max Grade: 31% (17°)


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Trail shared by Gerda Theron


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Panoramic views of both Kleinmond and Palmiet river in one go.

Gerda Theron

Features Birding · River/Creek · Spring · Swimming · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife


Need to Know

Trail Permits: None (Off-peak), R10pp entrance (Peak)
Closing times: None
Amenities: Day-picnic/barbecue sites (No ablutions)
Closest Café/Store: Kleinmond harbour market/Penguin Place (Betty's bay)
Other activities: Rock climbing (Kasteel peak), Tubing
Weather: Differs vastly from Cape Town
Peak rainfall Jun/Jul/Aug
Hazards: Snakes, theft (Low season)
The closest hospital is in Gordon's bay 30 min away, so familiarity with poisonous snakes such as Bergadder,
Puffadder and Cape Cobra (rarely if ever spotted) is a good precaution for summer.

Runner Notes

Trail is perfect for trail runners: well maintained with low traffic.


This is one of two trails that branch out from Fairy Glen next to the Palmiet River. As a slightly longer excursion than the shorter Klipspringer Trail, it provides a steeper ascent towards Kasteelkop Nek. The latter can also be reached via a gravel road via Kleinmond (for a shorter trip to rock climbing routes). The trail then breaks off from the parking lot to join the Contour path that hugs the upper part of Three Sisters Mountain to reach Spooknek. The vegetation at this altitude is slightly different than those observed via the Klipspringer trail where you are less likely to see large Proteaceae.

The small climb from Spooknek might seem steep, but the trail is well maintained and easy to follow. On the plateau itself, several routes may branch off from the straight shot to the beacon. In most intersections you'll find signs indicating "Highlands Trail" that refers to a 2-day trail through the area (ignore all turnoff's). If the trail is done early morning then most of the ascent will be in the mountains shadow with the exception of Spooknek-to-Peak.

Note: The last waterpoint is at the trails divergence at the bottom.

Flora & Fauna

The Kogelberg Biosphere is home to one of areas with the highest density of plant species in the world (with the exception of rain forests). It is also part of the smallest floral kingdom and vastly different from anything you'll find on other continents. A total of 1600 species occur here out of the 9000 registered Fynbos species. A few are even endemic to specific mountains and presents an unparalleled display during spring flowering (Oct/Sep). Several local guides are available such as: Field guide to Fynbos by John Manning or use the Free app iNaturalist to check previous observations in the area.

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Land Manager: Overberg municipality

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