There are various hiking trails in and around Stilbaai of which the trails in the Geelkrans Nature Reserve and the Pauline Bohnen Reserve as well as the Lappiesbaai Trail are all on the eastern side of the Goukou River. On the western side one can do the West River Bank Hiking Trail; the Strandloper Trail or tackle the route between Stilbaai and Jongensfontein along the coast – or one can take on the different trails in the Skulpiesbaai Nature Reserve.
The Skulpiesbaai Nature Reserve is a Marine Protected Area (MPA) and is being managed by Cape Nature.
One can easily follow the trails as it is well marked (see the photo under Activities – Hiking Trails) and it includes the Bird Hide Trail; the Fish Trappers, Waxberry, Sea Saffron, Bush Buck and Brown Hyena Trails as well as the Seagwarri Trail. There is also the spectacular Elephant Bush Trail (Olifantbospad) and the www.mystilbaai.co.za team recently explored this trail.
We started from the small parking area at Skulpiesbaai beach close to the ancient fish traps and easily followed the signboards. It took us along the coast through the milk wood tree forest – here you can easily forget that you are close to the sea – while we also stopped at the “All-sorts-of-thoughts Crow’s Nest” view point from where you can see as far as the fish traps and Bosbokduin to the right and Morris Point to the left.
The exit is at the whale look-out point close to the harbour. Be prepared to walk for about two hours – depending on the time spent taking photos!
The photos tell the story. More photos on mystilbaai.co.za on Facebook.
(Information about the various hiking trails is available under Activities)