See also Encounter Magazine's comprehensive guide on Hiking
in South Africa.
Set among typical eastern Free State mountain scenery, this trail lives up to its name and leads hikers past a large number of Bushman paintings, some of which are well preserved.
Its attractive location and the range of activities offered make this trail a popular venue with church groups; the natural amphitheatre above base camp has been set up as a 'church' with some seating and a pulpit.
There are three different hiking trails, from 3 to 16 km in length:
l. The Hoenderkop Hiking Trail leads across a plateau, through gulleys and along ridges to the castle. The dream of a certain Mr. Hill, this Normandy-style castle of sandstone and cement stands on top of a sheer cliff.
Construction was halted in 1976 due to lack of funds and this incomplete shell is now a prominent landmark. From here there are uninterrupted views of Lesotho. The path then winds back to base camp past a windmill and the Hoenderkop.
2. The Old Fort Hiking Trail is shorter and follows an easy route to a cave with Bushman paintings. After a short climb up to the ridge, the path stays with this contour for some time until it reaches the ruins of an old fort, which dates back to the Anglo-Boer War.
The walk to base camp is through some lovely forested areas and passes a lookout spot and more Bushman art.
3. The Bird Trail is a short walk to a valley near the overnight camp. Birdlife is abundant here with 103 species having been identified, including the relatively rare bald ibis.
Details can be obtained at the Fouriesburg Tourism Centre.