The Cradock and George Peak Trail (outside George
) links the Montagu and Outeniqua passes. George (1337m) and Cradock (1578m) peaks are part of the same mountain massif and for the most part is reached by the same trail.
The trail starts at Witfontein Forestry station and follows forest roads through the pine plantations to the base of the Outeniqua Mountains.
The trail is particularly lovely in winter, spring and early summer, when many of the fynbos species are in flower. The route is clearly marked. Amongst the birds to be seen and heard on the trail is Victorin's Warbler, a secretive fynbos endemic in streamside vegetation.
The final climb up Cradock Kloof to the nek which marks the top of the pass is a sustained, steep and, in wet weather, slippery one, but the increasingly grand views of the mountains more than make up for this.
The distance to George Peak and back is 17km and to Cradock Peak and back is 19km. If you do both peaks, the total distance is 21km and you'll do it in 7 to 8 hours (if you are fit).
There is no cost to hike in this area, you do however need to fill in the logbook and get a map at the forestry station.
Take the N12 to Oudtshoorn and just outside George before reaching the Outeniqua pass take the turnoff to the right to Witfontein Forestry Station & Montague Pass.
Proceed to the Witfontein Forestry office on your right.