This beautiful mountain reserve is the property of the Mountain Club of South Africa and, although clear and fairly well maintained, the path to the peak is a rugged track rather than a manicured trail. It is steep and loose in places, so should be undertaken by fit and sure-footed hikers. The rocky peaks, pristine fynbos and magnificent quartzite outcrops are sure to impress. It is the easternmost extent of mountain fynbos!
Lady's Slipper Hiking Trail
|1.5 to 3 hours total time, 3.2km: up and down|
|The peak is 585m above sea-level; 320m gain from the parking|
|Allow time to enjoy the view|
|Not suitable for children under 8 years|
|No dogs allowed|
|Please stay on the path at all times|
|Ablution facilities are only available at Falcon Rock|
|Be sure to take water and sunscreen|
|And a windbreaker (it can be considerably cooler on the peak)|
|Open daily from 8am to 5pm (6pm in summer) via Falcon Rock Country Restaurant|
Falcon Rock Country Restaurant
The Mountain Club of South Africa, Eastern Province section thanks Falcon Rock for partnering with us, without whom public access to Lady's Slipper will not be possible.
The Lady Slipper trail starts at Falcon Rock and climbs steeply up the mountain through the fynbos. About a third of the way up, you come to an open rock platform from where there are great views and this is a good spot for a breather. The gradient eases for a short while and then the climb begins in earnest as you make your way up a rugged section to the base of the rock cliffs. From here continue eastward (towards Port Elizabeth) to the shoulder (or "nek"). The path turns sharp left (West) to the summit. The Groot Winterhoek mountain range dominates the skyline to the north, with Cockscomb at its western end. To the south you can see the coast from Port Elizabeth to Cape St Francis and beyond. Return the same way, taking it easy on the way down – it’s very easy to slip.
Directions from Port Elizabeth
Driving on the N2 towards Humansdorp, take exit 713, R102 (R334) Uitenhage/Van Stadens Pass. Turn right and continue towards Uitenhage, 200m after crossing the railway line turn left onto a dirt road. Look out for the signs to Falcon Rock (1.2km). A permit is required, at R20 per person, and is obtainable at Falcon Rock Country Restaurant. Safe parking and ablution facilities are available, as well as a restaurant/pub where you can obtain refreshments (for opening times please contact them).