Review Spruit Trail  / Delta Park / Emmerentia / Paulshof / Albert’sfarm
Home » MTB Trail Rating » Braamfontein Spruit » Review Spruit Trail / Delta Park / Emmerentia / Paulshof / Albert’sfarm

Review Spruit Trail / Delta Park / Emmerentia / Paulshof / Albert’sfarm

I am doing this trail rating with the starting point Fratellis, Delta Park.  The reason is that I live close by  and this is where I start my cycling from.  Also I know that  Albert’s Farm and around Delta Park are not strictly the Spruit trail, but as they are all inter- connected I am doing them all in this post.

1. Fratellis  Delta Park to Emmerentia and back.

This is our daily cycle. From our home it is 17km, I think from Fratellis it is 16km.

Overall rating:7.3

The venue:

Children:   8
Facilities: 7
Accessibility: 10
Cost: 10

The trail itself:

Security on trail: 6
Traffic Safety: 3
Fun: 8
Technicality: 9
Scenery: 8
Obstructions: 4
Maintenance: 6
Hill climbing: 7
Variation: 9

The venue: 

Children:   8

While most children do not cycle the entire length to Emmerentia and back, they do cycle Delta Park and they do cycle around Emmerentia.  Both are smooth easy trails.  On weekends the both parks are full of children cycling.

Facilities: 7

As this is a public park facilities are scattered.  There are toilets in the centre of Delta Park and you cycle past toilets in Emmerentia.  The toilets are normally quite decent considering their location.  At the starting point of this trail there is Fratellis to eat at and a few other restaurants.  Delta Cafe in Delta Park is lovely.

Accessibility: 10

Being in Blairgowrie this park is very easy to access and there is plenty of free parking.Cost: 10
As this is an open to the public park it is free.The trail itself:Security on trail: 6

It is hard to rate security on this trail.  Due to the volume of people on a Saturday and Sunday morning it is completely safe to cycle this trail alone.  During the week the Delta Park part and Emmerentia part are relatively safe as there are plenty of people walking dogs, etc, however the fields linking the two can be very deserted.  Always best to cycle with friends.Traffic Safety: 3
Crossing Tana and Linden Road is a nightmare especially late afternoon. Then again crossing Olifants road into Emmerentia Dam is also terrible.  The lines for the pedestrian crossing have faded and all motorists ignore it any way.  In their defense you cannot even see  there is a pedestrian crossing coming around the corner.Fun: 8
This is my daily cycle and has become a bit tedious from doing it so often.  I challenge myself to do it faster and faster.  There is plenty of fun on the trail though.  Bridges to cross, zig zagging through the trees at Emmerentia.Technicality: 9
There are various technical challenges, in Delta Park you can try going up or down the steep rock.  In Emmerentia there is the hill next to Marks Park, with roots and dips. The middle trail is extremely difficult.  The top one is doable but I cannot get over the fear of the height and do dismally.  Generally I cross the wide concrete bridge do the loop that comes adjacent to Judith and then I come down cross the concrete bridge and go down along the dog walkers pathway.Scenery: 8
Delta Park and Emmerentia are both extremely beautiful in summer.  Emmerentia is still rather pretty in winter but Delta Park tends to look rather dull in winter.Obstructions: 4
This is an issue.  This park is for everybody.  We walk our own dogs in these parks but unlike everybody else, our dogs are on leashes.  City by laws clearly state that dogs have to be on leashes.  We constantly have dogs running in front of our cycles.  We have decided to swerve away from the  dogs and try to hit their owners.  On weekends and in the afternoons children on cycles can also be very frustrating.  I have taught my 8 year old niece that she must always cycle in the left lane.  We cycle in single file.  She also knows if there is a problem she must move herself off the track.  Unfortunately many parents have not mastered this.  We constantly have children blocking both lanes.  The other day a jogger cursed me when he came jogging in my lane.  I doubt he understood that it is not easy to move a mountain bike out of the ruts whereas I jogger can simply move over, besides which he was supposed to be in the left lane.  Crossing the roads at peak traffic times can also be extremely frustrating.

Maintenance: 6

City parks do their best but there are times when the trail becomes very overgrown.  A bridge in Delta Park was burned down last year and very promptly replaced, I am not sure if this was the work of City Parks or the Urban Assualt people as it was a month before the race.  At the moment the trail is extremely over grown at places and getting through the thick grass can be unpleasant.Hill climbing: 7
There are no killer hills the slope at Emmerentia bordering Marks Park is very steep and the two hills on the way to Emmerentia from Delta are easily manageable.Variation: 9There is a little of everything.  Steep slopes, bridges, a swirling trail through trees, tree roots, etc.  The only thing lacking is difficult climbs.

2. Fratellis  around Delta Park and back.

We do this cycle occasionally for hill climbing training.  The red indicates our starting route and the purple the way we go back.  The route is about 13km long from our home so about 12km from Frattellis.

Overall rating: 8.1

The venue:

Children: 8
Facilities:  8
Accessibility: 10
Cost:10

The trail itself:

Security on trail: 8
Traffic Safety:9
Fun: 7
Technicality: 7
Scenery: 8
Obstructions: 7
Maintenance: 7
Hill Climbing: 9
Variation: 8


The venue:

Children: 8
Although this part of the trail is not as child friendly, I give it a high rating because there is so much for children to do in Delta Park.

Facilities:  8
There are public toilets (next to the enviromental centre)  and there is the Delta Cafe and Fratellis and a few other restaurants next to Fratellis.

Accessibility: 10
Very easily accessible for anybody who lives in Randburg and plenty of parking.

Cost:10
This is an open to public park so cycling is free.

The trail itself:

Security on trail: 8
This is the most secure part of the trail.  I regularly see security vehicles patrolling the top part of Delta Park.  There has been a problem with vagrants at the bird park so be alert and do not cycle alone.

Traffic Safety:9
This route does not cut into any roads besides for the very quiet ones in the park itself.

Fun: 7
Michael and I might differ in opinion on the fun factor.  This is a route with endless hill climbing.  I don’t enjoy hill climbing, so besides for the down hills and going up the little cliff next to the primary school, I don’t really enjoy this one.  What I do enjoy is that we don’t have to get into any traffic and I like the little part on the path way past the scout hall as it is very pretty.  I also enjoy the fact that I am now able to climb all the hills non stop.

Technicality: 7
There is a lot of hill climbing.  The going up the cliff next to the primary school and down it is a bit challenging.  The stairs close to the children’s play park is another little challenge.  There are a few difficult to cross bridges and a few dips over concrete pipes that are bit difficult.  Nothing really to difficult to do besides for the bridge close to the fence, which there is an alternative route for.

Scenery: 8
Delta Park is exceptionally pretty in the summer but can look rather bleak in the winter.

Obstructions: 7
Dog walkers who do not use leashes and do not watch their dogs are a big problem here.

Maintenance: 7
The pathways were rather overgrown a week ago.  This past week  (2nd week in January 2015) mowing has taken place.  It seems that the pathway on the cliff by the primary school has been forgotten.  It is so overgrown that I kept getting stuck in weeds while cycling on top there.

Hill climbing: 9
This is an excellent place to do hill climbing training.  None of the hills are beyond my abilities but they are tough.

Variation: 8
The variation is reasonable even though this is a mainly hill climbing trail.  The  park is lovely and scenery changes a great deal.

1. Fratellis to Albert’s Farm and back.

On the occassional Saturday we cycle to Albert’s farm.  This route is about 20km long.

Overall rating:7.5

The venue:

Children: 7
Facilities: 6
Accessibility: 10
Cost:10

The trail itself:

Security on trail:5
Traffic Safety:5
Fun:8
Technicality:8
Scenery:9
Obstructions:6
Maintenance:6
Hill climbing:9
Variation:9
Overall rating:

The venue:

Children: 7
Albert’s Farm has plenty for children to do but I would not cycle the trail from Fratellis with children.

Facilities: 6
I am not sure if there are toilets at Albert’s Farm.  There are no restaurants in the park so you can only really eat when you return to Fratellis.

Accessibility: 10
Albert’s Farm is easily accessible to residents of Albertsville, Northcliff and the surrounding areas.

Cost:10
This is an open to public park so cycling is free.

The trail itself:

Security on trail:5
Always go in a group there are many dodgy areas that you pass through on the way to Albert’s Farm.  Also I don’t feel very secure at Albert’s farm itself.

Traffic Safety:5
This route has the most busy roads to cross.

Fun:8
I find Albert’s farm a lot of fun.  Features that add to the fun:

The bridge through the swamps.
The steep hill at the top of the park.
The winding trails through the grassy part at the top of the trail.
The dips on the way to Albert’s Farm.

Unfortunately our last trip was not as much fun due to the long grass on the trail making cycling very difficult.

Technicality:8
I have not mastered going up the steep hill at the top of Albert’s Farm yet.  Also a bit unsure about going down the other side through the jagged rocks.  Besides for these two tough obstacles there is nothing very challenging.

Scenery:9
Albert’s Farm is very beautiful.  Especially the bridge through the swamp and that hill with all the jagged rocks.

Obstructions:6
Road traffic on the way to Albert’s and back causes quite an obstruction.  I have had the occasional dog to swerve for but there are not that many dog walkers on this route.

Maintenance:6
I usually find maintenance to and at Albert’s not too bad.  The last time we cycled there it was horrible though the grass was so long on the trail we struggled to stay on it.

Hill climbing:9
There is one long hill going to the top of Albert’s farm that is quiet exhausting.  The killer though is the steep little hill at the top of Albert’s Farm.  I have not made it to the top yet.

Variation:9

There is plenty of variation in and on the way to Albert’s Farm, from a trail and scenery perspective.

1. Fratellis to Paulshof (Sunninghill Keg) and back.

We do this cycle about 3 times a month.  It is about 28 km there and back but we cycle a little extra to make it 30km.

Overall rating:7.3

The venue:

Children: 4
Facilities:6
Accessibility:10
Cost:10

The trail itself:

Security on trail:4
Traffic Safety:8
Fun:8
Technicality:9
Scenery:8
Obstructions:5
Maintenance:7
Hill climbing:7
Variation:9

The venue:

Children: 4
There are parents who cycle with their children on this trail but it is a bit too tough for most children.  One of the times I cycled this trail there was a 9 year old with his Dad doing all the tough obstacles that I was walking over, but this child was very good.  Also bare in mind that security on this trail is a problem.

Facilities:6
There are no facilities on the trail itself.  We cycle to the Sunninghill Keg and eat a light meal and cycle back.  There is a restaurant in Paulshof that gives free coffee to cyclists.  Their advert is on the trail.

Accessibility:10
The trail is easy to access.

Cost:10
It is free to ride.

The trail itself:

Security on trail:4
This is probably one of the riskier trails to cycle and never cycle it alone.  We have never had any problems.  There are many vagrants living under the bridges and in the bushes along this trail.  Often when we cycle here we are the only people on the trail so you can be very isolated.

Traffic Safety:8
There is only one road that needs to be crossed and it is usually very quiet.  For the most part on this trail you are going under the bridges.

Fun:8
I enjoy this trail the only thing that dampens my fun is going under William Nicol edging along the narrow concrete block hoping that the stuff coming out of the walls is not human excrement.  I do like that going this way I don’t have busy roads to cross.

Technicality:9
There is a rocky stream that I get off and push at.  I have fallen twice trying to cross it.  Straight after that there is a steep decent between rocks which I manage but coming back I have not managed to get up it yet.  There is another bridge which is concrete but most of the concrete has washed away.  I used to be able to cross it but I don’t manage anymore.  Michael saw a guy cycle the narrow ledge under William Nicol.  The second spruit crossing(where we used to jump from rock to rock)  has concrete on it now making it possible for the expert to cycle over.  There are plenty of challenges for the expert.  Don’t be put of if you are a beginner.  All the difficult obstacles can be walked over.

Scenery:8
There are times such as under William Nicol or under the high way, that the surroundings are very ugly.  There is a great deal of litter.   There are many spots that are breathtakingly beautiful on this trail though.  The other day we saw a blue crane a few times while cycling the trail.  In December the daisies are in bloom and the fields of yellow are stunning.

Obstructions:5
There are many points where I have to get off and walk or carry my bicycle over.  There are occasional dog walkers on part of this trail but they are not generally a problem.  The physical barriers that I cannot cycle over are numerous.

Maintenance:7
The Juma Urban race helped us a great deal as a lot of maintenance was done to this route before the race.   There are points that are becoming very run down again and I hope that the next Urban will run the same trails so that these spots will get a bit of maintenance.

Hill climbing:7
There is one hill that you climb on the way to Sunninghill, it is not a difficult hill.   Coming back is uphill but it is hardly noticable as it is mostly flat.  There are 3 short steep climbs on the way back.  The second one is difficult as you have to navigate between rocks.

Variation:9

There are bridges to cross, steep slopes, rivers to cross so the trail itself provides quite a variation.  The scenery also varies a great deal.

One Response

  1. Lisa
    | Reply

    Hi there
    You know of a group that I can join that does the albertfarm track. Don’t want to ride alone.
    Look forward to hearing from you.
    Lisa

Leave a Reply