Woodville Big Tree: Woodville Forest Trail

Woodville Big Tree: Woodville Forest Trail

Many of you might be familiar with the Woodville Big Tree situated in Hoekwil. Apart from the massive Outeniqua Yellowwood (hence the name, Woodville Big Tree) to go look at, there is also a 2.1km, and the recently added, 7km hiking route.

The 2.1km trail is a beautiful and very easy walk, suitable for young and old, through the forest. We were so excited to hear that they’re working on a longer trail, so as soon as it opened, we packed our snacks and put on our hiking shoes.

Here’s what you need to know:


How to get there?

It’s super easy to get to this hiking trail. Driving on the N2 from Wilderness, turn left onto Hoekwil Road. Continue straight on Hoekwil Road which will eventually turn into Seven Passes Road. You will see a sign for the Woodville Big Tree on your left. Turn left and follow the signs. If you drove past the Woodville Trading Store, you’ve gone too far, and you’ll have to turn back.

The hiking trails are not free, just like many other trails on the Garden Route you will have to register at the office and pay a conservation fee. They do accept cards, but the signal was very poor, and the card machine couldn’t connect on the day we were there. So, I suggest you take cash.

Below are the current conservation fees:

Child (2-11yrs) Adult
South Africans R14,00 R24,00
SADC Nationals  R20,00 R38,00
Foreign Nationals R36,00 R72,00

The two different routes are:

Woodville Big Tree Meander – 2.1km, circular (Very easy)

Woodville Forest Trail – 7km, circular (Easy - moderate)

We chose the Woodville Forest Trail. We started at 09:30 which was a fine time for it still being winter. I would suggest an earlier start in the summer as a big part of the route is out in the sun.


The route starts off by taking you to the Big Tree. It’s a stunning Outeniqua Yellowwood that stretches 33m in height. This beauty is estimated to be 800 years old and when looking up at it I wondered what stories this tree would tell if only it could talk. There is a bench or two, and a table close by. This will be a great spot to have your lunch after finishing the trail. 


We had plenty of shade to enjoy as we walked through the dense forest. Many of the trees are marked, so it’s a great way to learn the names of all the different trees. There are a few streams, but no big river crossings to enjoy (or worry about) and plenty of fungi to look out for.


After almost 2km we left the forest, and the trail became jeep track. There was little to no shade for the next 3km so remember to pack a hat or to wear sunscreen. At first, I wasn’t very excited about the jeep track, but as Johnnie Walker would say, keep walking.


Even though it was a little steep, and quite muddy from all the recent rain, it still wasn’t very difficult, and we were rewarded with beautiful views of the Hoekwil farms. At the 3km and 4km mark are tables to enjoy a coffee and a snack. This is where we stopped to take in the scenery and to enjoy our Base Homemade Granola. 


At 5km we made our way back into the forest where we soon re-connected with the easier 2km route.

We walked at an easy pace and finished the route within 3 hours which includes the time we took a break. I would say that this route would also be a great trail to run, and maybe I’ll go try that out in the future.

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