BLACKBURN RAVINE - HIKE
Start: East Fort car park, not far from the tollbooth at Chapman’s Peak Drive on the Hout Bay side
Finish: turn back at any time, as it’s a there-and-back hike, or you can park another car at the Chapman’s Peak trail parking area on Chapman’s Peak, or conversely at Silvermine, and extend the walk (these are two variations)
Duration: 4.6 km, roughly an hour or so, depending on how long you take to explore
Fitness: an easy hike
Our tip: ask for a day pass (as opposed to the drive-through fee) on Chapman’s Peak Drive if you’re doing the one-way, two-car trek to the further parking area (a day pass is, apparently, free)
Map: Slingsby’s Hout Bay map is a nice to have, especially if you extend the walk
The old cannon fort is worth an explore before you venture off up the mountain. You then head up a series of steps that can feel rather strenuous, particularly as they’re at the start of the hike.
Once you’ve left the fort behind the trail heads up the ravine (the riverine forest further into the hike is the highlight) in a series of zig zags to a lookout with incredible ocean views. The path heads in the direction of Chapman’s Peak.
Most of the walk is easy to do, although there is a steep bit towards the end. At almost every juncture there are incredible views behind one over Hout Bay and usually something fynbos is in flower.The top of Blackburn Ravine is a good place for tea or a snack, and you will need it as it’s a steep climb to get here. If you don’t want to go all the way to the top, you can turn around after exploring the forest. For those who want to add a further leg, you can head off over the top via the Silver mine Crags, past the reservoir and into Silvermine.
Otherwise you can continue straight along the contour, through Flat Rock Ravine and on along open hillside (again incredible views), with Chapman’s Peak Drive below you until the path starts to descend down to Chapman’s Nek to where you’ve parked your second vehicle.