Wood cutter trail – an immersion into the depths of the Knysna Forest.


Of the many day hiking trails available in the Garden Route, the Wood Cutter trail in the Millwood section of the Garden Route National Park offers exquisite examples of pristine climax wet high closed canopy Afromontane Forest. A mouthful of a classification, but an accurate description of the magnificent swathe of forest that shrouds the section of the Outeniqua Mountains that lies north of the village of Knysna.

With an option of either a 3km or 9km circular route, hikers and nature lovers are able to select a walk suitable for their time budgets. The shorter circuit offers tranquil glades of tree ferns and towering Outeniqua Yellowwoods through which the trail tunnels.

For those with more time on hand, the longer route offers a primeval descent to a bubbling forest river, a perfect site for a picnic far removed from the trappings of society. Leaving the banks of the river the astute observer will be able to detect both territorial markings of the resident Cape Leopard and the composting droppings of the transient forest elephants.

Facilities at the trail head include a picnic site, parking, water and latrine.

Fans of author Dalene Mathee can view her memorial stone erected at the base of one of the oldest Outeniqua Yellowwoods in the Garden Route at the start of the trail.

Bird lovers and twitchers can see the elusive Narina Trogon, Grey Cuckoo-Shrike, Knysna Warbler and the renowned Knysna Turaco.

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