The Queen Rose hiking trail is located in the mountains west of Barberton in the Nelshoogte forest reserve. The trail follows the Montrose and Queens Rivers and is one of the most scenic trails in South Africa. A wide variety of game and birds can be spotted along the trail. It is 330km from Johannesburg, between Badplaas and Barberton.
The 13km Montrose route starts at the main entry gate (Queensview Hut) and for 2km winds its way through Pine Forests to the highest point in the trail. Wonderful forest with endless views are the talk of the day. Take time to smell, touch, taste and see what nature has to offer on this beautiful trail. The descent through an indigenous forest is something to be enjoyed, with views of Alvin Falls. Take a rest and a swim in the pool at the bottom of the falls. The path then leads through lush forests along the Montrose river bank as it winds its way down the Makhonjwa Mountains. One the crosses open grasslands to Patrick's picnic spot which is suitable for a lunch break, prior to starting on the last section to Makesh Hut.
The hut is an old foresters home with a wonderful view over the Lowveld towards Barberton. The hut is located in the LEAP youth education centre. Facilities are good and include an internal ablution and toilet with backup showers and toilets. Electricity, warm water, a stove and fridge are available. 20 people can be accommodated.
The Queens River route (8km) takes one upstream along the Queens River Valley. River crossings are undertaken and after detouring the local cultural settlement the path cuts back to the river then proceeds for about 2km on the left bank passing Matumi Island and a view of the Crowned Eagles nest. Cross over the low-level bridge and proceed through the riverine Matumi Forest on the right bank., climbing gradually for about an hour and you will arrive at GPS bridge. The picnic area on the far side is a good spot for lunch and a short walk downstream will bring you to a pool and slide, which you may try at your own risk. The trail then joins the road for about 1km then before a small ladder is climbed to a beautiful stream and waterfall. A little further on is LEAP crossing with a suspension bridge. The next uphill takes you to a spectacular view of the Cupid falls, where the Queens River falls in a series of cascades weathering away the granite base rock. The path angles around and crosses the river in midfall by means of a suspension bridge. You are now about 30 minutes from the Queensview Hut, so this is a good stopping place for a cool dip in the pool above the bridge. The trail continues through the forest up to the road, following a side stream up to the Queensview Hut.
Degree of difficulty: average
For information and reservations:
Phone: +27 (0) 83 5450900
Fax: +27 (0) 13 7126054