Picture Perfect Walk
The Cape West Coast has some exquisite hiking trails which have become very popular particularly during the spring wild flower season, mid-August to early October, and Schaapeiland Hiking Trail in Yzerfontein is a must when visiting this small harbour town.
Schaapeiland Hiking Trail starts at the Main Beach or 16 Mile Beach as it is also known, and meanders along the edge of the town for approximately 2 kilometres, an easy walk for most. Once you leave Main Beach the trail follows a well maintained footpath covered in crushed mussel shells high above the rocks. The footpath is clearly marked with white footprints to guide you.
The pathways and flowers are simply amazing and there are various viewpoints along the way with breathtaking views of the ocean. During whaling season, July to October, there is a good chance of spotting Southern Right or Humpback Whales near the Harbour. For birdwatchers this walk is paradise. The trail offers sightings of many indigenous bird species such as the small Black Oyster Catcher, three species of Seagulls and flocks of Black Cormorants are everywhere when there are copious amount of fish. To further surprise nature lovers there is a very good chance you will get to see the colony of Dassies near “Koeskatgat”, a rocky outpost in the sea. When you pass, please remember not to feed or pick them up no matter how cute they look, they are still wild animals and will bite! The best time to see them is early morning or late afternoon.
The Trail will lead you past the oldest building in Yzerfontein, now the Tourism Office, as well as through the quaint town harbour. Continuing on the other side of the harbour the path offers the perfect lookout point to sit and watch the boats. From this point on hikers will pass a few quaint fishing coves before coming to the end of the trail at Schaapeiland and on this last section the spring flowers are truly spectacular when in season. Schaapeiland by the way is not a real island, but rather a little peninsular that gets cut off from the mainland during high tide.
From here you can return to the town centre via the tarred road if you are out of time or you can choose to return along the same trail pathway for a second glimpse of the scenery.
The walk is a self-guided and free walking trail. For more information please contact the Yzerfontein Tourism Office on Main Street.
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