Houtkapper Trail Run



 9 July 2023


2022 Event Shirt


Please note that no refunds or entry transfers can be done in the event of cancelation. Should the event be cancelled due to Covid19 regulations as set by the South African Government, a virtual run entry will replace your current entry and a medal will be sent to you via courier.

Souvenir Range can be ordered directly with our entry. Limited items available in our Souvenir range, subject to availability. Limited sizes available.

2022 Entry Fees





Fechters offers a wide range of indoor and outdoor furniture as well as a
bespoke furniture design service that help you turn your dream piece of furniture into a reality. Fechters furniture is produced with care and attention to detail from only the best quality, selected timber. Time honored construction techniques assures a superior product to last for generations to come. Visit their multi-level showroom at 26 Main Street, Knysna. www.fechters.co.za

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Running through gold in the forest

Goudveld the new home of the Houtkapper Trail Run is an old mining town in the lush afromontane forests of the Garden Route National Park. This popular hide-away is 22 kilometres from Knysna. Nestled in the lower slopes of the Outeniqua Mountains the area has a magnificent variety of fynbos, birds, amphibians, reptiles and mammal species.

There’s gold in them thar hills

The Goudveld forest reserve, which includes the Sour Flats and the Millwood forests, is the new home of the Houtkapper Trail Run, in the lush afromontane forests of the Garden Route National Park. This popular hide-away is 22 kilometres from Knysna. Nestled in the lower slopes of the Outeniqua Mountains the area has a magnificent variety of fynbos, birds, amphibians, reptiles and mammal species.

Alluvial gold was discovered by James Hooper along the Karatara River way back in 1876. Later, in 1887, more discoveries were made in the nearby Millwood Forest. The gold mining village of Millwood in those early days had hotels, a church, a shop, a surgery, a bank, school and a Post Office. The evidence of gold mining is still visible.

The Goudveld area is also where many woodcutters (Houtkappers) lived until they were relocated to the margins of the Sour Flats forest in the 1860’s. Renowned author, Dalene Matthee, writes much about the lives of these woodcutters.  Early Woodcutters were of all races; descendants of the First Peoples as well as the early European settlers, who settled in this area in the late 1770s.

They led difficult and isolated lives, mostly in primitive huts, until settled in small woodcutter settlements in 1882. Bibbey’s Hoek, on the margins of the Sour Flats forest, is one such settlement. They worked extremely hard but remained poor due to exploitation by timber merchants.

Refer to the book ‘The Woodcutter Settlements of Knysna’ by Philip Caveney, 2018

5 things to do in the Goudveld/ Millwoood area

  • Dalene Matthee Memorial & Big Tree
  • Homtini Mountain Biking Trail
  • Drupkelders: Means ‘overhanging cliffs that drip water.’  It is a 45 minute climb down to the Homtini River. It is one of the secret gems of the Knysna forest
  • Jubilee Creek: A picnic site with a pure clean streaming running through it. It was named after Queen Victoria’s Jubilee year in 1887.
  • Outeniqua Hiking trail: Multi-day hiking trail

Where is Goudveld: Goudveld Road, Bibby’s Hoek, Rheenendal, 22 kms from Knysna.

Contact: 044 389 0252.

GPS coordinates: S33° 55.726′   E22° 57.310′ (-33.92877, 22.95517)

This area is part of the Wilderness section of the Garden Route National Park, for more information, please visit: https://www.sanparks.org/parks/garden_route/ for more information regarding activities and accommodation in Wilderness and or also follow us on twitter: @SANParksGRNP

‘Adventure is in our nature’

Race briefing


Quinta Map-directions

2019 Results (Click Here)

2018 Results (Click Here)

2017 Results – (Click Here) 

2016 Results – (Click Here)

2015 Results – (Click Here)

2014 Results – ( Click Here)

2013 Results – Click Here)


Watch a small clip of the route scout to get and idea of the terrain   The classic cliche applies – You had to be there.


Houtkapper overview

27km Profile

15km Profile

Directions: From Knysna take N2 towards George. About 8km out take the Rheenendal turnoff to the right. Follow this road for about 12.6km and take the Bibby’s hoek/Millwood Goldfields turnoff to the right. The road becomes a gravel road just after the turn. Quinta da Montahna will be on your left hand side. http://www.countryestate.co.za/

This trail run offers 3 routes of varying lengths and difficulty. Taking runners through the forests made famous by Daleen Mathee (the late authoress of Circles in the forest, Fiela’s child, Moerbeibos and others), runners will pass through Krisjan-se-nek (where Daleen Mathee’s ashes were scattered), the Daleen Mathee memorial and the site of the 880 year old Yellowwood tree known as the Daleen Mathee Big Tree.

The 15km and 27km routes have been chosen not only to challenge the intermediate to experienced trail runners but to provide them with an opportunity to experience the deepest secrets at the heart of the Garden Route National park. Single track and terrain to excite trail runners of all ability including an easier route for the beginner trail runner of 9km.

Water can be drunk and bottles/hydration packs filled at the various watercrossings – don’t be put off by the colour (tannin).

9 km Trail Run

This route is best suited for beginners and first time trail runners.  Do not be fooled by the ‘beginners’ description though. Runners will have to deal with a challenging 2km uphill, often referred to afterwards as ‘that never ending uphill’. Once at the top of the hill you will find renewed energy knowing that all the climbing is done and the rest of your race is easy and downhill running back home. Walkers welcome on the 9km.

15 km Trail Run

This route is best suited to the intermediate and stronger trail runner wanting to gain further trail experience. The route includes single track through breath-taking Knysna forest, water crossing, a waterfall and some hills that are guaranteed to get the heart pumping.

The 15km will follow the same ‘never ending uphill’ as described in the 9km above. Once at the top of the climb the 15km route will split from the 9km. Runners will have time to recover while running about 3kms downhill before turning into the very popular “Circles in the forest” hiking trail. Runners will be treated to a waterfall at the very lowest point of this route. Caution needs to be exercised on single track and stream crossings as rocks and leaves can be very slippery.  Pay attention to Marshals as sections of the route must be completed in single file. As to be expected after a long downhill runners will be faced with another long and never ending uphill. The word ‘vasbyt’ comes to mind! The 15km trail run requires the same effort as that of an average 21km road run.

The routes will be clearly marked and marshalled. Most of the route will be under a full tree canopy.

Accommodation in the Rheenendal area:

Quinta da Montanha

Race Village on Race Day:


*  Refreshments: Food stalls  &  Coffee stand

*  Kids Entertainment :

* Pony Rides

* Tractor Rides

* Jumping Castle

* Face Painting

Runners feedback:

 Alistair: I participated in the 27km Trail Run.  It was was simply the best trail running experience I have had.  Aside from the incredible surroundings of the forest and Jubilee Creek, there was a bit of everything in the trail run – a great mix of very technical & less technical, and the watering stations were a very welcome addition to this race.  Congratulations and thanks to all the guys involved in setting up the route (it was really well sign-posted & this was great) and marshalling and manning the water-stations.  I will definitely be wanting to enter this event next year, and even though I want to keep this gem of a trail run a secret so that I can selfishly enjoy it in the wonderful silence of the forest for many years to come, I suspect that you guys have done too much of a good job to avoid word getting out – and I reckon next  year there’s going to be a queue of entry hopefuls! 

Antionette:Baie geluk met ‘n fantastiese trail run!  Die Houtkapper roete was werklik stunning. Die ondersteuning op die roete was fantasties. Ons was nog nooit vantevore so hartelik by enige waterpunt ontvang nie, julle klub se mense is puik! Ja, ek weet hulle moes bietjie vir ons wag, maar almal was baie vriendelik en verwelkomend. Dankie vir die “sweepers”, wat geduldig was met ons die laaste klompie kilometers toe ons al bietjie moeg was!

Sandra:Thank you for organising a stunner of a race. The signage, marshals, water points and start/finish venue were tops! 
Trish:Thank you for an awesome trail it was my first ever trail run, and it was everything I hoped it would be and more . 
Amore: First time I ran the Houtkapper and it was absolutely stunning! Will definatly be back next year.

Race rules and Info:

  • No refunds
  • No substitutions, upgrades, downgrades will be allowed
  • Race packs must be collected from Fechters, Main street Knysna. Runners will NOT be allowed to run if race packs are not collected on Saturday. Registration open from 10am -3pm. There will be NO registration on race day. 
  • Positive proof of ID must be shown in order to collect your race pack, NO THIRD PARTY PICK UPS ALLOWED.
  • No need to wear Club Clothing
  • Only the event race number will be worn on the front of the vest that contain tear off strips
  • Immediate disqualification if a runner:
  • – tampers with route markings
  •  – is caught littering
  • – damages the trail or any vegetation
  •  – disobey marshals
  • Minimum age for entering is 14 for the 9km, 15 for the 15 km and 18 for the 27 km
  • Parking at Quinta da Monanha
  • Medical, Rescue,  Marshall’s, and organizers decisions is final.
  • Closing date for entries is as soon as entry cap have been reached for each race
  • The runner arriving before you at a technical section determines the pace.   Do not hassle or crowd a runner while an obstacle is being negotiated.
  • The trail is designed with ample overtaking opportunities before and after obstacles.    Do not “race” the technical sections.
  • Remain in the order of arriving at obstacles as some queuing will be needed at certain obstacles.
  • Water-points will have refreshments. All refreshments must be enjoyed at the table and no cups may be removed from the points or be carried onto the route.   Runners are advised to carry backpacks with water.
  • No on the day entries.
  • No Smoking or carrying of lighters anywhere from you leave the start point
  • Spectators are requested to remain at the Start/ Finish area.
  • Your race pack will contain the final race rules and race instructions.
  • Start and finish venue is at Quinta da Montanha, Bibbeys hoek, Rheenendal.  Parking marshals will assist with parking. .
  • Cutoff time for the 9 km is 2h30min.
  • Cutoff time for the 15 km is 3hrs30min.
  • Cutoff time for the 27 km is 5hrs30min.
  • First 3 spots on races will earn prize money for men and women. Winners must be present at prize giving to receive their money.
  • Gold medals to all finishers on the 27 km Trail within the cut off time
  • Silver medals to all finishers on the 15km within the cut off time
  • Bronze medals to all finishers on the 9 km within the cut off time

For further details contact:

email to houtkappertrailrun@gmail.com