Circles in the Mist: Trail Running in Highmoor

Highmoor Nature Reserve is a spectacular plateau that juts out to the east if Giants Castle in the Central Drakensberg. It’s a plateau of rolling hills and bubbling streams at an altitude of just over 2000m. It has some great fishing in its high altitude, crystal clear dams and it would be one of the few places I would get excited about fishing in a still water. The water is clear enough that you can actually sight fish to cruising trout in the right conditions. I was in the Kamberg valley staying with my Jeannie and Jason Shewan. Jeannie’s a very keen runner and she suggested a run through the Highmoor Nature Reserve. We were joined by a running buddy of hers, Shea Karssing.

The main dam at Highmoor

Life is not all about fishing, and I’ve  really been enjoying getting back into my running again, so I forgot about the fishing and went for a run instead. What a fantastic idea it turned out to be. We woke up early and we arrived at the parks board offices at 6:30 am before they opened. The mist was down and we literally had no idea where we were going. We set off into the mistaking a well trodden path. The mist lifted every now and then to give us some great views of the lakes a the moorland. We ended up running along the edge escarpment off the path. Unfortunately the top of the Drakensberg was in thick cloud, but down where we were the weather in proves as the morning progressed. We ended up running about 10 km before we ended up back at the park offices. We had no idea where we were going most of the time which is part of the fun of running in the mist . It really is a great place for a trail run or for hiking and I can’t wait to be back there in better weather to explore some more. Maybe next time I will combine it with a few hours on the water, “practicing my casting” as Jenny my wife would say.

The main dam in the distance

Looking East over the vast wetlands dotted with herds of blesbok.

1 Comment

  1. Rex
    Just out of interest, the soil profile in Fig 2.2.3b on p 27 of my book is from the spillway bank at the Highmoor main dam. I did much of my PhD research on that soil. It has some unique properties due to the basalt weathering at that elevation. We had some great fishing there in the old days, thanks to your Dad having been an intrepid cabbage farmer, and Barker farm manager, down the valley from there. It’s a wonderful spot.


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