All riders making use of the Howick MTB Club trail network must have either a day license or an annual membership.

A day license consists of a Sappi Indemnity as well as payment of a day trail fee.

Annual memberships are available here

If making use of a day license please follow the following steps :

- Obtain and complete a hand written Sappi indemnity. Please complete the indemnity in full. Carefully remove the completed indemnity from the book and carry it with you during your ride. The copy is to remain in the book. The indemnity must be produced upon request.

- Pay the required trail fee. Mobile online payments are accepted through SnapScan (QR code ). Alternatively make use of the honesty box system.

- Day licenses are only valid for the day and are applicable to Howick Trails and Karkloof Trails.


Make use of the MySoS mobile phone app for online payment and indemnity.

 Day licenses are available at :

- 11 Karkloof

- Trail Head signage at various points


Howick MTB Club follows IMBA trail grading guidelines. We are currently remarking all trail signage to reflect international icons.


Club Rides

Mon-Wed-Fri : 5am till +- 6.30am, at the tree by the Howick High School. Suitable for all ages and skill levels. A great way to get fit

Sat : Long ride leaving from the tree at Howick High School at 5am or 6am. This is a ride of usually 50km to 60km although sometimes further. Please confirm timings beforehand

Sun : 7am from the Howick Hospital. This is usually a shorter ride, including singletrack

Howick MTB Club Senior Cyclists

Meeting point is the gym at the Howick Hospital, Main Road. Ride on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The destinations are Midmar Dam (25 km), Midmar Game Reserve (40 km) and the forest around Howick (30 km).

Often meet on Saturdays for a longer ride, followed by breakfast.

These rides are targeted towards the older, or not so high-performance cyclists, who no longer want to use the single tracks. They also favour the social contacts in this group.

All activities are promply reported on FB with accompanying photos. Please follow this link for up to date plans and be informed about the rides and other activities.

Currently more than 20 cyclists take part in this group.

Please respect the fire warnings that are issued. They are for your own safety.Daily updates can be obtained from the Lions River Fire Protection Office on  033 330 6369  or  073 704 5862 . Take the time to understand the Fire Danger Index. If they inform you that it is a High Fire Risk Day, accessing the trails is strictly prohibited. If the forests are closed you WILL be removed from the area and may be barred from returning. The NO HEMLET, NO RIDE rule applies to all trails at all times. Rider indemnities are compulsory at all times and trail fees apply


Rules of the Trail

IMBA (International Mountain Biking Association) developed the "Rules of the Trail" to promote responsible and courteous conduct on shared-use trails. At the HMBC, we have chosen to adopt and adapt these rules to safeguard and further our access relationships with all land owner and managers.

NO HELMET – NO RIDE                                                  NO RESPECT – NO TRAILS TO RIDE

1. Ride Open Trails: Respect trail and road closures — ask the local club/ trail custodian for clarification if you are uncertain about the status of a trail. Do not trespass on private land.

2. Respect Access requirements: Obtain necessary day and annual indemnities as required.

3. Leave No Trace: Be sensitive to the dirt beneath you. Wet and muddy trails are more vulnerable to damage than dry ones. When the trail is soft, consider other riding options. Stay on existing trails and do not creating new ones. Don't cut switchbacks.

4. Control Your Bicycle: Inattention for even a moment could put yourself and others at risk. Understand and obey all bicycle signage and recommendations, and ride within your limits.

5. Yield Appropriately: Let your fellow trail users know you're coming —friendly greeting, a polite shout “yebo!”, or bell ring are good methods. Anticipate other trail users as you ride corners and hidden trail-lines. Cyclists should yield to other non-motorized trail users, unless the trail is clearly signed for bike-only travel. Cyclists travelling downhill should yield to ones heading uphill. Make each overtaking pass, safe and courteous. Keep in mind that conventions for yielding and passing may vary in different locations, or with traffic conditions.

6.  Never Scare Animals: Animals are startled by an unannounced approach, a sudden movement or a loud noise. Give animals enough room and time to adjust to you. Disturbing wildlife and livestock is not acceptable. Stop to let horseback riders pass.

7. Plan Ahead: Know your equipment, your ability and the area in which you are riding, prepare accordingly. Strive to be self-sufficient: keep your equipment in good repair and plan for changes in weather or other conditions.

8. Take note of emergency phone numbers: Emergency phone numbers are available at all cycle access boards and hubs. Enter these onto your cellphone for easy accessibility.

9. Adhere to FDI (fire) warnings: During the months of June – Sept be aware of the danger of fire. If you encounter unattended/unmanaged or unusual fires, contact the Lions River Fire Protection Association on 033 330 6369. (enter this number into your cellphone) and exit the plantations as quickly as possible.

10. Do not smoke whilst in the plantations: Smoking whilst on the HMBC trails is strictly prohibited.

11. Avoid operational areas and activities: Cyclists are at no time to be within 1km from any situation that may appear to be operational i.e. harvesting activity or from operational vehicles or areas indicated as operational.  

The MTB's adherence to these trail rules goes a long way to assisting in continued land access relations with SAPPI, Mondi, Ezemvelo, Wessa and other private landowners. It is up to us to behave responsibly!

The Sappi Howick Classic is our highlight of the year. It is the oldest race on the KZN Mountain Bike calendar and one not to be missed. The race is broken down into 2 events - the 40km Classic and the 20km intermediate. Don't let the 40km distance fool you....this is a very tough event and is often described by participants as one of the more challenging they have ever ridden!

In 2016 the Sappi Howick Classic introduced an Enduro event which takes place the day before the Classic event. This event has been included as a KZN MTB Enduro Series event. A trail run has also been included from 2018. 

2 March 2019 - Trail Run (morning) and Enduro (afternoon) 

3 March 2019 - 20km and 40km MTB 

Dont miss South Africa's original and FIRST Mountain Bike event that was ever established! After 30 years of passionate trail building by the Howick Mountain Bike Club we boast some of the most technically challenging and tough singletrack in the Country. This is RAW and UNPLUGGED Mountain Biking at its best!

Entries are administered through and will open approx. 6 weeks prior to the event