Similar to the Otter Trail Hike, St Blaize follows the the contour of the coastline, offering amazing views over the Indian ocean. The hike starts at The Point, in Mossel Bay and ends in Dana Bay. Although you can walk it in either direction, or choose to hike the 27km round trip.
Once you have made it up the short, but steep zig zag incline at The Point, the rest of the hike is relatively flat. With a well maintained pathway and multiple exit points along the first stretch. Making it one of the easier hikes in the country to do. Someone of average fitness could complete it with ease and even someone who considers themselves unfit could give the hike a try. In fact, it is one of the best trails for someone just starting out on their hiking journey.
Plus, the hike can be started at either end. The St Blaize trail covers 13.5km each way. So you would be looking at four to six hours in each direction. Although someone of fair fitness wouldn’t have a problem completing it in less time than that. But regardless of your fitness level you should have enough time to stop and enjoy the scenery.
What to Take With
Being a relatively easy hike that can be completed in a day or less, there is not too much that you need to take with.
Good walking shoes are a must. They don’t need to be anything specialised, but you must know that you can easily walk in them for a few hours. Then, as far as clothing goes, just wear something comfortable. There is no sliding around on your bum, rock climbing or anything of that nature. So simply check the weather for the day and dress in something that both suits the weather and is comfortable. If it is hot you may want to take something warm anyway in case a cold sea breeze picks up.
The only item that I would say is an absolute must is a hat. There is little to no shade along the St Blaize trail. As extra protection on any hike, I generally wear light long sleeve items that cover my skin from the sun.
Food and Water
Be sure to take enough drinking water. Not only are you exposed to the elements for the entire duration of the walk but there are also no drinking spots along the way.
With regards to food, if you plan to do the trip in both directions it would be a good idea to take a light lunch for when you reach your turn around point. Especially if Dana Bay is your turnaround point. Because to get to any restaurants or shops you would need to first trek up the hill to the top of the town. If you would rather have access to restaurants for your half way stop, then consider starting at the Dana Bay end. That way your turnaround point will be The Point in Mossel Bay which offers restaurants and food trucks.
Things to Be Aware Of
- First off, this hike is not recommended for anyone with a fear of heights. The entire hike follows the contour of the cliff top with an impressive drop down into the ocean in most places. This is also one of the reasons why children should be supervised at all times along the trail.
- Because of its cliff top nature, the path could become dangerous during wet or windy weather.
- Hiking the St Blaize trail on your own is ill advised. It is not far from residential areas and vulnerable walkers could fall victim to crime.
- The trail is dog friendly, although they must be kept on leads at all times.
- Be aware of snakes. Especially puff adders who like to come out and bask in the sun.
- Cell phone reception is generally okay, but it may drop in some areas.
- Be aware of the possibility of stray golf balls as you walk along the section below Pinnacle Point Golf Course.