This hike has one of the easiest accesses as it begins in Knysna Central:) The old railway bridge that crosses the Estuary, linking the town with the Western Head, can be seen from most suburbs. Park your car in front of Stepping Stones or Cruise Cafe and walk along the railway track until you get to the bridge.
You will encounter poor fisherman who will either ignore you or be friendly. Please be careful of their lines.
We found one squatter camp. Although it must be cold so close to the water at night, i envied the view they must have when they wake each morning.
The bridge has a grate and railing running alongside the tracks. On the other side, you will see an old station sign saying that you are entering Brenton (now divided into Brenton-on-Lake this side and Brenton-on-Sea along the coast).
Before the railway track meets the Western Head, you will see a dirt road to your left. Within 100-200m, you will be running parallel to suburban roads but you won’t be able to see them through the beautiful milkwood trees so just try to go right towards them when there’s no bush hampering you.
It was in these trees that we encountered 4 waterbuck. They allowed me to stand silently in their presence for several minutes.
Brenton-on-Sea is a quiet neighbourhood, particularly during the week. The lawns are well kept and maintained the prettiness of our stroll.
Follow Captain Duthie Road until it ends. You will be back alongside the estuary with a pier to your right (sadly, the caravan park is being dismantled to make way for luxury houses but i have to admit that the show house was impressive).
Stay right, walking along the water’s edge. Around the first bend will be the first beach. If it’s low tide, you will encounter several more beaches as you head towards Featherbed.
You will experience several, very different sides to Knysna, all beautiful. Add an extra hour if you wish to picnic.
NB: This is not an official trail. This is for those who want to know Knysna the way we do. Please be safe. Always take water and travel in a group.