Around the dams, Constantia Nek

Easy circular route with start and finish at Constantia Nek. There is a museum between the Woodhead and Hely Hutchinson Dams. The Woodhead Dam wall makes for a nice place to lunch. More images can be found on my google+ album from the hike.

Useful information

Latitude: 34° 1’29.08” S | Longitude: 18° 24’54.66” E

Difficulty: Easy walk, although the road is very steep as you approach the top of the climb. You will soon recover on the flatter mountain top.

Duration: 3-4 hours

Terrain: Gravel and cement road for the majority of the way. There are single track shortcuts for part of the trail, which can add more difficulty to your ascent.

Permit: Can obtain a free permit and pamphlet from the office at the gate of De Vasselot Camp Site.

Costs: Free


Additional information

  • You can drink from the stream running underneath the small bridge near the top
  • There is a drinking fountain 15 minutes past the small bridge
  • Be sure to look out for the Red Disas in season
  • Consider packing a picnic lunch to eat at the Hely Hutchinson and Woodhead dams
  • The dams were built over 100 years ago
  • There is a museum at the Hely Hutchinson and Woodhead dams
  • It can get very cold up on the mountain on an overcast day

Route description

Your walk begins on the forestry road which is just above Constantia Nek. Depending on how strong you feel, on the left hand side there are some steep steps which cross the road and take you upwards to the last section of the climb.

Alternatively, take it easy and choose the gentler route which is a slower, more winding route up the mountain.

As you continue always head upwards – there are a few forks in the road. Especially important not to miss is the second fork about 10 minutes into the walk. It goes steeply upwards and to your left. When you reach the first dam, one of the smaller ones, called De Villiers Dam, follow the road past it and you will come to the Alexander and Victoria Dams on your right.

Further on you will find the larger Woodhead and Hely Hutchinson Dams where you can walk along each Dam wall. There is even a very short ladder to walk across the upper, Hely Hutchinson Dam wall which is fun to tackle.

Continue along the road around the Woodhead Dam until you reach the end of the road. On the left, you will find a small path that cuts back towards the Dam. The path can be found opposite the small tap on the right hand side.

Cross back along the Woodhead Dam wall and return along the same path as you came up.