The Storms River Mouth Trail in the Tsitsikamma National Park is a beautiful walk, perfect for beginners and families with young children. The return route is about 2 km along a board walk through coastal forest and then over an incredible 77 m long suspension bridge to a viewpoint. To enter the Tsitsikamma National Park there is a conservation fee alternately you can use a Wild Card.
During our holidays in December last year we went to visit some very special friends in Plettenberg Bay. While we were there, they suggested that we do a walk in the Tsitsikamma National Park, this turned out to be a fun outing. We have visited the Plett area many times, once even included a trip to Bloukrans for Brian to bungy jump. I was pregnant with Jude at the time so I couldn’t jump otherwise I totally would have (but like in a not at all, never ever, kinda way). We have also done a zipline tour in the Tsitsikamma forest many years ago when we were young, dating and hadn’t even thought about kids. But this was the first time that we were going to walk in the forest. There are quite a few options for day walks once in the park, but we arrived a bit later in the afternoon than we had initially planned and decided on the short walk to the river mouth and suspension bridges.
The start of the route is easily found from the parking near the restaurant. You begin over a beach, Sandy Bay, which is lovely, but true to its name this obviously lead to sand filling Emma’s shoes and so we were about 2 minutes into our walk when we needed to stop to empty the bucket loads of sand from her shoes. I’m not sure how she managed it, it felt like a Mary Poppins trick. Once we had completed our first obstacle we continued walking and quickly got to a little waterfall followed by the start of the board walk.
The walk through the forest was magnificent with the dappled light creating an enchanted feeling. The trees were too irresistible not to be climbed and so our walk was not quick, but it was fun. It was incredibly windy when we started walking, but once in the forest we were completely sheltered. We had views of the sea every so often and stopped for quite a while to watch some dassies (rock hyrax) with the kids trying to figure out the family structure and debating which was the mom and which the dad.
There is a rather steep flight of steps downward to the start of the suspension bridges, and with a kid on your back this is quite the quad workout. Having been told about how awesome this bridge is, I had built it up a bit in my head, and it did not disappoint. As we were now out of the forest we were once again exposed to the wind and this seemed to add an extra bit of movement to the bridge as we crossed. Below us we watched a group of paddlers exploring the river mouth, this is something I have now added to my to-do list. On the other side of the bridge we took a few photos and then started back. Taegan had offered to carry Jude back over the bridge and up the steep stepped section, I’m not convinced he thought that a) I would take him up on the offer and b) that he knew what he was getting himself into, but I gladly handed over my 17 kg boy.
Taegan did a great job with his passenger, one I certainly would have struggled with, and made enough of an impression that now Jude insists on wearing snapbacks like Uncle Taegan. We met the boys at the top of the stairs and from there Jude walked the rest of the way back. We usually don’t let him walk, mostly because at this stage it will take us an eternity to cover any ground but also because at the age of 2 years, he has basically got the coordination of a baby elephant and somehow always hits his head when he falls.
We slowly made our way back to the start along the board walk, enjoying the forest, jumping down the steps, picking up sticks, looking for birds and chatting. Once we had finished, the Horns treated us to some ice-cream from the little shop. It really was a lovely walk and next time we are in the area I think that we will explore one of the slightly longer trails through the forest.