Sunday, 27 September 2015

Mountain biking: Stockholm Hotel Track - Borj Cedria Tunis

Distance: 22km
Time: 1.5-2hrs
Difficulty: easy/moderate
450m up and down
Notes: officially permission needed from the Guard National, at times difficult to find the route: use GPS

First of all, to enter Boukornine National Park you need to obtain permission from the Guard National. On the highest mountain, Jebel Boukornine, is a permanent military station. Having said this, this route avoids getting close to the official entrance and any check point. We ( me and a local biker Karim from Borj Cedria) did it without.

Karim on the ascent

Finding the trailhead is not so easy, best is to use the GPS data in this blogpost. Coming from Souk in Hammam-Lif follow the main road P1 (direction Grombalia). When you pass the train station Arret du Stade (on the opposite side of the road) it’s 500 metres more to the parallel road on the right side of the P1. Get on this road and drive in the same direction. At the second junction, turn right and keep going straight until you reach the bridge that goes over the green pipeline. This is the trailhead of this mountain bike ride.

Myself going the opposite direction of this route (everything for a better photo!)

After the bridge turn right and pass the white, slightly worn down building on the left side. The broad track zigzags up steeply. A few hunderd metres further there’s a big junction. In front of you there’s a small white building with solar panels on the roof. Turn left here and keep going up, again steep. At the T-junction take a left. The wide well-maintained track winds its way up the mountain, less steep now. The magnificent views over Hammam-Lif, the Meditteranean and across to Cap Bon unfolds. It’s great, easy riding through the forest of bright green low pine trees. Stay on the main track and reach the highest point at 340 metres.

Karim, again opposite direction of how you should go with Jebel Ressas and Zaghouan in the background

There’s a short descent with pretty tricky terrain. Be aware of little pebbles and unexpected sharp corners. The track flattens out for a about a kilomtres before it drops again. Enjoy view of Jebel Ressas and Jebel Zaghouan in the distance. It ends at the main motorway A1, where you go left. At the time of writing were building the new road between Borj Cedria and the A1. Use GPS track again to find the track as the landscape is constantly changing. Access may be denied at some point. After following the unfinished road in the direction of Borj Cedria again for a few hunderd metres look out for the original track on the right side. It is obstructed now and then by road building works. The track eventually takes you down to Borj Cedria. Keep going down the village in northern direction. When you see the industrial site on the right, turn left and look for the channel. Along the channel there’s a track all the way back to the bridge where you started the bike ride.

Below: Karim descending with Jebel Ressas dominating the view

1 comment:

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