Table Mountain hiking is always a pleasure for me and it constantly surprises me how few people there are on the upper reaches of the Back Table. It is not always necessary to go to the popular Western Table (the classic front face of the mountain) as this area has some fantastic paths with stunning views and with a reasonable fitness level there are routes that most people can manage quite easily.
Cecelia Ridge path is one of these and is a route that I often use for a quick afternoon or evening hike to keep my own fitness levels up. The Freedom Day holiday was a good opportunity to walk it at a slightly more leisurely pace and to take the path from Cecelia Forest parking up over the Contour Path to the
Cecelia Waterfall. This is an pleasant and fairly quick hike on it’s own and Cecelia Waterfall is a magical place and worth a visit. The waterfall is only a trickle at the moment, but I am sure that it will be at it’s spectacular best once the first winter rains come.
After passing the waterfall the path climbs up
to the ridge where the turn off to Cecelia Ridge is slightly hidden by the shrubbery, but if you know where to look it is clear. Care must be taken at one point on the path up to the ridge as part of the slope below has been washed away, leaving a short exposed section where there are a few exposed roots that would be easy to trip over. After the turnoff the path is quite steep with a few minor rock scrambles. Take it easily, stopping regularly to survey the views over False Bay, the Cape Flats and the
ring of mountains in the distance.
The path comes out near de Villiers Dam and there are a few places where you can sit and admire the views while you enjoy a tea or lunch break. You can return by the same route or take the easier (but longer) route down the jeep track and through Cecelia Forest. It is a route that needs to be led by someone who knows the way and the usual rules with regard to water and walking in a party apply.