VERMONT SALT PAN AND THE ONRUS-VERMONT COASTAL PATH
Posted on the 4th December 2021
One might imagine a dry dusty bowl with the wind blowing across it to be the natural vista across a salt pan. The Vermont salt pan in Rockhopper Street, is bordered by reed covered wetlands and depends on ground water levels that are high after the heavy rains this year. lt is currently a small lake home to many birds and is visited by flamingoes when they come in their winter breeding season. There is a walkway along one side of the pan that can be enjoyed by all except the walk is currently interrupted by a flooded path in places. Vermont is a village situated between the Hoek-van-de-Berg private nature reserve and Onrus, near Hermanus. The Onrus Mountain provides a magnificent backdrop and is probably where the name Vermont comes from - "green mountain". Approximately 20% of Vermont is dedicated to a number of green belts running from the mountain to the coast in an effort to protect endemic fynbos and birdlife.
Along the coastline is the Vermont trail with well maintained walking paths along beautiful sea views, rock and tidal pools. The popular trail continues along the Onrus coastline to a couple of our favourite pitstops. One is at Jan Rabie Pool - the perfect place to watch the sun go down; the other is the coffee caravan at Davie's pool. This is a grassed play area between the Onrus caravan Park and a tidal pool. There are clean toilet facilities and tables with umbrellas where one can rest with a delicious cappuccino or coffee milkshake and fresh brownie from Coffee @ Davie's Pool. Continuing along the coastal path which is also known as the VOS cliff path walk (connecting Vermont, Onrus and Sandbaai) you will eventually reach the Onrus lagoon as it flows into the sea. This is a popular surfing beach and children love swimming in the lagoon. You can stop in at the Milkwood Reastaurant - their decks overlook the beach and lagoon. It is a dog friendly establishment serving full meals and tasty snacks. Alternatively there is an ice-cream van for that Choc '99 experience as you head back to your car. lf you are travelling to Hermanus, why not take some time to stop in Vermont for a fresh sea air walk, bird watching at the salt pan or some peace and tranquillity at Davie's pool - you can find it on google maps.
(This article first appeared in ‘The Muse’, a local magazine in Pinelands, Cape Town).