The History of Johannesburg Hiking Club
The first hike took place on 20 April 1931.
The club was constituted on 30 April 1931 and is one of the oldest such organisations in South Africa.
The first chairman was Dr. Max des Ligneris. H. J. Barker, who was a shorthand writer at the Law Courts, was the first secretary. The club's first headquarters was his home.
Several celebrities of the day accepted honorary membership: General Jan Smuts; Mr J Hofmeyer; Sir W. Dalyrimple; Sir Spencer Lister and others.
The club has survived many difficulties over the years. Membership number in the hundreds, probably the largest single group of active hikers in the country, providing enjoyment of the outdoors and a healthy escape from the city confines while upholding environmental and conservation issues.
In the late 1980’s the club purchased undivided shares in Castle Gorge.
During 1987 the club bought its own property at Foothold in the Magaliesberg. The erf covers some 44 hectares and measures 1500 metres long by 300 metres wide. Various additions and improvements have been done over the years, and is an on going project.
In 1995 a decision was taken to employ a half day administrator, in order for the club to cope with the administration of the growing membership numbers, and it later became necessary to have full day administration.
Towards the end of the 20th century the club initiated a website, which was 'refurbished' in 2004. The website was later redesigned with an entirely new look mid 2012, and again in 2018.
The meeting venues for Sunday hikes have changed over the years from the Johannesburg Railway Station, The College of Education, Afriflora Nursery to its present main spot of Constantia Park (We occasionally meet at other venues - but check the programme for the meeting spot).
The club's activities include:
Hikes every Sunday;
Hikes every Wednesday;
Back packing lasting between two and eight days;
Camps several times per year;
Adventure Hiking; and
Club/slide show evening every fourth Thursday of the month, and other social events arranged through the year.
The Johannesburg Hiking Club is in a sound financial position with the committee always on the look out to purchase access rights to property in the Magaliesberg.