The Sacramento Trail between Schoenmakerskop and Sardinia Bay is probably the most popular hiking trail in Port Elizabeth. The 8 km trail traverses the 320 ha Sardinia Bay Nature Reserve proclaimed in 1980. The walk starts near the cannon at the west end of Schoenmakerskop and follows the coast to Sardinia Bay, returning via bridle-tracks and a path along the top of the vegetated dunes.
The bronze cannon at the start of the trail points towards the wreck of the Portuguese galleon Sacramento which foundered on 30 June 1647. Of the 72 survivors who reached the beach and set out to walk the 1,300 km back to Mozambique only nine reached Delagoa Bay (Maputo) on 5 January 1648. In 1977 local divers salvaged 40 bronze cannon from the wreck, including the one on display.
From the cannon the trail follows the coastline where numerous freshwater seepages can be seen. At the Sacramento monument can be seen one of two tall white beacons which mark the boundary of the adjacent Sardinia Bay Marine Reserve. From here the trail pass through Cannon Bay and further along the coastline past sheltered gulleys.
Sardinia Bay is a popular bathing beach where you turn around and return to Schoenmakerskop along the inland section of the trail which winds through fynbos.
The trail is suitable for moderately fit persons who are advised to walk in a group, wear stout shoes, take a sun hat and drinking water. Dogs are permitted on the lower (coastline) part of the trail.