If you are a lover of nature then let St. Lucia hiking trails be your playground. Some of the best St. Lucia attractions are the hiking trails that wander across the island. Considering that some of the trails are better kept than others, you may need a guide to complete your trek. Many of the trails are suited for either the beginner or expert hiker. Going hiking in St. Lucia is one of the best ways to experience the real treasures of the island!
Union Nature Trail
Considered an easy hike located 15 minutes from Castries. The Union Nature Trail starts at the Visitor Center and goes around in a wide loop. Along the trail you will see Teak, Mahogany and Blue Mahoe trees. After your trek you can visit the Union Mini Zoo and view exotic and indigenous species such as the St. Lucia Parrot and the St. Lucia Iguana.
Forestiere Rainforest Trail
Considered a moderate hike located 20 minutes from Castries. The Forestiere Rainforest Trail is located in the town of Forestiere. At one time this trail was a road constructed by the French. Now it’s yours to enjoy! Hike through unspoiled rainforest with an abundance of epiphytes, fens and fig trees. The beautiful smell of l’encens trees (protuim attenatum) is pungent here.
Millet Bird Sanctuary Trail
Considered a moderate hike located 45 minutes from Castries. The Millet Bird Sanctuary Trail is paradise for bird lovers. More than thirty species of birds can be found here including: St. Lucia Parrot, St. Lucia Black Finch, St. Lucia Oriole, St. Lucia Pewee, and the St. Lucia Warbler. The trail rises to 1000 feet above sea level and along the trail is a panoramic view of the Roseau Dam. At least two hours is necessary to complete this trail.
Des Cartiers Rainforest Trail
Considered a moderate hike located 90 minutes from Castries. The Des Cartiers Rainforest Trail is a botanical paradise that contains some of St. Lucia’s most pristine rainforest. On the trail you will have an opportunity to view the elusive St. Lucia Parrot and other rare birds. Come prepared as this are receives a lot of rain.
Edmund Forest Reserve
Considered a moderate hike located 105 minutes from Castries. The Edmund Forest Reserve is near the Enbas Saut Waterfalls Trail. Along many of the trails in this reserve you can see numerous plants such as bromeliads, orchids, mushrooms, lianes and others. Mt. Gimie, the highest point on the island, can be seen from one of the side trails. You may want to arrange for a guide because many of the side trails lead off the main path and you can get lost easily. Come prepared as this are receives a lot of rain.
Barre L’Isle Rainforest Trail
Considered a moderate hike located 30 minutes from Castries. The Barre L’Isle Rainforest Trail is midway between Castries and Dennery. There are two trails to climb here. Each take about an hour. One is located near the main trail and leads up to Mt. La Combe. The other has lookout points along the way with panoramic views of Cul-de-Sac Valley, Mabouya Valley, Fond d’Or beach, and the Caribbean Sea.
Enbas Saut Waterfalls Trail
Considered a strenuous hike located 100 minutes from Castries. The Enbas Saut Waterfalls Trail is located 6 miles east of Soufriere at the foot of Mt. Gimie. This is a popular trail with two waterfalls and pools to swim in pure rainforest water at the foot of the Troumassee River. The trail has a combination of rainforest, cloud forest, and elfin woodlands. You may have a chance to view rare birds such as: St. Lucia Parrot, Mountain Whistler, Blue Hooded Euphonia and others along the trail.
Gros Piton Hike
Considered a strenuous hike located 60 minutes from Castries. Gros Piton is located in the village of Fond Gens Libre which can be accessed off the main highway along St Lucia’s western coast, between the cities of Soufriere and Choiseul. The hike up Gros Piton is about 3 to 6 hours depending on your fitness level. A guide is mandatory and it’s best to go when it’s not raining because many areas are steep and slippery. Halfway up the mountain you will wonder what you have gotten yourself into but keep going. The view from the top is spectacular!
**Please be aware that it is an illegal offence to access trails without permission from the St. Lucia Forest and Lands Department according to the Forest Soil and Water Conservation Ordinance Act.
Also many St. Lucia hiking trails were damaged from hurricane Thomas and may be closed.
To find out more about exploring the trails and hiking in St. Lucia contact the Forest and Lands Department (758) 468-5649.