DES CARTIER NATURE TRAIL, EDMUND FOREST RESERVE
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY, AVERAGE from 1 to 5: 2
The Des Cartier Nature Trail can be reached by two different locations:
-From Micoud; take the Latille Falls access road inland apx. 6 miles off the main highway. Your first right will take you to Latille, but stay left and the road will eventually lead you to the start of the trail. A very long hike, so a hitch or arranged transportation is a must.
-From Fond St. Jacques (recommended); take the bus that departs from Sir Arthur Lewis Street (next to the Courts store) leading into the rainforest. Take the bus as far as it goes ($2EC) that will take you within apx. 30 minutes from the trailhead.
This 4km (2.5 mile) trail runs entirely through natural moist, tropical and montane forest. The old Murray Road established by a forest engineer in the 1940s and 50s covers 2km (1.6 miles), where it joins the old French road, a route built by the French military.
The trail is very well maintained, wide and covered by the rainforest canopy. There are several unmarked points along the way where different routes meet the main trail. Maintaining your original course is recommended, though there are other areas of the forest reserve that can be explored from the side trails.
For more information call the Forestry Department at telephone 758-450-2231/2078 (http://www.slumaffe.org/Forestry_Department/Rainforest_Trails/rainforest_trails.html)
PEACE CORPS PROCEDURE:
-Call your APCD to inform them of your hike, and again upon returning safely to the bottom.
-ALWAYS hike with at least one partner, preferably two.
NICHOLAS KLINGER, EC 76
A very easy hike that can be enjoyed by anyone. I’d recommend starting and ending on the western point of entry if you don’t arrange a private pickup on the eastern side of the trail in Micoud. The trail is only 2.5 miles, so make a day of it and hike back so that you can catch public transport in Fond St. Jacques.
SAMUEL SHOPINSKI, EC 77
While so many St. Lucians make this trail to be a great feat it was really a relaxing stroll through the inner rainforest. Flora surrounded us through the hike, with a clear and well-traveled path throughout. We made a few side trips that led nowhere particular, so stick to the flat main route. Pack some food and invite a hearty crew for a good afternoon. If you end in Micoud you’ll have to find a ride for the 6 mile stretch to the highway, so try to get there in the mid-afternoon when many farmers are heading home.