Hiking The Barre de LIsle Rainforest Trail
The MOST popular hiking trail in St Lucia.
Saturday 13 August 2016 04:13 GMT
Southeast of Castries and LAbbayee, the Barre de L Isle Forest Reserve occupies a ridgeline separating the eastern and western halves of the island. The north-south Barre de LIsle Trail combines a steep 1 mile main trail with a side route ascending Morne la Cam (1,446). The total route takes about 3 hours round-trip. Expect to see diverse flora and topography. Along the way, there are four lookout points offering panoramic vistas of the blue-green rainforest, the rugged Mount Gimie and the Caribbean Sea.
The signed trailhead begins alongside the Castries-Dennery Highway between LAbbayee and Grande Ravine. It is a 30 minute drive from Castries and a 20 minute drive from Dennery. Public bus service is available from Castries via Minibus (2B or 2C) from Manoel Street.
A permit is requried to hike on forest reserve trails. A professional guide may also be required, and is strongly recommended in any case. Both are easy to obtain for a small fee from the Forest & Lands Department at (758) 450-2231 or 450-2078, or by contacting the National Trust at (758) 450-5005. It is a punishable offense under the Forest Soil And Conservation Ordinance Act to attempt to access the forest reserve trails without a permit and, when required, a guide.
In the Barre de LIsle Forest Reserve, a guide is not strictly required at the time of this writing, but check with the ranger hut near the trailhead.
Note, if you plan to use a GPS device on St Lucia, the MAP DATUM is DOS 3 Lighthouse 1955 St Lucia.
Overall, Barre de LIsle Rainforest Trail is the 1st most popular hiking trail of all 6 hikes in St Lucia.