South of Soufriere, the Fond Gens Libre Trail is a challenging 2,600 feet ascent of Gros Piton. While the record is a 45 minute ascent to the summit, most people spend all day climbing up and down. Gros Piton is a volcanic spike rising out of the Caribbean Sea. The summit provides awesome vistas over St Lucia and neighboring islands.
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.
A guide is required in the Edmund Forest Reserve.
Note, if you plan to use a GPS device on St Lucia, the MAP DATUM is DOS 3 Lighthouse 1955 St Lucia.