Caribbean Tourism

Excursions

The tourist office has a guide leaflet describing 11 trails. Quill hikes with local guides are available with a voucher system from the tourist office or participating hotels. Hikers should be aware that some of these trails are in bad condition, overgrown and sometimes difficult to follow.


STENAPA is in the process of restoring and extending Statia’s trail system. They plan to make a trail from town to the botanical garden which will wind around the south side of The Quill. STENAPA also plans to restore the path around the rim of The Quill (damaged in 1989 by Hurricane Hugo). The foundation has built a new, clearly marked, trail from Rosemary Lane to the rain-forest crater at the top of The Quill, which is remarkable for its contrast with the dry scrub of the rest of the island.

After about 20 minutes’ walk there is a left turn to The Quill. Carry on if you want to overlook the White Wall. The walk up to the lip of the crater is easy. You will see butterflies, all sizes of lizards, hundreds of land crabs and, if you go quietly, some snakes (for example the red-bellied racer snake). At the top in one direction is the panorama trail.

The other direction leads to the highest point, called Mazinga, which affords a magnificent view. The first 10 minutes of the walk to the Mazinga is easy, then there is a turn to the left marked. From here it becomes a scramble because of hurricane damage. The last 20 m up to the summit itself is for the very experienced only.

The plant life includes mahogany and bread fruit trees, arums, bromeliads, lianas and orchids. Although it is still quite a hike (approximately 45 minutes), the new path is in much better shape and it is not nearly as steep as the old trail. From the rim, hikers can walk down a path to the centre. The vegetation in the crater is very dense and a local guide is recommended. The crater is the breeding ground for land crabs, which Statians catch at night by blinding them with a flashlight. Charley (brother of Roland Lopes at the tourist office) works as a professional hiking guide. He arrives at dawn in full combat uniform and beret like Rambo and tends to go quickly without much explanation, fine for the walk round The Quill crater but better to go alone if birdwatching.

A road, and then a track, leads round the lower slopes of The Quill to the White Wall, a massive slab of limestone which was once pushed out of the sea by volcanic forces and is now clearly visible from miles away across the sea.

You can also see it from Fort de Windt, built in 1753, the ruins of which are open to the public, at the end of the road south from Lower Town. St Kitts can also be seen clearly from here. About 14 forts or batteries were built around the island by the end of the 18th century but the ruins of few of them are accessible or even visible nowadays.

STENAPA has made a new trail to the Boven, the highest peak on the north side of the island. This is a strenuous hike (four hour round trip and steep at times) but well worth it for the view, for dedicated hikers.


More . . .

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