Category Archives: North America
Although the Caribbean is probably mostly associated with white stretches of soft sandy beaches lapped at by blue waters, that is not all there is to experience; there are many superb places in the region where you can go trekking. Many tourists when coming to the Caribbean take to the water to discover the wonders below the surface, but if you take the time to go hiking, you will be able to explore the lush and tropical interiors of these islands. Hiking in this tropical location is becoming increasingly popular, and as a result more trails and officially marked pathways are being developed by the authorities on many islands.
So, if you’re planning for the Caribbean cheap holidays include this on your holiday itinerary for a healthier fun and more exciting traveling experience. Here are some pointers on where to go if you want to take in some of the spectacular hiking in this area.
Images by Liam Quinn used under the Creative Commons license.
Some tips on the terrain
Hikers can experience all sorts of different walks on the islands. Coastal walks can seem simple enough with little more than beaches and coves to negotiate, but some areas can be quite hilly and have large cliffs. Furthermore, trails often run through forested areas so well is essential – think hiking boots for men and women, rather than sandals or flip-flops. Although some sections of pathway will follow the old roads that used to lead out to the old colonial plantations, many are trickier to navigate on because they can be somewhat overgrown. It’s also worth noting that each Caribbean government has different laws about hiking trails. Make sure you stick to the designated trails and don’t stray onto private land.
Images by Patrick Nouhailler used under the Creative Commons license.
Pico Duarte, Dominican Republic
There is a challenging 10,000 feet trail that leads to the peak of Pico Duarte, but the views that reward you at the top are magnificent. Usually completed over a couple of days, it is best undertaken as part of a team. Park rangers are often available to help hikers find their way when trekking up the mountain.
Grand Etang National Park, Grenada
Hikers can take part in guided treks in this wonderful park, full of fascinating birdlife. Walking around Grand Etang Lake is a pleasant walk which does not need a vast amount of trekking experience. However, if you’re looking for something tougher, take the trail up to Mount Qua Qua you’ll find it much more challenging.
Nevis Peak, Nevis
With an ascent of over 3,232 feet, Nevis Peak is one of the most attractive triangular-shaped volcanoes in the world. It takes about three hours to reach the summit, depending on how hot it is, but some sections of the trail require you to negotiate extremely steep sections which will require more scrambling than trekking.
Gros Piton, St Lucia
This mountain trek takes the average hiker about four hours to ascend and descend in a circular trail. There are guided tours, but the pathways are not too difficult to navigate. However, if you suffer from a bit of vertigo, be warned, there are some dizzying heights and sharp slopes on some of these trails.
Asa Wright Nature Centre, Trinidad
With a number of trails that cut through rainforest, Trinidad’s hiking area affords walkers with some spectacular scenery and access to the exotic wildlife on the island. Among the highlights are the wonderful hummingbirds. These colorful birds are best spotted by hiking deep into the rainforest of the nature centre.
There we go, our list of excellent hikes for the keen walkers; lying the beach and soaking in those rays will feel better earned after a trek, Caribbean Islands awaits for you.
Waking up to the smell of sweet pine as the sun’s rays stream through the trees making puzzle pieces of light to dance around the ground of my tent is glorious to see, even when my first thought is, “Where is the outhouse?” In Maine, you don’t want to sleepily go down the wrong trail looking for the outhouse and finding a black bear instead.
After that is all taken care of – the facilities weren’t too bad – I built a fire in the pit and start some coffee. For me, getting ready for the trek ahead aids in the inspiring day ahead. It allows me to cement the memory that will forever be with me.
And who could forget this part of the Application Trail. Mount Katahdin, a place where it is believed that the sun hits first in the United States, every morning. It is part of the International Appalachian Trail that goes from the southern US all the way into Canada. The mountain is the highest in the state of Maine at 5,270 feet. It has several trails at various levels of difficulty. I prefer the easier treks, maybe it is just my wandering nature, but I like to take my time when I am in such a beautiful place.
Katahdin, named by the Penobscot Native Peoples, is the northern boundary of the Appalachian Trail in the US. The International Appalachian Trail picks up again in Canada. The name means “Greatest Mountain”, a name it well deserves. I will be hiking along the backside of the mountain along Hunt’s trail. As I start, I am reminded to stay on the trail and about other rules of the road by a wooden sign at the base. I know the importance of this rule as I have had ancestors who were lost on this mountain for several days. It is not something I want to experience, so I will be staying on the trail.
About a mile up, we are blessed with a beautiful sight: a waterfall! It flows down rapidly and under a log bridge that we cross. This is a wonderful spot to take a break and fill our canteens. The water is so clear, you can see the fish.
Continuing to follow the trail marked with white paint on trees and rocks throughout the day hike brought so many amazing sights: a moose trying to knock down a tree, looking down on all of the other mountains at the rock line, and standing in the clouds as a light rain storm came in. But nothing compared to the sense of accomplishment of actually getting to the top. While the last mile may have been a little dull as I was always wondering ‘When will we be at the top?’, it was well worth the climb to get there.
Entering Colorado from the east during the middle of the summer puts you in desert like conditions. We drove through 105-degree heat as we headed towards the mountains, giving our car a difficult time with overheating. As we started up the mountains, we could feel the temperature beginning to drop. We stopped for the night in Steamboat Spring, and had three inches of snow on the top of our tent in the morning. After suffering through several hours of high heat, the 27-degree temperature seemed even more bitter than it actually was. We continued up the interstate until we reached the Great Continental Divide.
What a beautiful view it was! On one side, you see miles and miles of Colorado stretched out before you, and the other side provides a view of both Colorado and Utah. We double checked our gear, and slipped our day-packs on and began to venture off. The high altitude proved to provide a little more difficulty breathing than we expected. Even as a conditioned hiker, we found our pace dramatically reduced so that we could keep our breath. The scene around us was profound at times. From time to time, the thick forest would open up and give majestic views of our great nation.
To say it was impressive really does not describe it, and they all were excellent photographic opportunities. The higher elevations had the trees and ground covered in the snow from over night, while the lower elevations were a deep rich green. The trail was very rugged, and proved to be very challenging and slippery with the freshly fallen snow. Not only did you encounter steep grades, but large rocky areas that presented some of their own challenges. The smell coming from the tall trees was the wonderful pine scent, and reminded me for a moment of my grandmother who cleaned everything with Pine-Sol.
We encountered many different forms of wildlife as we ventured quietly along the trail. We found several different varieties of frogs and toad, and saw a wide variety of birds. There were several different types of woodpeckers, finches, and swallows. We were lucky enough to be able to catch a couple different varieties of hawks on camera, but were sadly disappointed to have not been able to spot a Bald Eagle. We photographed a few Mule Deer, and some White Tail deer. We heard the roar of warning from a Mountain Lion in the distance, but were unable to locate it for a couple pictures. We also saw many squirrel, a few rabbit, and we were able to avoid a run-in with a skunk thanks to its pungent odor. In all, the trip was wonderful. With the beautiful scenery, and the many different animals, it provided an exciting adventure with many photo opportunities.
Because of the thin air of the high altitude and the rugged terrain, it is not an adventure for everyone. However, if you are in reasonable shape, and willing to take your time to move slowly and carefully, the Great Continental Divide provides an excellent opportunity for a day adventure.
Shi Shi Beach is a great place to go trekking. Shi Shi beach is found is on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington. To get, there driving from Port Angeles you drive 5 miles west on the US-101 then turn west again going towards Neah Bay which is 64- mile trip on the SR-112. When you are at Bayview Ave turn left on Fort St and take a right on Third Street. From there you will take a left on Cape Flattery Road while driving 2.5 miles then another left on Hobuk Road. There are signs of a fish hatchery that will you will drive past going to the trail head.
Shi Shi beach has a beautiful beach with coastal rainforest, old growth grove and unique flora and fauna. When you are at the beach you will get to see the landscape covered with mountains that making it look like a magical place to be. It offers a great place to trek on.
Trekking at the beach is very easy and anyone can do it. The elevation is gradual and it only takes a day to cover the 8 miles of the trail. Depending on your speed you can either cover the distance in a short period of time or leisurely walk through the wilderness trail. The trail will take you through the dense and ancient rainforest where the Makah’s live. Through the trek you will have a chance to see whales in the ocean and a couple of sea birds flying overhead. After going through the trek and appreciating nature you can look forward to go to the camping area in the park.
My best experience on the park was in the evening when we knew we were going to do some overnight backpacking. Like many other visitors who are out there I was longing to take my best sun set picture to commemorate my time at Shi Shi Beach. Although I had carried all my backpacking equipment with me I was pleased to find out that there sleeping bags that you can rent from the Olympic National Park and they are very affordable. Being a bargain hunter that was good news to me.
At the backpacking site there were close to 100 other visitors who had come like me to enjoy nature and to have a little fun while they were there. I was told that the place becomes very popular especially in summer where the park gets as many as 250 campers in a single day.
One of the most amazing areas you can hike according to my personal opinion, is a trek through the Narrows USA. Zion National Park USA. It is undoubtedly one of the most scenic areas in the United States. The journey through dramatic canyons carved over centuries by the virgin river is on of the sights you will not soon forget. The Narrows, USA is an exalted place that those who enjoy natural areas should make sure that they view some of the beautiful natural areas. You can se and can take advantage of these when you chose to hike an camp in this all natural and yet exotic location in Utah, like I did.
View the hanging gardens and the natural options at a leisurely place. It is one of the things that you should take advantage of when hiking in the Narrows. Even though the hike can be done in a day, some choose to do it at a more relaxed pace and spend the night at one of the 12 campgrounds that are located withing the park. I thoroughly enjoyed my trek through the park and marveled at the scenery. We did plan our hike for last July because our hike involved wading and also swimming in the river, we also availed ourselves of the campground.
Even though i have visited the Grand Canyon one of the parks i have always been interested in visiting is Zion National Park in Utah. I have been told the Zion Park was even more impressive than the Grand Canyon, and those who are of that opinion are not wrong. Majestic outcroppings and the chance to see some beautiful natural terrain are one of the things that make Zion great and and options that individuals can take advantage of traversing. They can choose to take the 16 mile trail through some o the most dramatic spectacular beautiful canyons and unspoiled territory that this nation has to offer.
The chance to participate in nature and hike a trail that has dramatic scenery and an option to view nature at things you can take advantage of. It is one of the things you can take advantage of on a majestic trail. I was amazed by nature and it’s offerings. Hiking the Narrows is one of the things you can find and enjoy. This hike is one like no other. I found the chance to hike in the pristine wilderness to be a once in a lifetime opportunity and one that I will treasure my whole life.
Individuals should make sue hat you can take advantage of the scenic options that they need and can take a hike in the Narrows. I loved the great camping and hiking trip. The virgin river, the natural springs and the soaring sandstone grottoes are just some of the scenic adventures you can take advantage of when you choose to take this out of the world hike through the Narrows. The way I can best describe it is other worldly and amazing. Take a hike through the Narrows, USA and see for yourself.