Grenada, also known as the “Island of Spice,” is a country that sits in the southeastern Caribbean Sea, well known for its abundance of spice exports. Recently, the country began to protect one of its biggest assets, the remarkable beauty of the island and the six smaller islands that surround it, through systems of protected areas and national parks. Volcanic in nature, the island is full of mountains and lush vegetation, making it a top destination for ecotourists. Whether you’re looking for short trips to see the island or day-long excursions, Grenada has a trail, park, or reserve to meet your needs.
1. Grand Etang Lake and National Park
This is the most popular area in Grenada for hiking through the rainforest. The park is located high up in the mountains on the interior of the island. The best part of the park is the Grand Etang Lake, filling the crater of one of the island’s extinct volcanoes. The wildlife within the park varies from tropical birds, frogs, lizards, and rare orchids among the dense vegetation. On the marked trail, you can run into wonderful waterfalls and hot springs. The trails range from leisurely 15-minute trips to 6-hour treks.
2. Levera National Park
Levera National Park is said to be the most scenic area of Grenada. Located on the north end of the island, and covering 450 acres, the park is home to a plethora of the country’s wildlife. On weekends, the white sand beaches are filled with people enjoying the lagoon, with a thriving wildlife population. Mangrove swamps are home to many bird species and marine life. In the sea, sea grass bed and rocky reefs make for fascinating snorkeling trips. This is also an area for Ocean Spirits, a conservation organization that monitors and protects sea turtles and offers outreach programs on the island for visitors who are interested in volunteering.
3. Lake Antoine National Park
Lake Antoine is another crater lake, similar to Grand Etang. The shallow water hosts a variety of wildlife. Birdwatchers are attracted to the trail around the perimeter of the lake, often spotting the fulvous whistling duck, large-billed seed-finch, and limpkin. The walk is pleasant and suitable for all ages. This is a great spot for a family picnic!
4. La Sagesse
Mangroves are found on nearly every coastal bay on the eastern side of the island. The mangroves are a natural habitat for animals, such as nesting areas for birds and spawning grounds for fish. Luckily they are under the protection of the Ministry of Forestry and Fisheries, in order to preserve as much of it as possible.
La Sagesse is a quiet mangrove estuary and is one of the best bird watching areas on Grenada. There are three beaches edged with palm trees, coral reef for snorkeling, a dry thorn scrub and cactus woodland, and a salt pond. The pond invites various birds such as the brown crested flycatcher, Caribbean coot, and northern jacana. There are also small guesthouses, cabanas, a bar, and restaurant located at the estuary.
5. Concord Fall
If you are looking for a challenge, you don’t want to miss out on the next two hikes. The trail to Concord Falls is off of the Mount Que Qua Trail. It’s about an hour long trip over hilltops and streams, leading hikers to triple cascades of the Concord Falls. One of the cascades, the lowest one, is a known swimming and camping spot with camping facilities around the large swimming area. A twenty-minute hike from there will bring you to the next waterfall with rich green vegetation and a much more tranquil swimming area than the first. With a 40-foot cascade, this area is even more beautiful than the first. The third cascade is much more difficult to reach, for it is very high and requires two more hours of hiking.
6. Fedon’s Mountain
Fedon’s Mountain trail is a derivative of the trail to Concord Fall leading to a destination with historical significance. Before you reach the waterfalls, you can take this short but demanding path to Fedon’s Camp. Julien Fedon, a Grenadian who led a slave uprising against the British in 1765, used this camp as his strategic base. The arduous hike takes you through the heart of the Grand Etang rainforest of mahogany, teak, and other flora and fauna indigenous to Grenada.