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Dominica weekly is a personal weblog about the nature island of Dominica.


Discover Dominica Authority and the Dominica Hotel & Tourism Association recently announced the schedule for 4th Annual Hike Fest. Part of Dominica’s Tourism Awareness Month, Hike Fest celebrates the Nature Island’s best hiking venues.

Hike Fest 2011 will highlight segments of the island’s Waitukubuli National Trail (WNT).

Dominica is the only Caribbean destination with a walking trail that extends the length of the island. The 115-mile long Waitukubuli National Trail is divided into 14 continuous segments.

The trail traverses the island, leading visitors into the heart of local communities, while passing by mountainous landscapes, through rainforests and past rivers and waterfalls.

Image from Dominica's hike fest 2010

This year’s Hike Fest includes:

May 7 (Hike 1) Waitukubuli National Trail – Segment 2:

This 5.5-hour hike will take participants from the sulphur springs at Soufriere Estate to Bellevue Chopin, a small community located at the foot of Morne Canotte and Morne Anglais. Areas of interest along Segment 2 are sulphur springs, old slave route and historic buildings.

May 14 (Hike #2) Waitukubuli National Trail – Segment 3:

This is a 5-hour hike from Bellevue Chopin to Wotten Waven, a village in Dominica’s Roseau Valley. Areas of interest along the trail include sulphur springs, rivers, farms, flower gardens, Trafalgar Falls and views of the capital city of Roseau.

May 21(Hike #3) Waitukubuli National Trail – Segment 4:

Ideal for nature lovers, the final segment for Hike Fest 2011 is a 5-hour hike that takes participants from the farmland of Wotten Waven village to the town of Pont Casse, located in central Dominica. Areas of interest along this segment include views of several mountains and many of the island’s attractions such as: Boiling Lake, sulphur springs, Freshwater Lake, Middleham Falls, Stinking Hole, Trafalgar Falls and Boeri Lake.

All hikes are moderate in difficulty. This year, Hike #1 and #3 will be divided into two levels of expertise: hikers and walkers. The entry fee is $15 USD for one hike and $40 USD for all three. The fee includes trail guide, transportation, refreshments, bandana and souvenir t-shirt.

To learn more about hiking and other adventure activities in Dominica, visit http://www.dhta.org/news-a-events/hike-fest or http://www.dominica.dm/site/Hiking.cfm.

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The Old French Quarter which is a spectacular open savannah with views in DominicaSpectacular View of the Savannah at The Old French Quarter

The hike to Soufriere to Scotts Head was the second hike at this year’s Hike Fest and is the first segment of the Waitukubuli National Trail. Seven kilometers of continuously compelling nature, ideal for the entire family.

The hike begins with a 15 minute gentle climb to the Gallion road, the next 45 minutes is a steep climb and an excellent trail that will lead to the highest point of the hike.

After peaking the ridge the trail continues down to The Old French Quarter which is a spectacular open savannah with views in all directions. Following on the right or West side, the trail now continues on down to Scotts Head. This is a gentle descent on a good trail that has existed for years as a footpath; you can see some areas with extensive rock walls.

Upon completion of the hike, we all gathered at the Caribantic Building in Scotts Head to have lunch. As we were eating, we shared our experiences of what we got out of the hike. As for myself, I saw the hike in a positive light, and just fortunate to be apart.

To some people, hiking or any other form of outdoor activity can be seen as a drag or chore for them, particularly on the weekends when this time period is seen as an opportunity to sleep more. However, exercise as we all know is beneficial not just to our mind but also our body and spirit. And what better place than the nature island – Dominica! Below are some pics from the hike….Enjoy! 😛

A collage of Dominica's fauna and flora

photo of a rasta boy in dominica hold a soursop

Photo of hikers in Dominica

Image of a crab in Dominica

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well-being in Dominica

Dominica is no doubt one the last islands close to nature, that’s why it’s usually referred to as the nature island of the Caribbean. Whether you want to be by the sea, in the mountains or surrounded by rainforest.

Or maybe, you enjoy hiking, canoeing, kayaking, cycling, River Tubing or camping, you will find much to do in Dominica.

While more adventurous travelers may want to explore year round, the primary tourist season is from October through May when temperatures are warm and refreshing compared to the hot summers, and the cold winter months experienced by much of North America and Europe.

One of the most prominent natural wonders in Dominica is the newly constructed Waitukubuli National Trail. Starting at Scotts Head peninsula, a mecca for snorkeling and scuba diving, the trail is composed of 14 sections, running 115 miles south-north, bisecting the length of the island. Much of the trail follows existing 200-year-old walking paths of the Kalinago Caribs, as well as slave routes to sugar plantations. Along the way you’ll pass villages, home-stays and B&Bs. No one has yet hiked the entire trail – are you up to the challenger? It might take you two weeks.

Getting to the Dominica is an adventure all by itself. Although there are no direct flights from the US mainland, Canada or Europe, there are several island hub options with daily connecting flights. Visitors may also get to Dominica by ferry service from the French islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique and St. Lucia via the L’Express Des Iles ferry service.

You can learn more about Dominica by visiting discoverdominica.com or by ordering your copy of Dominica (Bradt Travel Guide), which is filled with excellent maps, descriptions of hikes, snorkeling, places to explore and dive sites.

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