Dominica Hiking
Boeri Lake Trail
This walk is an extension of the Freshwater Lake Trail. The same warnings apply.

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Length: 1.25 miles. Time: 45 minutes one-way. Difficulty: 2. Warning: during the dry season, the huge boulders surrounding the shoreline of Boeri Lake are exposed, a real temptation for rock hopping. These boulders are extremely slippery--always--and are renowned as ankle-twisters and leg-breakers. Admire them from a distance. Trailhead: Access is from the Freshwater Lake Trail.

The trail to Boeri Lake is actually an extension of the Freshwater Lake trail. The walk takes you past hot and cold-water springs gushing from the side of Morne Macaque, past clear streams and through both montane and elfin forest. There are some old abandoned gardens the local wildlife has claimed as their own vegetable market.

Boeri Lake, one of Dominica's largest, is located at 2,800 feet in the crater of an old volcano. Almost perfectly circular, with a surface of 4.5 acres, Boeri may be as much as 135 feet deep.

Fed by rainwater and runoff, which accounts for its dramatic variations, it may fall as much as 25 feet during a dry spell. That's when those slick boulders you want to stay away from are exposed. The lake is usually at its highest level between October and December.

The montane forest here is dominated by cabbage palms, Maho kochon and Gombo moutayn, a relative of the hibiscus. Ferns, including tree ferns, are luxuriant along parts of the trail.

The red and yellow heliconia, with their lobster-claw-shaped flowers, add a considerable amount of color. The elfin forest, as all other forests on Dominica, is an open canopy, with tree stems and branches dripping with mats of mosses and liverworts.

The small tree lizards (zandoli) take on a different color pattern than those found at lower altitudes. This is another good place to hear the song of the mountain whistler, view migratory waterfowl and look for the Siwik, or river crab, which lives in the boulders marking the shoreline.

The walk up the ridge to Boeri Lake offers some excellent panoramic views of Grand Fond and Morne Jaune to the east. Utility lines and poles are also quite evident.

To the south is Freshwater Lake. Morne Nicholls, the climb that marks the beginning of the second and difficult phase of the journey to the Valley of Desolation, is also quite visible.

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