Dominica Hiking
Morne Trois Pitons National Park
Many of the island's best hikes are within this park.

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Located in the south central part of Dominica, this 16,980-acre park of primordial rain forest contains the most spectacular hikes. Morne Trois Pitons refers to the “mountain of three peaks” that rises to 4,672 feet. The legendary Valley of Desolation and Boiling Lake hike is located within the park.

You won't see any large mammals in the park, but Dominica does possess a wide range of insects, birds, crustaceans and a few reptiles. There are four species of snake, all non-poisonous.

A surprising characteristic here, as on most islands, is the lack of bird calls in heavy forested areas at upper elevations. Although 54 species of birds nest on the island, the only one you're likely to hear on a steep climb is the siffleur montagne, a mountain bird heard only in Dominica and whose song has a striking clarity and sweetness.

Dominica is also home to 2 endangered parrots, the sisserou (Amazona imperialis) and the jacquot (Amazona arausiaca). You're much more likely to see the Antillean crested hummingbird and the purple throated hummingbird.

At sunset or when it rains, the little (2 cm) tree frogs known as the gounouge are responsible for the chorus of piping sounds. A remarkable example of adaptation to its environment, these are born as perfect frogs without an aquatic, tadpole stage.

They don't have the luxury of a prolonged adolescence in still, safe water: because the rivers are so swift, the streams contain little food and the water flow is highly seasonal. To survive, the gounouge must be born "standing up and talking back."

The crapaud, or mountain chicken, is a bulky, solid frog hunted for food and occasionally offered on hotel menus during its season. Mountain chickens, which grow up to 15-20 cm, have been seriously depleted through over-hunting. I can't comment on their taste since I've never had one but they are considered a great delicacy.

Hikes of Morne Trois Pitons National Park

Boeri Lake Trail

Freshwater Lake Trail

Middleham Falls Trails

Morne Anglais Trail

Morne Trois Piton Trail

Valley of Desolation and Boiling Lake

Wotten Waven

 

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