Guadeloupe
Carmichael Trail
You join this trail on the Circuit of La Soufriere.

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Time: 4.5 hours each way. Difficulty: 3 down, 4 to ascend. Trailhead: Depart from la Savane a Mulets, altitude 1,142 meters. This trail descends to the parking lot of the Forestry House at Matouba, at an altitude of 660 meters. This trail is marked in both directions. Be sure to take water.

If you join this trail while making the La Soufriere circuit, you'll already have completed about an hour of walking. The Carmichael Trail is well marked.

The vegetation on this great marshy plateau (the Great Savane) is primarily mountain mangroves, whose leaves resemble those of rubber plants. You'll spot a few mountain palms and mountain aralie.

On the left, about 10 meters away, are isolated fumeroles called Colardeau Fumeroles. A little farther, on the right, is a little-used path to Ladder Hill (Col de L'Echelle).

About 40 minutes from the crossroads, the trail, which can be very muddy during the rainy season, takes you to the summit of Mt. Carmichael, a height of 1,414 meters.

After Carmichael, the trail descends, bends toward the west and reaches Morne du Col at 1,281m. From both summits the view in good weather is magnificent.

After a bend toward the southwest, the trail leads to a landslide area overlooking a valley with a large cabin, the dilapidated shelter of the Montagnards, a mountain climbing club.

Go around the landslide and descend the straight ridge on the right which divides the sloping basins of the River Class to the right and the Red River to the left.

At the hill, bear to the left toward the south. The path straight ahead climbs the slopes of the Grande Decouverte and joins the Victor Hugues Trail.

The trail descends rapidly, then reaches a flat and wet portion, where it splits in 2 again. To the left is a Montagnards' shelter. Continue on the main trail and descend in a southwesterly direction. The trail is wide, the vegetation grows thicker, becoming the typical tropical forest. Numerous raspberry bushes line the trail's edge.

About 20 minutes after the last crossroads, the Carmichael Trail joins the Victor Hugues Trail. About 30 minutes later, you'll pass another fork. Continue ahead, ignoring the marked trail on your left that leads to the Hot Baths of Matouba and permits a return to Savane a Mulets by the Delgres Trail (described elsewhere).

From this last crossroads it will take you less than 30 minutes to find the cultivated fields of Frezias and the reforested parcels planted with laurel trees. Next is the Forestry House of Matouba, your destination.

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