Middleham Falls Trails
|The trail to Sylvania leads to an old coffee plantation.|
Returning to the main trail and continuing to Cochrane, the walk passes the Tou Santi (Stinking Hole) just to the right of the path. This is a collapsed lava tube that emits hot air and the squeaking sounds and odor of numerous fruit bats (Brachyphylla cavernarum).
The bats seem to squeak almost anytime of day. You can see them flying around the entrance at dusk. On the Cochrane route, you'll have to cross perhaps a half-dozen small streams, making this a moderately difficult hike in the rainy season.
Taking The (Right) Trail to Sylvania: Like the Cochrane Trail, this path goes through a fine section of rain forest. A chief characteristic of the rain forest here is the comparatively open forest floor.
Because only about 10 percent of the sunlight is able to penetrate the thick forest canopy, hardly anything is able to grow on the ground, which makes for quite easy walking.
This rain forest is dominated by 2 tree species--gommye (Dacryodes excelsa) and chatannye (Sloanea spp.)--yet there is also incredible diversity in some places.
As many as 60 different species of trees have been recorded in one 10 acre plot. In wet areas where the drainage is poor, one of the most common species is the mang blan (Symphonia globulifera) with its elaborate system of prop roots providing support on the thin soil.
At one point the trail branches off to the 275-foot high Middleham Falls, one of the country's tallest.