Hiking To Concord Falls
from Mt. Qua Qua
From Mount Qua Qua to Concord Falls
Fedon's Camp is named for Grenadian hero Julien Fedon, a mulatto planter who led the slave uprising of 1795. The flag motto of "Liberte, Egalite ou la Mort" was closely adhered to: it was death for almost everyone involved.
With supplies brought in from Guadeloupe, Fedon and the slaves overran Grenada, slaughtering many British settlers and suspected collaborators. Fedon had such control of Grenada he was able to take the British governor and 50 other hostages to his mountain stronghold, where he murdered them.
The British spent almost a year retaking the island and capturing the revolt's ringleaders, who were executed or exiled to Honduras. Fedon himself was never taken, and is believed to have escaped--perhaps to Cuba --or drowned while attempting to reach Trinidad. Fedon's insurrection left Grenada in a shambles. Slavery was abolished in Grenada in 1838.
Fedon's former estate at Belvedere, from which he masterminded the revolt, is below the peak known as Fedon's Camp. The Fedon's Camp lookout has a superb view.
The hike to Fedon's Camp can be rigorous, as these incidents from guide Telfor Bedeau illustrate:
"Going down the west side on a very steep hill, we were also young and everyone wanted to have a competition to see who could walk the most. We were running down the steep hill and I was in front of some of the other guys when I reached a sudden step down--of maybe about 5 feet.
I had just gotten down there when I heard someone call out behind and I looked: a guy had been coming with so much speed that both of his feet left the earth, he passed above me and fell on the ground a few feet in front of me. He sank in mud up to his waist. Fortunately, nothing harmful happened to him."
Continuing down the Concord Falls Trail, C4 designates the broad-leaf seegum plant used for cattle fodder. It must be good stuff, because locals warn against feeding too much of it, or the cattle may get "too fat to breed."
C5 is the sturdy mauricif (Byrsonima martincensus) used to build scaffolding. The mauricif is typical of many rain forest trees that have buttress roots to hold the trees upright in the shallow soil. Frequent rainfall leaches the soil of nutrients, which is replenished only by decomposing leaves and animal bodies.
Because of the poor soil, 80 percent of the nutrients in a rain forest are
hoarded in the plants themselves, with only 20 percent in the soil; that's
the exact opposite of a temperate forest, where soil is typically thick and
C7 is the marouba tree (Simarouba amara) which resists warping and splitting, making it highly prized for construction.
After passing the sneeze-producing damarin tree at C8, descend the slope to the river carefully. The official trail terminates across the river on the right, but you'll have a choice whether to travel another 10 minutes on a very obvious pathway to either the lower or upper Concord Falls .
As lower Concord Falls is a very popular tourist attraction, especially with cruise ships visitors, you may find the gaggle of tourists annoying after the solitude of the mountains.
I recommend postponing culture shock and your re-entry into civilization; take the left trail to the more secluded upper falls for a plunge in the large natural pool. After almost 5 hours on the trail, you'll probably be ready for a dip.
The lower falls is normally a crowded place, so you may be able to get a taxi to get back to your hotel. If not, walk downhill another 30 minutes to Concord Village and flag down a St. George's-bound minibus, which run until 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday.
Concord Falls The Hard Way: make the ascent up from Concord Falls, climbing to Grand Etang. That takes about six hours, a 4-5 on the difficulty scale.