South Atlantic Coast Hikes
|Le Piton de Creve-Coeur
Time: 1 hour. Difficulty: 2-3.
Trailhead: From Marin take D9 toward Sainte-Anne. About 1.6 miles (2.5km) outside of Marin, take a left at Poirier toward Cap Cabaret/Cap Chevalier. At the first fork, 1,000 meters farther, take the road to the right. After 1.2 miles (2km), go straight ahead onto a wide dirt road, once the paved road has veered off to the left.
After about 1500 meters, the road will turn left to arrive at the foot of the peak, a vast grassy expanse with ruins of an old sugar factory. Leave your vehicle in the shade of a calabash tree.
Peaking at 656 feet (200m), the Piton de Creve-Coeur overlooks the entire peninsula of Sainte-Anne and offers a remarkable panorama. Its volcanic formation has two heads in profile, a notable landmark for the southern part of the island.
After visiting the sugar mill ruins, now taken over by magnificent gum trees, locate the summit trail to the right of the parking area, behind a hedge. The path goes around the peak from the north.
First, you'll see the ruins of the old house. Above the house, a shelter maintained by the ONF (Office Nationale des Forets) permits a last rest before the ascent. The slope now becomes steeper, but steps to a ramp have been installed to help you up.
At 606 feet (185m), you'll arrive at a flat area that offers a superb view of the southern part of the peninsula. Climbing to 656 feet (200m ) and standing among the agave plants, you'll enjoy an even better 360-degree panorama.
The same road takes you back to your point of departure.