Union Nature Trail

The one place you're guaranteed to see wildlife: it's caged.

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Union Nature Trail & Mini-zoo

At just under 1 mile, the Union Nature Trail is located at the Forestry Department headquarters in the town of Union.

The small mini-zoo at the beginning of the trail offers guaranteed sightings of iguana, boa and agouti. Behind the forestry buildings is a small medicinal garden devoted to herbal cures, or bush medicine. A free pamphlet describes some of the plants and their properties.

For instance, islanders formerly used aloe and other, lesser-known plants until shampoos, medicines and other products were imported. There is now a renewed interest in the properties of bush medicine, which bodes well for everyone: for the locals because it is cheaper and for tourists because it ensures protection of the forests.

The self-guiding nature trail takes about an hour and it's an easy path regularly used by young school children. A brochure explains the different kinds of trees and their uses: Caribbean pine to make cabinets and the hearty gliricidia used for fence posts.

You also may see a good variety of birds, including hummingbirds, thrashers, warblers and mockingbirds. Call in advance to arrange a guide: (758) 468-5649/5645/5648

Directions: Finding the Union Nature Trail is quite easy if you have a car. About 10 minutes north of Castries on the Castries-Gros Islet highway, turn inland on the Allan Bousquet Highway that leads to the village of Babonneau.

After about 2.5km you'll see a large fence on the right; turn right at the end of it to reach the forestry headquarters. The turnoff is easy to miss because of poor signage.

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