Blue Mountains, Jamaica, the Peak Trail

Blue Mountains, Jamaica, the Peak Trail

The Peak Trail The trail to Blue Mountain Peak begins at Abbey Green; it can be reached in several ways.

A 4WD vehicle can be driven from Mavis Bank down to the Yallahs River at Mahogany Vale, where you can cross the river and drive to Hagley Gap. From here a very steep road leads to Epping Farm. Bearing right, you pass Wildflower Lodge and Whitfield Hall and reach Abbey Green, above which the trail begins.

Another route from Hagley Gap is to turn downhill to the Negro River, where there is a fording and pedestrian bridge. In wet weather the fording is often impassable. A rough track then leads left through the former coffee estate of Radnor. It is privately owned and the road privately maintained with wire gates across it at two places, which can be lifted aside but must be replaced. The track emerges near Whitfield Hall. Turn right for Abbey Green.

The trail itself has been described in many ways, one of which is "the longest six miles in Jamaica." It is also described in terms of the plants and trees you may see as you move up from the trailhead to the Peak. The steepest part of the journey is in the first half, before Portland Gap. Jacob's Ladder, as it has long been named from the former stepping formation, is the steepest stretch of all, but it has bow been tarmacked. Soon after that stretch, you come to Portland Gap. There are wooden cabins here with bunks for sleeping, space for tents and simple sanitary arrangements including a shower. There is also a tuck shop where you can buy food. If you wish to cook, you have to bring your own food and equipment, but some wood is provided. Sponge mattresses for the bunks can be rented at a minimal cost; you must however supply your own sleeping bags and blankets.

After Portland Gap the path is less steep for awhile and you pass through more of the natural forest-trees and ferns, epiphytes, wayside shrubs and herbs. As you climb higher the vegetation changes and the trees become noticeably shorter.

The Peak - At the top there is at present the remains of a vandalized forest shelter, which is still used by walkers although the roof is collapsing. The views are tremendous if you are not in the mist. On a very fine day, with the aid of binoculars, you may be able to see the tops of the Sierra Maestra Mountains of southern Cuba.

The highest point, where the Trigonometry station stands, is to the right of the flat area where the shelter is. Hiking in Holywell with afternoon coffee at Gap Café Make your way up to Holywell National Park, the options for this are; walk up (it’s 4 miles from us), or rent a bike (15$US per day) or hitchhike. The entrance fee to the park is approximately 200$J. Once there you can follow any trail or just have a stroll, bring water to drink and remember to return to the entrance before sunset. After a few hours of walking when it’s time for a break and what is better than relaxing at the Gap Café? The hummingbirds come to feed here and you can enjoy a cup of Blue Mountain Coffee or just take in the view.

To get back to Mount Edge; you can walk, roll down on your bike or hitchhike.

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