Gordon Town to Holywell Trail
1-4 Anybody can do it
5-6 Must be reasonably fit, participants must be able bodied and cannot have physical disabilities
7-8 Must be fit
9-10 Must be very fit
6 – Participant must be reasonably fit, must be able bodied, cannot have physical disabilities
About the Hike
Forest Trek 2013 is a 10KM hike uphill through the forest from Gordon Town to the Holywell Recreational Park via Redlight. The walk takes you along the banks of the Hope River under a canopy of forest and fruit trees. Birds are quite common along the first leg of the trail and so hikers are encouraged to bring their binoculars to spot the birds.
The hike will take you through a number of communities such as Penfield, Mount Industry and Redlight. The hike will culminate at the Holywell Recreational Park which is 3000 feet above sea level. Provided you arrive at the park before the afternoon fog, hikers will be able to see all the way to the waterfront in downtown Kingston. At Holywell, there are additional trails which hikers may explore (at own risk).
The Blue Mountains
The Holywell Recreational Park is located in the Blue Mountain Forest Reserve, which is the country’s largest watershed. The eastern face of the Mountains receives more than 300 inches of rain each year, providing water for almost one half of Jamaica’s population. Stretching across 28 miles, the Blue Mountains has more than 800 species of endemic plants, the world’s second largest butterfly, Papilo homerus, 200 species of resident and migrant birds and is one of the largest migratory bird habitats in the Caribbean. There are also more than 500 species of flowering plants of which almost one half are native to Jamaica.
The Blue Mountain Forest Reserve is co-managed by the Forestry Department and the Jamaica Conservation and Development Trust (JCDT). The Holywell Recreational Park is managed by the JCDT. Holywell boast various recreational offerings. There is a Visitor Centre, which provides exhibits and information for guests about Holywell and the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park/ Forest Reserve.
Parking will be provided for those participating at the University of Technology (UTech) free of charge. Once you have parked your vehicle and registered at the assembly point which is adjacent to the parking area.
Departure to the Starting point
Participants will be transported to the starting point at Gordon Town. Periodically during the hike, guides from the Forestry Department will provide important facts about the area and be on hand to answer questions when posed or simply to secure assistance should it become necessary. Rest Stops are provided along the trail.
Ensure that along the trail you are alert so that you may spot exotic plants, flowers and fruits, birds, and other life-forms, while enjoying the varying sounds of the forests.
You may contact the Forestry Department’s Offices at the numbers below for further information.
173 Constant Spring Road