Forest Trek

Forest Trek

Overview of Forest Trek 2022

Forest Trek is held annually in March in observance of International Day of Forests, however in light of the adjustment to protocols for the entertainment and events sector, the Forestry Department wishes to present a treks to two locations in small groups. 

The main aim of the hikes is to increase public awareness and to encourage a greater appreciation for forests in Jamaica. 

The Treks will take participants on a guided tour through the forest to see and experience its environment firsthand and to contribute to its resources by participating in a small tree planting exercise and taking seedling to plant at home.


General Information about Forest Trek 2022 Orchard Forest Reserve


Hiking Scale of Difficulty

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







Level of Difficulty:

8- Must be fit


The 12th staging of Forest Trek scheduled for Saturday, June 25, 2022, and it is a 12 KM hike through sections of the Orchard Forest Reserve, starting at Mavis Bank Coffee Factory going through Orchard Forest Reserve and ending in Guava Ridge. 


This year the Forestry Department offers two transportation options:

1. Transportation included

2. Transportation excluded 

Persons who choose the transportation included option will be transported via buses to and from the start and finish points on the day. Participants will meet the buses at the meeting point (to be confirmed) in Papine, St. Andrew where parking is provided free of charge. All hikers must gather at the Check Point located in the parking area at 5:30 a.m. At the check point, participants will be boarded on buses and dispatched to Mavis Bank for the start of the hike.


Those who select the transportation excluded option should meet us the meeting point in Guava Ridge at 8:00 a.m. where you will be shuttled to Mavis Bank for the start of the hike. More details regarding this option including a map, will be provided to individuals who choose this option after registration has been completed.

General Information about Forest Trek WEEKENDER 2022

On the walk through the forest, hikers will enjoy picturesque views of the natural forest, and plantations of Pinus caribaea (Pine), Eucalyptus globulus (Eucalyptus) and Hibiscus elatus (Blue Mahoe). At Governor's Bench and Mount Rosanna, located at an altitude of 4000 ft, Trekkers will have panoramic views of Yallahs, St. Thomas as well as Kingston and Port Royal. Along the trail (after about 3km), hikers will be able to stop to plant trees on a denuded section of the forest reserve. 
After the 12 KM walk through the Forest, Trekkers will enjoy lunch and then board buses for the return journey to Papine. Persons who drove to the event will be able to retrieve their vehicles at this location. 


Purpose of the Hike

The main aim of the hike is to increase public awareness and encourage a greater appreciation for forests in Jamaica. The Trek will take participants into the forest to see and experience its environment firsthand and to contribute to its resources by participating in a small tree planting exercise.

  

About the Orchard Forest Reserve 

Orchard Forest Reserve is in north-eastern St. Andrew This area is defined by a mixture of forest types including patches of natural forest and plantations of Pinus caribaea (Pine), Eucalyptus globulus (Eucalyptus) and Hibiscus elatus (Blue Mahoe). 
These plantation stands were established by the Forest Industries Development Company Ltd. (FIDCO) which was a state-owned company established for the purpose of producing forest products from these plantation-grown trees. Some 148.2 hectares of land, which is now known as the Orchard Forest Reserve were passed to the Forestry Department in the late 1980s for management. 
At the time of handing over, the landscape of these areas was dominated by established plantations of Pinus caribaea and Eucalyptus globulus. Since the inheritance of these lands, little change in diversity had been observed over the years. Sections of the land are also being utilized for coffee production and other cash crops.
Data from a bio-physical inventory conducted in 2015 by the Forestry Department, indicated the presence of at least eighty-three species of plants in the area. Unfortunately, the forest reserve is frequently affected by fires and is still recovering from a fire which occurred in 2015 and affected 95% of the forest reserve.

Registration for Forest Trek 2022 runs from Monday, May 9 to Friday, June 3, 2022, or as soon as the quota of 400 hikers is reached.

For this year’s trek, participants can choose to include transportation in their package, or they can provide their own transportation.  If you choose the transportation provided by the Agency, registration fee for individuals is $11,000 and $10,000 per person for groups of 10 or more. Without transportation, the cost is $9000 for both individuals and groups.

The registration fee covers the following:

1. Parking

2. Transportation to the start line and from the finish line to the designated parking area in Papine

3. Guided tour

4. Fruits and hydration along the trail

5. Lunch

6. Medical assistance


Methods of payment include company cheques, cash, debit/credit card and direct deposit. Company cheques should be made payable to the Forestry Department. Please refer to the respective registration forms for more details.

For persons registering outside of the Corporate Area, you may contact the Forestry Department to find out how you can make payments without having to travel into Kingston.


Group Participation

Companies, Government Agencies, Community-Based Organizations, fitness groups, and other groups may submit a team comprising of no less than ten (10) persons. Each member of the group must complete all sections of the Individual Registration Form as well as sign the Participant Waiver Form to be submitted along with the Group Registration Form.

A team captain should be named on the form, through which and to whom all information relating to the hike will be sent for dissemination to the team members.


Individual Participation

Each participant must complete all sections of the Individual Registration Form as well as sign the Participant Waiver Form.

The deadline for the submission of the forms and the payment of registration fees for all participants is Friday, June 3. Payments may be made Mondays to Thursdays, 9 am- 4 pm and on Fridays between 9 am and 3 pm. 

N.B. All Registration Fees are Non-Refundable.