Overall Rating: 3/5
Time: 5 hours
Elevation Gain: 680 m (2230 ft)
Dos d’Ane Pond is a half day hike that is physically demanding but unique. Climbing the mountain usually means becoming wet and muddy, and the final climb is gruesome and awkward.
The pond at the top on the other hand is unique and unexpected with a small but picturesque waterfall draining the pond. The rainforest to the top is one of the greenest climbs and gives the strange feeling of being in a different world. If you are looking for views bring a horseshoe and a rabbit’s foot with you, this hike tends to always have cloud cover at the top, even glimpsing the opposite side of the pond can be difficult. That said in the perfect and once in a blue moon situation the climb could be rewarding and challenging, mixing our two favorite things. The trail itself is easy to find and follow but a strong vehicle with reasonable clearance is needed to get to the trailhead.
The trailhead begins at the end of the road to Romney Manor/Caribelle Batik/Ziplining in Middle Island. Head West from Basseterre on Cayon/Old Road until Middle Island just passed Sprat Net Restaurant. Turn right at the signs for Caribelle Batik and Sky Safaris and keep left at Romney Manor, continuing on this road. The road will become rough terrain shortly after the turn off for Caribelle Batik. A vehicle with good clearance and 4 wheel drive is recommended, but may be possible with other cars. Ascend for 3 km from the main road until the road flattens out and opens from the canopy to a small paved clearing at 365 m above sea level. From here continue on the dirt road by foot for 600 m, there will be a fork angling left up to a gated and fenced in area that you will enter and leave the road. The trail follows the fence (keeping it on your right) for about 250 meters, then exits and descends to the left for 50 m until the trailhead, marked by a green post wrapped in pink blazing. There may be a sign for Dos d’Ane Pond at the base of the post.
From the start the trail begins to ascend quickly. The trail begins up a short but steep ghaut that shortly after becomes a more gradual switch-back trail, ascending the ridge of the mountain. The trail will cross a ridge about 0.5 km in, but then continue back up again. 2-2.5 hours after leaving the parking lot you’ll reach the final ridge at an altitude of 750 m (~2460 ft). Follow the trail by looking for the same pink blazing that was on the post, it marks the trail all the way to the top.
This ridge marks the last 200 meters of flat ground before the final climb. Crossing the ridge begins by entering thick brush, the smaller you are the easier it will be, but the ground is almost guaranteed to be wet and muddy, wanting to steal your shoes at every chance. The winding trail on the ridge will eventually open up and begin to ascend again. The final climb becomes a grueling muddy scramble. Using roots and rocks to step up and gain purchase on the mud in important while climbing up the single track gutter that has formed in the clay. The gutter track up the hill is about a foot deep and less across, just wide enough to step heel to toe up the trail. Only 300 meters long but gaining 140 meters, almost a 25 degree incline.
Quick warning about taking animals on the trail: this final climb is doable by most fit dogs, but the gutter can trap smaller dogs or risk having them tumble into the gutter and potentially injuring themselves. If bringing your furry friend along consider a carrying harness, and/or porter to carry it to the top.
Finish the climb strong and come out at the entrance to Dos d’Ane Pond. The freshwater pond sits at 933m (3061 ft) and is small but is home to small fish and to the left drains into a small waterfall. The base of the waterfall is a good place to stop and have a snack before heading back down. Facing the waterfall from the top, go to the left and follow the short trail down to the base of the falls. To descend, simply go back the way you came. Stop at the pond to wonder what’s on the other side of the fog and enjoy the descent down the gutter. Follow the pink blazes back down to the post, walk to your car and put it into neutral to save fuel on your way back down to the main road and home (or beach) to wash off the mud and clean your new scraps.
Map and GPS Points of Interest
Turn off at Main Road: N17°19.323′ W062°48.200′
- Parking: N17°20.197′ W062°47.698′
- Gate: N17°20.476′ W062°47.480′
- Trail Signpost: N17°20.583′ W062°47.345′
- Ridge: N17°21.208′ W062°47.424′
- Climb: N17°21.280′ W062°47.355′
- Dos d’Ane Pond: N17°21.462′ W062°47.364′
- Dos d’Ane Waterfall: N17°21.471′ W062°47.398′
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