Hikes of Mt. Pelee
|Gorges of La Falaise Hike
Time: 3 hours. Difficulty: 3-4.
Trailhead: Reach the trail by following N3 from Morne Rouge toward Ajoupa Bouillon; 8km after Morne Rouge you'll find a concrete path on the left, indicated by a sign. About 100 meters farther, a second sign signals the beginning of the trail.
This trail takes you to the impressive gorges of the Falaise River, one of Martinique's most remarkable geological formations. The narrowness of the gorge--less than 2 meters in places-- forces you to walk the streambed itself. You may even have to swim several meters if the water level is high.
The trail goes through a field scattered with bamboos. Then you begin a descent toward the Falaise River, a 15-minute walk. Once at the riverbank, go up the stream bed about 200 meters to find the gorge proper.
Clothed in black andesite from Mount Pelee, always plunged in shadow, disturbed occasionally by the flight of blackbirds and by the thundering of the water, the gorge entrance has a slightly oppressive air.
But this feeling fades quickly when you wade into the stream itself, walking or swimming from basin to cascade to arrive, 20 minutes later, at the principal fall. About 10 meters high, these tumbling waters fill a circular room where you can bathe in a 5-meter deep pool at its base.