Island Parks

Grenada's Grand Etang National Park
Gorp.com

Situated high in true tropical rainforest, where the mountain peaks are frequently obscured by clouds, Grand Etang Park is a wonderful example to governments around the world. Grand Etang, headquarters for Grenada's national park system, is supported by the British Development Division, the United Nations Development Program, the Organization of American States, the U.S. Peace Corps, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and the government of Grenada. That's quite an impressive array of backers, and it makes one wish this sort of international cooperation was a commonplace practice, not something to point out as unusual.

Only eight miles from the center of St. George's, the park is more than 2,000 feet above sea level, high enough to cause decompression sickness (the bends) in anyone foolish enough to scuba dive, then go hiking the same day. The park vegetation is extremely diverse, including cloud forests, montane thickets, palm brakes, and elfin woodland, as well and rainforest. A modest interpretive center called the Park Centre has a receptionist and guide who, if contacted in advance, will personally escort you. Displays also feature the island's wildlife, forestry, and natural history, including more than 20 different wood samples. Several small food stands located near the Park Centre sell cold drinks.

Most hiking trails are well marked and require little assistance, although it's always more enjoyable to have a guide who can share the local folklore. With 160 inches of rain falling annually, the trails can be quite muddy and slick.

Map of Grand Etang Trail System

© Article copyright Menasha Ridge Press. All rights reserved.


Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 12 Dec 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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