Mountain Hike Vacation in Dominica
The Mountain Hiker Rating: 7 out of 10
- Contributor: MGF
- Time required: 2 – 3 hours round trip (depending on how long you hang out in the pool)
- Degree of Difficulty: 5 out of 10
- Height: Just over 2,200 feet (670 meters) at the highest point on the ridge
- Distance: About 4 miles (6km) round trip
- Guide Required: No – The trailhead and trail itself are well marked.
This enjoyable hike through the rainforest takes you to one of the tallest waterfalls in Dominica. The trailhead can be found by following the signs (to Middleham Falls), on the road out of Roseau that leads to Laudat. There is a small parking lot down a secondary road off of the main road… This trail is within the Morne Trois Piton National Park, and is also an optional segment of the Wai’tukubuli National Trail.
The Middleham Falls Trail starts with a gradual incline on a natural path as well as wooden step sections, it twists and turns with a few ups and downs on its way up and over a ridge on the way to the waterfalls… The trail gets fairly steep close to the ridge, and was muddy in a few areas. We passed a few small waterfalls and crossed their streams along the way. The streams were shallow, so we easily crossed them, and stayed fairly dry, by stepping on the rocks. Although they were a bit slippery, we didn’t take any falls. It’s wonderful to see life growing everywhere in the rainforest, including the mossy carpets on some of the rocks in and near the streams. Eventually the trail takes you to a concrete platform, that appears to be incomplete or in need of some repair when we visited in January 2014. It took us just under an hour to get to this point.
This platform provides excellent views of the falls and the pool it spills into. Depending on the source of info, the waterfalls are between 200 and 300 feet tall (let’s say 76m) and are quite dramatic. The water was hitting the pool with enough force to cause a constant mist and near-constant beautiful rainbow across the bottom of the falls. We decided not to continue down the steep, slippery climb to swim in the pool. We could see a notch in the cliff face just above the pool where you can hang-out and dive into the pool for a swim. Apparently there’s another trail near the waterfalls that goes to the town of Cochrane, passing by a bat cave (known for its stench), which is a little longer but less hilly than the approach we took.
We hiked this trail in the morning and only encountered one other couple one their way to the falls when we were on our way back out. We also encountered some Park Rangers who were chain-sawing small logs and repairing sections of the wooden stairs that had rotted away under the rain and mud.
In summary, the Middleham Falls Trail was a very pleasant and relaxing hike, with just enough occasional steepness to give it a splash of “invigorating” now and again. While one of the more popular waterfalls on the island, it is still fairly quiet as only those who don’t mind hiking for a couple of hours, will make the trip. This trail has several man-made on/in the ground as well as above ground wooden stairs, although there’s plenty of natural rock filled ground paths as well. There’s some nice views of the surrounding rainforest valleys and mountains, and of course there are the amazing waterfalls which are what this island is all about. A must do for sure…
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