Hiking in Dominica can run the gamut from a casual stroll through the rainforest to an all day excursion that will leave your legs rubbery and your chest heaving. The destinations are equally diverse, with seemingly endless numbers of waterfall hikes, hot springs, and even a hike to the world’s second largest solfatara, a volcanic lake aptly called Boiling Lake. Along these hikes the oceanic rainforests of Dominica provide outstanding opportunities for nature viewing. Among orchids and bromeliads, tree frogs provide a constant chorus, and overhead in the tall trees hikers might catch glimpses of the two endemic species of Dominica parrots, the Jaco and the Sisserou. Visible or not, it is hard to miss the sounds of these playful birds as they squawk and squabble playfully overhead.
Strolls and Light Hikes
A visit to Titou Gorge and Trafalgar Falls is a fine introduction to Dominica hiking. These can both be visited in a single afternoon and are accessible by well-kept and gentle trails. Emerald pool is only 5 minutes from the road and is one of the more popular destinations for non-hikers. A longer but similarly mellow hike leads to Middleham falls. At 3-4 hours roundtrip, this is an enjoyable morning hike. The trail is generally good, but can occasionally become overgrown.
Along the Southeastern coast of Dominica are two slightly more vigorous hikes: Sari-Sari Falls and Victoria Falls. Both are accessible from the east coast road. A little more distant from Roseau and somewhat more strenuous, these hikes offer additional seclusion and reward visitors with sights of Dominica that most casual travelers miss.
Among the easiest of Dominica’s mountain hikes is the hike to Freshwater Lake. Dominica’s largest lake, it is visited either by a 2-3 mile walk along a stone road from the town of Laudat, or visitors can drive closer and only have a 10-20 minute walk to the lake itself. From freshwater lake, the trail continues another 1.5 miles to Boeri Lake, another large lake along the base of Morne Macaque Mountain.
The two most difficult trails on the island of Dominica are those that lead to Boiling Lake and Morne Diablotin (Devil’s Mountain). The path to Boiling Lake begins at Titou Gorge and will require about 6-7 hurs and a strong will. At the top you will find the Valley of Desolation and the solfatara.
Morne Diabloton is the most difficult hike on Dominica. A full day is required to reach the full 4,747-foot peak. This is a fabulous site to catch glimpses of the Sisserou and Jaco parrots in action. For those more inclined to bird-watching than exertion, one can drive to the ranger station on Morne Diabloton and guides can show you along a relaxing and beautiful nature loop that includes an overhang where scientists came to observe the parrots as they returned to the tall trees for the night.