Or say to heck with hiking, and simply make your way to the viewing platforms off the parking lot for vistas of the USVI and BVI. Sir Francis Drake Channel of outlying islands from Virgin Gorda to St. John can be seen by a short detour along the Joseph R. O'Neal Trail to the peak. Travelers from all over the world come here to appreciate what "Nature's Little Secrets" have to offer. At 1,716ft Sage Mountain is the highest point in the Virgin Islands, US and British. Only one remains today, and it supplies Pusser's. Although just one mile separates Tortola and St. Thomas, they feel as if they're light years away from each other. At 1716ft, Sage Mountain rises higher than any other peak in the Virgin Islands. [1][2], There is a north coast overlook and a tower, which provides scenic views of Jost Van Dyke, Tobagoes, little Sandy Cay, the north coast and, St. Thomas. There are two trails in the 100-acre park, both accessible to anyone who's reasonably fit. Limin' Times - Check out the latest happening around the islands. After your tour, the place to go for a cool drink is Pusser's Pub, on Main Street. Fauna reported in the park include hermit crab (Calliactis), vifauna includes American kestrel (called kili kili hawk locally), red-tailed hawks, Caribbean martin, mountain dove, and pearly-eyed thrasher. Caressed by consistent, gentle trade winds, the waterway is ideal for both amateur and experienced sailors. When the British Navy gave up its tradition of having each ship's purser ("pusser" to the West Indians) dole out a daily ration of rum, an entrepreneur decided to open distilleries across the British Virgin Islands to make true navy rum. I love photography, it is my passion, so of course, I had my camera with me and I was able to take some great pictures! Tree plantations already existed, with the plantations of West Indies Mahogany and White Cedar. All rights reserved. The old-growth forest on Sage Mountain is noted to be "untouched since the time of Columbus.". Use tab to navigate through the menu items. Through a generous donation from Laurance Rockefeller, an American philanthropist and conservationist, the land at Sage Mountain was purchased from farmers and given to the BVI Government as a national park. There were also quite a few beautiful yellow balisiers, also known as haliconias the flowers are flawless.

The national park was established in 1964, covering an area of 35 ha. Through a generous donation from Laurance Rockefeller, the land at Sage Mountain was purchased from farmers and given to the BVI Government as a national park.

Rains occur from the moist trade winds generated in the Tortola's mountains and falls mostly on the northern side of the park, supporting a few forest species, while the southern part of the park reflect old pastures of dry forests. The trail is known for its enormous elephant ear (philodendron) vines, which trail over the ground until they find tree trunks to climb. Sage Mountain National Park is a protected area located on the island of Tortola, British Virgin Islands (BVI). It was the first national park in the British Virgin Islands to preserve and reserve the remaining forests and its adjoining watershed areas. Welcome Subscriptions - For a limited time get $5 off an annual subscription. It was on my way back down that I actually began to appreciate the beauty of my surroundings. Tours begin in Road Town, the diminutive capital of Tortola, BVI, which hugs the harbor where the mountains meet the sea. Close to this plant I saw some snails under a banana leaf. crater lake national park cove cleetwood selection larger order any np terragalleria I really enjoyed my trip, not to mention, it was a good workout. Typical of rain forests, flora includes the "stinking fish" or bullet wood (Mimusops elengi), Caribbean and Honduras mahogany trees (Swietenia mahogoni, and S. macrophylla). I started to follow it but it soon began to narrow, so I turned around and headed towards the beginning of the path. The farmland was reforested with white cedar (Tabebuia heterophylla), West Indian (Swietenia mahogoni) and Honduran (Swietania macrophylla) mahogany trees which have thrived along with other naturally regenerated secondary vegetation. The main entrance to the Park is a 5-minute walk from the car park. The road climbs steeply in hairpin turns along the mountain's verdant flanks, offering tantalizing glimpses of golden beaches, turquoise bays, and amethyst islands. A trip along Ridge Road provides breathtaking views of both the Caribbean Sea, to the north, and the Sir Francis Drake Channel and its islands, to the south. Rains occur from the moist trade winds generated in the Tortola's mountains and falls mostly on the northern side of the park, supporting a few forest species, while the southern part of the park reflect old pastures of dry forests. I have a few guests who had asked me about the trail on Sage Mountain or other hiking trails and without having been there, I had never really recommended it before. Avifauna includes American kestrel), called kili kili hawk locally, red-tailed hawks,[1] Caribbean martin, mountain dove, and pearly-eyed thrasher. Jim Cullimore, owner of Mountain View gift shop and restaurant (open 9am to 3pm) at the trailhead, is a fount of park knowledge. An entire mahogany trail has been established at Sage Mountain and named after the founder and first Chairman of the National Parks Trust, Joseph Reynold ONeal. Aspirin, salt tablets, a fishing lure, a small world map, a box of waterproof matches, a plastic drinking cup, and a bottle of Pusser's rum. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. The park is open daily dawn to dusk. Birds are more obvious. It is named after the highest peak in all of the Virgin Islands, which rises to a height of 523 m (1,716 ft). Allow two hours for your rambles. Admission is free. [1][3][4] The reserve area was acquired from private farmers by the Government with a grant provided by Laurance Rockefeller,[3] and was given to the National Park Trust in 1964 for making it a forest reserve for conservation purposes. When I first started on the trail I was mainly focusing on where I was going and carefully making my steps forward. Seven trails crisscross the 92-acre surrounding park, and several rare and endangered plant species grow within it. The ground was a bit muddy in some areas and I had to take careful steps so I would not slip and fall. If you decide to charter a boat to explore some of the outlying British Virgin Islands, you might be wise to pick up a Pusser's Survival Kit as well. Although rainfall is low in these islands, the old growth forest on the northwestern side of the Park is typical of Caribbean rain forests.

In spite of the chickens on the verandah, its memorabilia-filled interior is pure England. The high point, in more ways than one, is the Sage Mountain National Park. The topography is dictated by the ridge that runs in an eastwest direction in the middle of Tortola Island with elevation range from 7501,716 feet (229523m) between the western end of the island to Mount Sage. The park is humid and damp, populated by bo-peep frogs and lizards. After a few steps, I saw some visitors leaving the trail and I knew that I was on the right path. [7] Typical of rainforests, flora includes the "stinking fish" or bullet wood (Mimusops elengi),[6] Caribbean and Honduras mahogany trees (Swietenia mahogoni, and S. macrophylla). There are some plants with huge leaves with a name that speaks for itself elephant ears. At the car park you can just sit and enjoy the breeze, it is just magnificent, you can see both the Atlantic Ocean on one side and on the other you will see the Caribbean Sea.

2022 LAC Geographic. The park, which includes the mountain range, extends over an area of 96 acres (39ha).

Although Tortola is the largest island in the archipelago, it measures only 10 miles long and 2.5 miles wide, so you can easily tour it in a day. The Mahogany Forest Trail, which goes up to the top of Mount Sage, was established by Joseph Reynold O'Neal, the founder and first Chairman of the National Parks Trust. Now experiencing this trip first hand, I would definitely recommend a trip to anyone interested. Small signs, along its 1.5-mile-route, identify trees such as the white cedar (a very hard wood, once used for boat-building) and the stinking fish tree (which doesn't smell). She informed me that the office was closed (public holiday Good Friday) or so I thought, apparently the "office" is not in operation. For visitors to the Virgin Islands: If you are interested in hiking/nature trails/photography, be sure to include a trip to the National Park at Sage Mountain. Brochures are available at the park entrance. While St. Thomas attracts shoppers with duty-free stores, Tortola seduces sailing enthusiasts with bareboat and crewed charters. When mixed with cream of coconut, orange and pineapple juices, the 18-ounce libations go down so smoothly, you don't feel their power until it's too late.

The first is a loop through giant bullet wood trees, which grow 80 feet high. I did not venture very far because at this time I saw no one around and was hesitant to go too far on my own. At the beginning of the North Trail, there are a few benches and tables where you can sit, take a break, have a beverage and snack while enjoying the beautiful surroundings. No part of this site may be reproduced without our written permission. Opening the gate, I proceeded on the North Trail. [3] A small area of 29.5 acres (11.9ha), which is generally of rocky terrain, retains the original forest species as they could not be cleared for agriculture. 2022 Lonely Planet. There's little wildlife, except for small lizards. Seven trails crisscross the surrounding 92-acre park, including the main path that leaves from the parking lot and moseys up through the greenery to a picnic spot. I can easily bring this bag to the front of my body and quickly and safely remove my camera. Behind the pub, a shop sells ship models, nautical antiques, travel clothing and luggage. [6], The old-growth forest on Mount Sage is noted to be "untouched since the time of Columbus". [1] The park has twelve trails forming a circular route;[3] trails are well marked with signs. To the left of this path, there is another that leads to a residence. For directions, contact the National Parks Trust office in Road Town or the office at your villa/hotel, I am sure they will be happy to assist you. Many of the trees are very old on the North Trail, and the roots of some of them grow across the pathway. By accessing any part of this website you acknowledge and accept our Terms of Use. At 1,716 feet, Sage Mountain is the loftiest peak in the Virgin Islands (US and British). All rights reserved. He'll set you up with a map and tips on how to navigate the trails if you purchase something. Outside the gate there is another trail on the left with a wooden sign, stuck in the ground, labeled "To South Trail." Mount Sage National Park is a protected area of the British Virgin Islands. Feeling more at ease, I proceeded on my walk, pleasantly entertained by the sounds of the birds chirping. The tall, volcanic mountain range acts like a natural barrier, blocking dry winds and strong sun shine. Among them, you'll find vanilla orchids, broom palms (used to make brooms, hats and fishpots), breadfruit trees, red ginger, medicinal aloe vera, and lucky nut trees. After about five minutes, I arrived at the National Park office, a small green building with a fence around it. I was intrigued with the type of moss that I saw on many of the tree trunks. I parked my car, in the parking area, at the top of the hill near the foot of the dirt road leading to the National Park at Sage Mountain.

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