Morne Nicholls is about half-way along the Boiling Lake trail from Laudat and TiTou Gorge. At the top there’s a circular clearing where, on a good day, you can enjoy great views of the Morne Trois Pitons National Park, the rainforest, the volcanoes, and even steam rising from the Boiling Lake itself.
Today I went for a hike with a few friends along the trail to the top of Morne Nicholls and then simply came back again. It was a lovely walk, great exercise, and the cloud ceiling was high enough for us to enjoy 360 degree panoramas of our surroundings. Needless to say, green was the colour.
Half-way up Morne Nicholls from the Breakfast River we heard and then saw jaco parrots. There were plenty of hummingbirds around, I heard mountain whistlers and saw tremblers and bananaquits.
We met some folks along the way who asked us how to get to the Boiling Lake. They were using a Skyviews map which they thought would help them hike to the Boiling Lake and then on to Morne Prosper and Wotten Waven. I had to discourage them. You need more than a Skyviews map for that one; for starters it’s a tough all-dayer, and I strongly urge anyone thinking of it to get themselves a guide. No offence to Skyviews – their Dominica map is fine and dandy for driving a hire car – but a hiking map it isn’t. If you are planning on hiking in Dominica, please do yourself a big favour and put in some preparation.
Fortunately the weather was great today, the trail is in good shape, and I’m sure they will have enjoyed their outing. Hopefully they took my advice and retraced their footsteps back to Laudat rather than trying to forge a path elsewhere. A fellow got himself lost last year trying to do something similar (looking for the old route from the Freshwater Lake – which is a great hike but, again, you need to go with someone who knows it) and spent two nights in the bush before eventually being helicoptered out.
It took us just three hours to do the round-trip and was a lovely way to spend the morning. Give it a try if you fancy stretching your legs but don’t feel like going all the way to the lake.