The government has now built a road through this hike. Please avoid.
Short walk in a Barbados forest
This one-hour walk in Joe’s River Forest is easy to find and follow
Accessible by car and bus
Native trees, palms and shrubs. Bird life and monkeys – if you’re lucky
This short walk in a Barbados forest is shady, quiet and peaceful.
Fragile ferns flourish in the undergrowth and along the path. A carpet of leaves softens your footfall.
The walk begins about half a mile from St Joseph’s Church (bus stops here) on Horse Hill. See map below.
Ten minutes from the start, there’s a junction of paths. Ignore the steep path coming in from the right. Take the next right where concrete block work protects a pipe.
Fifty yards further on, head right again and uphill. From here, there are no more intersections and you cannot get lost. Honest.
Joe's River Forest Walk
It’s a gentle climb among West Indian mahogany trees, the occasional wispy casaurina and native palms, including the Macaw with its ferocious spines.
Look out for trees with flying buttresses amid the tangle of vegetation.
To the left, through the foliage, a steep gully can be seen and towering above it, Hackleton Cliff.
As you reach the highest point of the walk you may spot some thatch palms with fan-shaped leaves and silver undersides.
These are now very rare in the wild. They were once used for thatching rooves and were common in coastal areas.
The path descends from here and soon you are back on Horse Hill. Walk downhill to your car, or uphill to the nearest bus stop.
How to get there
Look out for St Joseph’s Church on Highway 3. It’s no longer open and has been deconsecrated.
Once out of Vaughan’s Road settlement, pass some “Dangerous Bends Ahead” signs and keep your eyes peeled for the parking spot (pictured above).
Allow access for others – the first half mile of the route is used regularly by 4x4s from an island safari company.
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