Holwyell National Recreation Park
Holywell National Recreation Park
Holywell - The Blue Mountains
The easiest way to enjoy the scenery and majesty of the Blue Mountains is at the Holywell National Recreation Park. The park offers five signposted trails, a ranger station, bathroom facilities and picnic / barbecue areas.
The 330 acre park stands approximately one kilometer above sea level and is the most popular destination within the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park.
The main reason to visit Hollywell is to follow one of the five nature trails. The Oatley Mountain Trail is approximately five kilometers long and winds through a jungle-like forested area. The trail features educational signposts along the way, dense vegetation and viewpoints with panoramic views of the misty mountains. The waterfall shelter trail is a two kilometer trail leading you to an ice cold waterfall.
Flora and Fauna
Holywell National Recreation Park provides a treat for bird watchers, featuring many varieties of birds, including all 30 of Jamaica's endemic species. You should also keep an eye on the ground as the park is also home to non-poisonous species of snakes, lizards and frogs.
Botanists will also enjoy seeing many varieties of tree and other vegetation. The cool climate of the Blue Mountains allows many species to grow in Holywell (such as wild strawberries and raspberries) which do not grow elsewhere in Jamaica.
One of the purposes of the park is conservation, there is even a tree nursery section which grows trees to be used in reforestation projects. The staff at Holywell are mostly residents of the surrounding communities.
Accommodation at Holywell
Three inexpensive wooden huts are available for overnight rental, contact the Jamaican Conservation and Development Trust (call 1 876-960-2848 to book - a lot of notice is usually required as the huts are very popular). There is a large hut which sleeps six and two smaller huts which sleep four. The beds have foam mattresses and no bedding so you'll need to bring your own. You also need to bring your own food, unless you plan to eat at the Gap Café.© 2009 Jamaica Travel and Culture .com