Welcome to the town of Fort-de-France, prefecture of Martinique. The city of Fort-de-France has a large indoor market where you will find fruits, vegetables, honey, souvenirs and other specialties. It also has a ferry terminal that can offer trips to Dominica and Saint Lucia. In terms of architecture, the city of Fort-de-France has some monuments such as the library Schœlcher Fort Saint-Louis (visit during the Heritage Day) or the Savannah Park and its famous statues.
The community of Fort-de-France is made up of different districts like Didier, Cluny, Dillon, Ravine Vilaine or Balata. As for this last district, you will find nearby the spa of Absalon. From this station, you will have many hiking trails including the one taking you to the Didier Fountain.
To access the start of the hike, from Fort-de-France, take the A1 then the D41 and take the exit of the road Balata (N3). Always go straight, the road goes up and you will pass by the magnificent Sacred Heart of Balata. After a few minutes and many laces, you will see on your left a yellow sign and a large gate. This is the entrance to the Balata Camp shooting center. Continue for a few minutes and you will see the sign of Balata Gardens and 100 meters further, turn left direction “Absalon” (D60). The road goes down with many turns taking you to the spa of Absalon.
Here you are on the parking lot of a large building with the Absalon spa below. The parking is quite spacious and you will have no trouble parking.
The access to the hike to the Didier Fountain is at the end of the car park. You will have an entrance then a staircase.
The walk of the Fontaine Didier is accessible to all the family. You will enjoy the shade and humidity with the river nearby, to do the 5.4 kilometers round trip with a walk of 1:30. The vertical drop is negative (-185 m) down to the Didier Fountain. The return to the car park may be more athletic. Otherwise you can opt for the option of two vehicles if you are several and if some do not wish to do the round trip.
After a few minutes, you arrive next to a stone work (catching the waters of pitons Carbet to Fort-de-France). You also see on your left the Dumauzé River.
The river Dumauzé
A few meters after you will pass a stone bridge with a sign indicating that you are entering a biological reserve and that it is prohibited to walk off the trail.
Continue along the river to discover the green vegetation around you. You will see on your right in places small waterfalls if the days before the rainfall had been important.
Plunge into the heart of the rainforest and enjoy cool breaks along the river as you continue along.
The trail is permanently overhanging with the river that you will reach at the end of the trail.
After a good half hour of walking, here you are at the river. A sign informs you that you are in a prohibited zone because it is a drinking water catchment area of the Dumauzé River. Some restrictions are reported such as bathing, washing in the river or taking its animals.
You will see just a few meters further, a passage allowing you to cross the river.
Tip: Look at the weather the day before and favor sunny conditions to avoid too much flow at the river.
This passage makes you cross the river bed without walking on the catchment of drinking water.
Take the path that will take you in front of the gate of the factory Didier Didier. For information, this path can allow you to join the Camp of Balata by borrowing a passage (difficult to find if you do not know) steep until the Camp. More information about Camp Balata in the article on our site.
All you have to do is turn around to get back to the car park or for the most organized carpoolers.
Ø Circulation in Martinique: During the weeks you will encounter many traffic jams from 7 a.m. to 9. 30 a.m. in the industrial and commercial areas. Especially mornings driving from south (Rivière Salée, N5) to the North (Fort-de-France, A1), but also East (Robert , N1) going North , you will find the same traffic jams every evening on the other side from 5 p.m. to 6.30 p.m. Tip, think of the way and time you want to travel in order not to lose time.
Ø Equipement : good pair of hiking shoes or tennis shoes , high socks to avoid rashes plants, bag with (knife, rain coat, lamp, hats or caps, sun glasses, sun cream and mosquito repellent).
Ø Sanitary conditions :
– Difficulty : 3 / 10, Walk with a negative level but that can be done by the whole family even with a baby carrier and kids over 6 years old .
– Take your time and go as you wish, plan the time that you will need depending on your physical condition.
– Important tip: always have a bottle of water per person and a snack in your bag.
– Normally, always start hiking at the earliest in the morning. The daytime heat during minimal sports activity can become quite stifling. This hike is largely in the shade in the forest except on the course health.
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OLIVIER Damien, your humble guide