Welcome to the town of Fond Saint-Denis, located in the North of the Island near Mount Pelée. An observatory (Morne des Cadets) was built there to monitor volcanic activity.
This commune, apart, is connected to the communes of Fort-de-France and Saint-Pierre by La Route de la Trace, which contains many treasures (hikes, river baths with the Alma Reception Area or the hike of the Trace des Jésuites and its “water hole”). Other treasures of this territory, the Cascade du Saut du Gendarme.
The Cascade du Saut du Gendarme is accessible to the whole family. Located less than 5 minutes from the side of the road, the trail takes you into a hygrophilous forest and brings you in front of a basin where the waters of the waterfall flow. You will have a few steps down and a bridge to cross to reach this waterfall. Be careful of slippery terrain in particular when your cross the river. Picnic areas are also available. A path goes to the right of the waterfall but it is forbidden to the public (Pitons du Carbet).
To access this waterfall, from Fort-de-France, take the A1 and then the D41 to take the exit towards Balata (N3). This road also called route de Balata will take you to the heights of Martinique with many turns. As you go along, you will see a hygrophilic vegetation that will be more and more lush and dense around you. You will have to drive a good half hour to the reception area of Alma then continue on the road of the Trace (always the N3 in direction of Morne Rouge) until the intersection with the road D1 where you will turn left towards the commune of Fonds-Saint-Denis. Descend to the parking area of the Cascade du Saut de Gendarme. The road is quite sporty with many turns.
The Saut du Gendarme
Parking lot and starting point of the hike.
Wear sneakers despite the short distance to the waterfall to avoid possible slips on the trail. The stacked path begins with a stairway down. You naturally walk in the middle of a green vegetation towards a bridge to cross.
Cross the bridge, you will observe the possibility of being able to recover to eat under two carbets with the sound of the river in the background.
Then cross the river and head to the left to reach the waterfall and its basin.
You will have the opportunity to bathe under the waterfall. Guaranteed fresh sensation!
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 Facilities: good pair of hiking shoes or tennis shoes bag with (knife, rain coat, lamp, hats or caps, sun glasses, sun cream and mosquito repellent).
Ø Sanitary conditions :
– Difficulty : 2 /10, small walk and a waterfall within the reach of the whole family. Shady trail, risks of slides.
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.
Others : You can head to the la Forêt d’Alma to enjoy the river or hike the la Trace des Jésuites. You can also take the rad towards Ajoupa Bouillon to make les Gorges de la Falaise or towards the direction of Macouba to discover l’Habitation J.M. and taste and enjoy its rum.
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Dom Loisirs et Culture at your service.
OLIVIER Damien, your humble guide.