Here you are in the commune of Saint-Joseph, spread over many districts and located in the lands and heights of Martinique. Flowers and bananas are grown there due to the substantial rainfall this community receives throughout the year. The vegetation there is very hygrophilous and you can find it on the place called “Coeur Bouliki”, a picnic area on the banks of the White River. Starting point for the Rabuchon Loop hike, you will see many plant species typical of a very humid and hot environment (bromeliads, heliconia, etc.). The National Forestry Office maintains this site and the collection of drinking water from the White River supplies 200,000 inhabitants.
Pour vous garer, vous aurez de la place au fond de la zone d’activité. L’espace y est suffisant pour y garer quelques voitures.
To reach the starting point of the hike, starting from Fort-de-France, on the expressway (A1), take the Robert exit (N1). At the roundabout, take the direction of the commune of Saint-Joseph (N4). You will have three new roundabouts where you will have to go straight again. After a 15-minute drive, you will arrive at a larger roundabout near a gas station where you will take the direction of the town of Trinité (first exit). After a few bends, you will see on your left after a bridge, an activity area, turn and go to the bottom. The starting point of the walk is there.
To park, you will have space at the bottom of the activity zone. There is enough space to park a few cars there.
La Route des gués
The Route des Gués is accessible by car and on foot. This 4 kilometer walk (round trip) is easy and accessible to the whole family. The passage of Fords may be the only constraint in the event of a slightly stronger current. It takes about 30 to 45 minutes to complete the round trip. The course is mainly under the trees.
Tip: Take precautions in terms of equipment and observations to avoid slipping.
You start the walk directly by a first passage of fords. You have 10 in total.
Each passage of Fords is an opportunity for you to take a break, either for a picnic or to cool off.
Few difficulties, you just have to follow the road.
Also watch out for cars that regularly use this path.
At each crossing of fords, you have the opportunity to see people, fish or even swim.
You will walk along housing estates and meadows with cattle.
Of course, it is forbidden to wash your car or other motorized vehicles in the middle of the fords. You risk polluting watercourses with molecules of hydrocarbons or other products (solvents).
Another particularity of this promenade, a house of a very particular style. At the end of the walk, you see on your left, a large rock. This is an uninhabited house.
You are now in front of the 8th ford. More than 10 minutes of walking before arriving in front of the factory which marks the end of the route
The tenth ford is the water catchment area. it is forbidden to enter it.
It’s up to you to discover it now!
In terms of advice,
Ø Traffic in Martinique: During the week, you will face traffic jams around industrial or commercial areas, especially in the morning, in the direction of the South (Rivières Salée, N5) to the North (Fort-de-France, A1) and from the East (Robert, N1) to the North (Fort-de-France, A1), from 7 am to 9.30 am, and vice versa at the end of the evening from 5 pm to 6.30 pm. Think about your route in order to adapt to this traffic which can be dense and easily waste time.
Ø Equipment: Good pair of sneakers or hiking shoes, light clothing, hiking bag (knife, flashlight, raincoat, cap, sunglasses, sunscreen, mosquito repellent).
– Difficulty: 2 out of 10, route possible for the whole family (child over 8 years old and depending on physical condition). Watch out for slippery spots when crossing fords.
– In normal times, always start hiking as early as possible in the morning. The daytime heat during minimal sporting activity can become quite stifling. This hike is in full sun for the majority of its route.
– Go at your own pace and plan the time you will need based on your physical condition.
– Most important, always a bottle of water per person and something to snack in your bag. With the heat, all fairly physical hikes can be dangerous with fatigue.
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OLIVIER Damien, your humble guide