Need to knows
The Waitukubuli National Trail (WNT) is 184 km (115 miles) long and is made up of fourteen (14) segments. It runs from the southern village of Scott’s Head to the Cabrits National Park in the North, and comprises a series of trail networks.
The segments are listed as follows:
- Segment 1 Scott’s Head to Soufriere Estate
- Segment 2 Soufriere Estate to Bellevue Chopin
- Segment 3 Bellevue Chopin to Wotten Waven
- Segment 4 Wotten Waven to Pont Casse
- Segment 5 Pont Casse to Castle Bruce
- Segment 6 Castle Bruce to Hatten Garden (Pagua Bay)
- Segment 7 Hatten Garden (Pagua Bay) to First Camp Heights
- Segment 8 First Camp to Petite Macoucherie Heights
- Segment 9 Petite Macoucherie to Colihaut Heights
- Segment 10 Colihaut Heights to Syndicate
- Segment 11 Syndicate to Borne
- Segment 12 Borne to Penville
- Segment 13 Penville to Capuchin
- Segment 14 Capuchin to Cabrits
The Waitukubuli National Trail Project (WNTP) was conceptualized by the Waitukubuli Ecological Foundation under the leadership of Mr. Bernard Wiltshire, and involved developing and integrating old (historical) trails with more recent walk ways and building supporting product and marketing infra-structure. The trail opens up and showcase the best of Dominica – nature, culture/heritage, and local lifestyles, and creates opportunities for recreation and economic development through the length and breadth of the island.
The genesis of the WNT embodies the resilience and rich cultural heritage of our native Dominican people as well as the island’s rugged terrain and wild nature – rivers, waterfalls, mountains, exotic gorges and rainforests. The WNT is perfect for nature lovers.
The trail promises great benefits for Dominica, and is tipped to be the island’s flag ship tourism product, and through the gracious support of the European Commission, the Regional Council of Martinique and the Government of Dominica, the trail has been brought to life.
The Waitukubuli National Trail was officially declared as an eco-tourism site on May 10, 2013, in accordance with the Commonwealth of Dominica Statutory Rules and Orders No. 7 of 2013 National Parks and Protected Areas Regulations. Therefore, visitors and non-residents must obtain a Waitukubuli National Trail Pass (Ticket) to access/hike the Waitukubuli National Trail. This is in effect from 1st July 2013.
Trail Passes are categorised as follows:
- DAY PASS: To hike one or more segments at a cost of US$12.00
- SPECIAL PASS: For organised tour packages and promotional events at a cost of US$10.00
- FIFTEEN DAY PASS: To hike all fourteen (14) segments at a cost of US$40.00
Trail Passes are available within or in close proximity at the Ports of Entry to include Happy Car Rental (Douglas-Charles Airport) and Forever Young Classic Souvenir Shop on Dame Mary Eugenia Charles Boulevard in Roseau. Passes are also available at:
- Rubis Filling Station, Portsmouth
- NNETEDC Office, Indian River Facility, Portsmouth
- Sea Breeze Inn, Castle Bruce
- Kalinago Barana Aute, Salybia/Carib Territory
- Waitukubuli National Trail Management Unit, Pont Casse
- Kent Hinterland Adventure Tours and Taxi Services
(KHATTS) Ltd., Roseau
- Forestry, Wildlife and National Parks Division, Valley
- Rodney’s Wellness Retreat, Soufriere
- The Tamarind Tree, Mero
- Hibiscus Valley Inn, Concord
- Calibishie Tourism Centre, Calibishie
- Roger’s Bar, Scotts Head
Trail route and trail bed
The trail involves hiking across waterways, open spaces, thick forest and grass fields and traversing short sections of public main roads, village and farm access roads, passes, tracks and other foot paths. Some of the waterways and gorges are bridged with timber and suspension bridges, while others are not, but will require careful navigation over the slippery stones.
Trail surfaces vary from paved to rocky surfaces, and users are advised to exercise caution as footings can be unsure when wet, especially when going downhill. Users should travel at their naturally comfortable pace.
The trail intersects with several hunter’s tracks, farm access roads and traditional farm tracks through the forest, and these all provide entry and exit points along the route. Most of these are marked with special (red colored) codes for purposes of assisting users in navigation.
The range of accommodation available to the trail user will vary from location to location along the trail. For the most part however, most available accommodation will be through small guest houses, home stays, and bed and breakfast facilities within the villages and communities along and near the trail. Camping where provided for by private landowners along the trail is also available. The WNT traverses several villages, and services and amenities are available from these and other neighbouring communities.
Hikers are also advised to use the trail access points as start/stop areas, since these provide easy access to these services and communities.
For a accommodation listing along the Waitukubuli National Trail, please click on the link provided below.
Navigating the trail
The trail is lined with a yellow/blue band (Segment Marker) which provides basic directions along the route, and has also been mapped using Global Positioning Systems (GPS). Copies of maps are available for sale at the trail headquarters in Pont Casse, the Forestry and Wildlife Division on Valley Road and the Lands and Surveys Division on Charles Avenue, in Goodwill.
In the absence of having the services of a certified tour guide, hikers are encouraged to use these maps and navigational aids as they are invaluable in providing guidance and direction.
Dominica has over six hundred species of flora and fauna (amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, and crustaceans), and is free of poisonous animals, and users will encounter various species of these and other wildlife while hiking the trail.
The use of insect repellent is also highly recommended.
The Waitukubuli National Trail showcases Dominica’s rural and cultural heritage, and large sections of the trail goes through remote forest and uninhabited areas. The Trail Management Unit advises that hikers use the services of a certified tour guide as the trail criss-crosses and meanders many other pathways and tracks.
Hikers opting to go the trail on their own are advised to develop a hiking plan that they should share with their accommodation providers and others, so that their progress along the trail can be charted and monitored. They are also advised to hike the trail with a partner or to do so in groups.
In the event of an accident or injury contact the Emergency Services at 911.
We also advise that before starting on the trail, users should do warm up stretches to prepare muscles for the hike, and that they wear light clothing and appropriate hiking shoes when hiking the trail.
In an effort to avoid being caught on the trail in the dark, hikers should begin hikes by 9:30 a.m latest, except Segments 8 and 9 which are approximately 8 to 9 hours for the average hiker.
Dominica is known for its pristine and clean environment, and we encourage all hikers and users to minimise the footprint on the ecosystem by avoiding litter along the trail. Where bins and receptacles are not available, trail users are asked to carry out their litter.
Always be mindful of the weather conditions before hiking the trails. Seek official or local knowledge about the trail in each community or villages in respect to weather conditions. On rainy and overcast days, avoid crossing trail segments with rivers prone to flash flooding.
Check out the weather updates by clicking on the link provided.
Along the trail, it is advisable to exercise a great depth of courtesy and friendliness with person you may come into contact with. Please wave an arm of warmth and hospitality along the route, among communities and villages.