Tour Operator: Nevis Adventure Tours
For those who enjoy hiking, but may not want to go all the way to the Nevis peak, there’s an alternative and challenging hike to ‘the Source’ which is the place that supplies water to much of the island. The final stretch to its top is a ladder that one must climb to access it. The walk up is exciting and dramatic; it’s easy to see why Columbus named the place “Las Nieves,” or snow, since the mountain is usually surrounded by a cloud cover.
So what is The Source? Essentially, it’s the spot high up in the clouds along the slopes of Mt. Nevis (elevation: 3,232 feet) where the island’s fresh spring water emerges from the ground. The trail appears on Nevis maps dating back to the 1600′s when some very industrious, strong and incredibly determined Brits constructed an iron pipeline to bring the water from its source high in the mountain to the populace living below. The trail follows the pipe and is still used by local workers to access the pipe to make repairs today.
The Source trail starts out quite wide at the bottom with the only challenges for us being the muddy ground and uneven footing on slick, moss-covered rocks of varying sizes. It’s shady for the most part, not too steep, and if you’re lucky you may spot some wild monkeys along the way. Nice and fairly easy.
Then, about halfway up, things change. The path narrows considerably with a steep drop, slippery moss-covered concrete stairs and other natural hurdles testing your balance and agility most of the rest of the way. In a word, it’s thrilling, especially if you, like us, get to experience The Source while hiking in a small group. With just the three of us on the trail (there was NO ONE else up there) we were really able to listen to the sounds of the rainforest and feel the living, breathing natural wonder all around us. It’s truly amazing trekking through the bush with clouds passing all around you, the temperature dropping as you climb higher and higher following an ancient, yet still vital pipeline.
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