SUPERB VIEWS FROM THE TOP
TAKE THE TRAIL
The Lookout Trail like all of the trails in this area, can either be approached from the top, there is a sign marking the top of the trail through Shirley Heights Lookout to the right, or from the bottom just up the road from Freeman's Bay, back up the road coming out of the Galleon Beach Resort. Difficulty is therefore dependent upon where you start from.
If hiking from the top its a nice easy trail, with at one point a few large rocks to climb over. Once you arrive down onto the road at the end of th trail, you can their either take the Jones Valley Trail or Carpenters Rock Trail. Alternatively you can walk back up the road. If hiking by road turn right onto the road at the end of the trail and when you reach the main road at the top of the hill, take the righ and keep going. There is a split in the road which to the left takes you up to Blockhouse, keep right to get back to Shirley Heights and the end of the trail. If you do this hike in the afternoon you can then enjoy sunset drinks at Shirley Heights Lookout.
If you hike from the bottom there is no warm up, so it can be fairly intense walking and hard on the heart straight off. That said, you get to the top really fast so it really depends on your preference. Personally there is nothing like knowing on reaching the top, that it's down hill all the way home. If you hike this way round you can take a refreshing swim in Freeman's Bay.
Once you reach the top of the trail, you have a choice of three routes back to Freeman's Bay:
- The Lookout Trail, which is definitely the quickest. for this route once you are back on the road take a right up to Shirley Heights Lookout, and bear right down the marked trail.
- The Carpenters Rock Trail which is a beautiful hike down hill. To reach it start walking down the hill away from the Shirley Heights Lookout and you will see the sign a little down the road on the right hand side, Bear right and walk across the grass and you will come to a rock outcrop and a fabulous view of the ocean and on a clear day Guadeloupe. It is from here that you start the descent back to Freeman's Bay.
- Take the road down - if you do this route you also have the option of detouring up to Blockhouse for some more beatuiful views, and to Dow's Hill Interpretation Centre. If you do follow the road down, take the left for Galleon Beach Resort and Calabash Restaurant that are well marked on the road and you won't go wrong.
For all of the hikes in this area we advise wearing good footwear, either trainers or lightweight walking boots, anything with a good sole. There are alot of tree roots along the track especially lower down on the hill, which are easy to get a foot caught in, and in the dry season, the tracks can be slippy. Generally in the area there are also many cassie trees with spines of over an inch long in some cases. They can pierce straight through a trainer sole into your foot, so require immediate removal! Always take drinking water, and we advise walking either early mornig or late afternoon as the heat gets very intense between 10.00 am and 3..00 pm. That said the Lookout Trail has a reasonable amount of shade. It is also advisable to where a hat.
For those interested in the flora and hisotric sites of the area there is a great hike book with photographs identifying many of the flora you will see available from the Envirornmental Awareness Group. (EAG). Find out more about the EAG and where you can purchase the book here.. Read more.