Hiking in Antigua

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General information

Cruising along the coastlines admiring the lush landscapes, lounging on the beach while watching the sun set brilliantly on the horizon, there are so many ways to adore the admirable scenery of Wadadli. In this article, Relocate Antigua takes you on a unique journey to the heights where you can adore the island from the top. We know that walks in the Caribbean create memories that last a lifetime. Whether you are a hiking enthusiast or not, exploring the hills of Antigua will be a great activity for your Antigua vacation.

But first, some benefits of hiking in Antigua:

  • Hiking lowers stress levels and generally enhances your mental wellbeing.
  • Hiking creates a reduced risk for heart disease and high blood pressure and other heart-related issues.
  • It also helps you to control body weight and lower your body fat.

Best Hiking Trails in Antigua

Mount Obama

mount-obama antigua

Distance: 6.6km

Duration: 3 hours max

Difficulty Level: Challenging

Mount Obama formerly known as Boggy Peak is the highest peak in Antigua measuring 1,330 ft (405m) above sea level. It is located on the southwestern side of the island and can be accessed from mt Obama Road. The distance is about 4 miles and can be hiked in about 2 hours minimum. Mount Obama can be accessed from the northern or southern side with proper trails on both sides. The trail on the south side starts from Cades Bay and leads to a partially cemented road where you can enjoy a calm stroll up the hill.

Hiking from the north side holds an interesting adventure with more lush surroundings and even a small stream runs through the rainforest. The duration of this hike is about 45 minutes to the start of the concrete road which leads to the summit. From here it is 15 minutes to the top and this part may be the most challenging.

Carpenter Rock Trail- Nelson’s Dockyard National Park

carpenters-rock antigua

Distance: 3km

Duration: 1-hour max

Difficulty Level: Medium

The hike to Carpenter’s Rock is a pleasant and secluded journey with picturesque views on the way. Rugged and bushy, this trail is located on the quiet southeastern side of Antigua which is home to a few tourist attractions like Mermaid Gardens and historical sites such as Shirley’s heights. There are two ways to Carpenter’s Rock: the first and most popular way is from Galleon Bay along the beach until you see a trail sign. From here, make your way up to Fort Charlotte, passing lush vegetation like cacti and Acacia. Be sure to wear strong resistant shoes.

The second way is from the top. Viewpoints along the rocky trail are Fort Shirley which extends magnificent views of Carpenter Rock and English harbor, and Nanton Point where you can enjoy views of the coastline and the beautiful ocean. On a clear day, you might even see the island of Guadeloupe in the distance. Interestingly, there are a total of 3 routes to get back down to Galleon Beach: The Lookout Trail, The Jones Valley Trail, and the main road which leads to Galleon Beach Resort.

Jones Valley Trail

Distance: 3km

Duration: 1-hour max

Difficulty Level: Easy

The hike through Jones Valley Trail is complemented by large shady trees and rocky terrain. From Galleon Bay, make your through the forest keeping right while following the white markings until you reach the dam. The alternate trail starts from the top of Shirley’s Heights. Vegetation along this path is mainly tamarind trees and Acacia trees which can prick your feet if you are not cautious, so remember to wear strong, sturdy shoes and walk carefully. Towards the end of the walk, there is a cemetery and ruins of barracks- great for photo keepsakes. 3 routes are leading back down to Galleon bay- The Lookout Trail, The Carpenter Rock Trail, and the main road.

The Lookout Trail

lookout-point-trail antigua

Distance: 1.5km

Duration: 1-hour max

Difficulty Level: Easy (slightly steep)

As the name suggests, The Lookout Trail leads to the Shirley’s Heights Lookout, which is a popular spot for adoring the magnificent views. Just like the other trails in this area, there are two ways to get to here, either start from the bottom at Galleon Beach or the top at Shirley’s Heights. The trail ends at Shirley’s Heights. From here you can enjoy beautiful views of Galleon Bay and English Harbor. Shirley’s Heights is a lively destination popular for its breathtaking sunset views and the ruins of Fort Shirley. On a clear day, Guadeloupe can be seen on the tip of the horizon.

Monks Hill and Fort George

Hiking-in-antigua

Distance: 3km

Duration: 1-hour max

Difficulty Level: Easy

Monks Hill Trail is a less frequented trail on the southeast of Antigua. It starts in Piccadilly and leads upwards through the mountains. Along the way, the setting is made up of lush vegetation, and greenish Volcanic formations and leads up to an Ariel and a magnificent viewpoint that is at the very top of Fort George where ruins still stand. Once at the top, you can stand or sit on the cliff and enjoy panoramic views of English Harbor, Willoughby Bay, and even the VC Bird International Airport.

Walling’s Dam Hikes

wallings-dam-hike antigua

Distance: 2km

Duration: less than 1 hour(various trails through the forest)

Difficulty Level: Medium

Walling’s Dam is situated in the heart of Old Road and is one of the most exciting Hiking Trails in Antigua. From Fig Tree Drive, look out for the Walling’s Nature reserve and head through the lush rainforest. The dam offers a serene setting with picnic tables around. There are a few trails from this track into the forest including trails to Signal Hill, Rendezvous Bay, Falmouth Harbor, and Lemon Grass view. There are also various lookout spots throughout the forest. The trails are mostly slippery after it has rained but you should wear sturdy shoes regardless of the weather.

Deep Bay to Fort Barrington Trail

Distance: About 2km

Duration: 1-hour max

Difficulty Level: Easy

Fort Barrington is perched on the hilltop overlooking Deep Bay. The site was built back in the 1700s as a defense from the French invaders and is a picturesque National park today. The hike to Fort Barrington begins at Deep Bay and leads up Goat Hill. On the way up the hill, you can enjoy views of the north side of the island as well as St Johns Harbor views.

Green Castle Hill, Antigua

green-castle-hill antigua

Distance: 2km

Duration: 1-hour max

Difficulty Level: Challenging

These unique geological rock formations are in Creek Side on the South of Antigua and are said to have been built by early inhabitants who worshipped the moon and the sun. The hike to Green Castle Hill is challenging with mostly rocky terrain and thick bush all around. It is wise to go with a tour guide as there is no established trail, so it would be in your interest to seek the assistance of a knowledgeable tour guide. Contact Relocate Antigua today and let us help you with all your hiking needs.

Other trails

  • Shirleys Heights to Pillars of Hercules and Mermaid Gardens
  • Devils Bridge national Park
  • The Sleeping Indian trail

For more trails check out this Antigua hiking trails map.

Hiking equipment needed for Antigua

Hiking in Antigua is a great way to spend the day with friends or family and should not be in any way stressful. Therefore, be sure to be fully prepared and have all the necessary equipment.

What you will need:

Hiking-in-antigua
  • A Sturdy Backpack
  • Strong Hiking shoes or boots
  • First Aid kit
  • Navigation tool (optional): Most trails are marked with ribbons or paint markings on trees and rocks to provide direction.
  • Knife or Multitool/Small machete: Hiking through the forests of Antigua, you will more than likely encounter Cassie trees which are large thorny trees and you may need to cut small branches to get through.
  • Mosquito repellant
  • Appropriate clothing: Be sure to wear something cool yet protective, the Antiguan heat can become unbearable at times but ensure that your feet and arms are protected from trees and other plants on the trail.
  • Lots of water
  • Food and healthy snacks: Needed mostly for longer trails.

Hiking shops in Antigua

In case you are wondering where you can locate the required hiking gear for Antigua hiking trails such as backpacks and great shoes, here is a list of places and their contact information in and around St. Johns City. Relocate Antigua also provides personal shopping services and our personnel will help you acquire your items. We also offer courier services and will deliver your goods to your doorstep, helping you avoid the hustle of city shopping.

  1. Outdoor World Antigua- Old Parham Road Box 327

   Contact number: 268-460-7211

  • Sunseekers- Heritage Quay, St. Johns Antigua

Contact number: 268-462-4523

  • Shoe Palace- St. Johns Antigua

Contact number: 268-462-2365

  • Athletes Foot- Thames Street, St. Johns Antigua

Contact number: 268-775-0597

  • Champion Footwear- Heritage Quay, St. Johns Antigua

Contact number: 268-562-1970

Tour operators

Happy Heights– A locally run tour guide business that offers guided hiking tours for trails such as Carpenters Rock, Rendezvous Trail, Middle Ground Trail, stopping at areas like Mermaid Gardens and Rendezvous beach. Prices range from US$50-$60.

Footsteps Rainforest Hiking Tours– This tour company is led by a professional named Dassa with extensive knowledge of the rainforests in Antigua, who offers an exciting hiking experience on every trail. The most popular trail ventured is the Signal Hill Trail. Other trails include Mount Obama and Green Castle Hill.

Trek Tours

Trek tours offer guided hiking tours for both children and adults through a variety of trails in Antigua. Trek tours also offer sunset hikes allowing persons to enjoy the majestic sunset views from the heights of the island.

Conclusion

Hiking in Antigua and Barbuda can be a bit of a challenge but still a pleasurable adventure with remarkable health benefits and breathtaking views. Relocate Antigua will provide you with all the services including connecting you to the best tour guides. Couples can also use hiking as a bonding activity while appreciating the beautiful outdoors while on their Antigua honeymoon.

Get in touch with us today to plan your Antigua hiking honeymoon and your other Antigua hiking tours. For more subtle exploring you can try a walking tour of St. John’s Antigua.

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