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Cayman Parrot - national bird of the Cayman Islands
Cayman Activities
The Cayman Parrot - national bird of the Cayman Islands
 
 

Hiking

 
hiking in Cayman Brac

Beyond the sugar sand beaches, the Cayman Islands’ interiors are fascinating worlds of their own. Explore our three islands by foot and you’ll catch a glimpse of some of the most diverse flora and fauna in the world: our national tree, The Silver Thatch Palm, mangrove forests, Wild Banana Orchids, the Cayman Parrot and the largest colony of red-footed boobies in the Western Hemisphere. Hikers will delight at all our Caribbean getaway has to offer. Whether on a Cayman tour or a self-guided stroll, time spent on our many hiking trails is sure to add another dimension to your Cayman Islands trip.

On Grand Cayman, the Mastic Trail is a two-mile stretch back in time - dating back at least 100 years through one of the last remaining example’s of the Caribbean’s dry, subtropical forests.

Our Sister Islands boast an untouched beauty that provides hiking experiences second to none. Adventurous hikers are thrilled by the glory of with its spectacular cliff walks on the 140-foot bluff that thrusts vertically from the ocean floor. Saunter along one of the many forest or beach trails that dot the island. On , hikers can stroll along one of more than a dozen secluded on a mostly undeveloped coastline, or spend time exploring the lagoons, mangrove forests, salt ponds and pristine wetlands that make up this tiny island paradise.



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Hints & Tips

  • Cayman Brac provides tour guides for the Boardwalk trail and other sights - contact the District Admin for details bracdc@gov.ky.
  • The Mastic Trail is only 2 miles long but takes about 4 hours to complete.
  • Hiking isn't limited to tails - try it on the beach.
 

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Brac Parrot Reserve, National Trust for the Cayman Islands
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Brac Parrot Reserve, National Trust for the Cayman Islands
345-749-1121
345-749-1135
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Paul Watler
558A South Church Street
Dart Family Park
Grand Cayman, Seven Mile Beach, PO Box, KY1-1205
Tel:345-749-1121
Fax:345-749-1135
The Brac Parrot Reserve is dominated by pristine dry forest on a rough and rocky terrain. A great diversity of native trees, including species not present on Grand Cayman or Little Cayman, support breeding forest birds. In the winter months, the Reserve is filled with migrant songbirds.
A small car park was built on Major Donald Drive which services nature trails through part of the Reserve. To the south, Bight road footpath leads to the nature trail, which forms a loop, passing through several different types of terrain, from old farm land now under grass, past mango trees on red soil, and through diverse thickets, into mature forest. To the north, Bight Road footpath can be followed along the western boundary of the Reserve to the edge of the Bluff and down to Bight Road, the main road along the northern coast.
One of the most striking aspects of the Reserve's forest is the mixture of hardwoods and cacti. Usually these plants are found in very distinct areas, but in the Reserve sizable cacti reach up through the branches of broad-leafed trees. Air plants and orchids which abound, also seem content to use cacti as host plants.
Bight Road footpath is very old. This was a track used by Brackers to cross from one side of the Bluff to the other to reach their provision grounds on the south shore, or to gather coconuts, which were once a major export crop for Cayman Brac. The surface on the Bight Road has been partly smoothed by the passage of many feet over the years, but no part of the terrain is particularly easy. Because it is kept true to its heritage, walkers are recommended to wear sturdy shoes for protection against the uneven dolomite rock.
The nature trail, which is approximately one mile long, takes about 45 minutes to walk, and an extra ten minutes to follow the Bight Road to the cliffs on the southern edge of the Bluff. Signs and information boards are placed at key points. Parrots are often seen and heard around the Reserve, especially in the early morning and late afternoon. They nest secretively in tree cavities, and feed on the fruits and seeds of the forest. When resting quietly in the heat of the day, they are almost perfectly camouflaged among the leaves of the trees. It is this behaviour that has earned the Cayman Brac Parrot the nickname "Stealth Parrot".
Remember it is an offence to litter or take any plant or animal from Trust property. The Trust accepts no responsibility for injuries sustained on the trail.
The Reserve now encompasses over 280 acres of contiguous protected land. The National Trust for the Cayman Islands has been "Protecting the future of Cayman's heritage" since its inception in 1987. The Trust is a not-for-profit NGO created to preserve the history and biodiversity of the Cayman Islands. Through education and conservation we work to protect environmentally sensitive and historically significant sites across all three Cayman Islands.
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