PHILIPSBURG:— This month Environmental Protection in the Caribbean (EPIC) Foundation is initiating a new project which aims to make exploring nature easier on St. Maarten by improving hiking trails and maps. Although much work has taken place to clear trails since Irma struck a year ago, some trails have yet to be cleared. EPIC staff and volunteers will remove fallen and overgrown brush and, working in cooperation with property owners, develop signs which help direct and inform hikers. In addition, maps of hikes will be printed as brochures and a free online app will offer downloadable trail maps.
Project Coordinator Cadula Jones is familiar with the various trails and their unique aspects, having been a leading member of a local hiking group for many years. She noted “Hiking is one of the best ways to enjoy the beauty of the nature of St. Maarten. The natural landscape of St. Maarten offers hiking trails that vary from green hillside trails with beautiful flora and fauna and spectacular views from the peaks of the hills, to coastal trails with pearl white sandy beaches and/or rocky beaches. I am looking forward to sharing the hiking experience with both locals and tourists as hiking is a perfect way of spending quality time with friends and family. One of my life mottos is: Hike More Worry Less.”
Development of a hiking trail system and maps is just one aspect of ecotourism, a growing global industry that could be greatly expanded in St. Maarten to diversify the tourism product.
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Source: St. Martin News Network http://www.smn-news.com/st-maarten-st-martin-news/30109-new-project-to-focus-on-hiking-trails.html