EPIC project focuses on hikes and trails | THE DAILY HERALD

COLE BAY–Environmental Protection in the Caribbean (EPIC) Foundation has initiated a new project aimed at making nature exploration easier on St. Maarten by improving hiking trails and maps.

To introduce the many trails of St. Maarten, free guided hikes will be offered every two weeks through January. Hikes will range from easy to challenging.

The first hike will be on Sunday, September 23. Meeting spot is Carrefour parking lot in Cole Bay at 6:15am. The hike will be to St. Peters and is intermediate in difficulty. Hikers should bring a water bottle (preferably reusable) and sunscreen and wear long pants and sneakers or hiking boots.

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Development of a hiking trail system and maps are just one aspect of ecotourism, a growing global industry that could be greatly expanded in St. Maarten to diversify the tourism product, according to EPIC.

Although much work has taken place to clear trails since Hurricane Irma struck a year ago, some trails have yet to be cleared. EPIC staff and volunteers, as part of the project, 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 said, “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.”

For more information, phone EPIC on 545-3009 or contact Cadula Jones via cadula@epicislands.org.

Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/80729-epic-project-focuses-on-hikes-and-trails

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