Bellevue Trails

Yesterday I spent a few afternoon hours wandering the trails of Bellevue. While not the wildest spot on the island, it’s a bit of a secret gem. The easiest point of entry is across from the Cole Bay Grand Marché, where there is a small gate on the left hand side of a dirt parking area. From there a number of trails meander between Cole Bay and Marigot, which are also used for mountain biking. I’m not sure who owns the land or who made the trails, but apparently cattle were at least partially responsible.

The area is a mix of grassy hillside, scrub and secondary forest and there is plenty of wildlife to be found. I was mostly focused on the smaller kinds, and was happy to see tiny frogs, dwarf geckos, and a variety of spiders and centipedes. It was a bit disturbing to see quite a bit of dodder, a parasitic plant with telltale orange vines that feeds off trees and other plants. The invasive checkered swallowtail is easily seen, due to the large number of mutton lime bushes that the caterpillars feed on. I also came across a calabash tree on one of the hillsides.

If you haven’t been there, I would highly recommend it. As a bonus, some vantage points on the hillsides offer great views of the lagoon. If anyone is familiar with the history of the area, I’d love to know more. Below are photos of some of the things I saw.

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