My New Favorite Trail in Grenada
Mount Qua Qua to Concord Falls-The Cross Country Trail
I was browsing through Trip Advisor to see if there were any new adventures for me to experience in Grenada. The Cross Country Trail hike-advertised by Tropical Adventure caught my eye. Seeing who the owner of the business was-our old friend Vaughan Francis, made me sign up right away for this hike.
I decided to do this on my birthday. What else would I want to do besides muck around in the jungle on my 50th birthday?
The first part of the hike begins from the trail head at Crater Lake in the Grand Etang Forest. You follow the Mt Qua Qua trail for 1.14 miles uphill, and then take a left onto the Concord Falls Trail, which is downhill.
There had been some recent rains so the trail was a bit slick in spots on the Mt Qua Qua Climb up. I was soon pretty muddy, but remembered our goal was a waterfall, so it really didn’t matter.
The trail meanders around Crater Lake before climbing to the intersection where the Concord Falls Trail starts downhill. The CF Trail is much more technical-meaning rocky and rooting and not as cleared as the Mt Qua Qua Trail. In fact, the Concord Falls Trail reminded me somewhat of the Massanutten Trail if the MMT rocks were covered in a slick moss and the trees were always green and lush.
I took care over all the rocks. The last thing I wanted to do was bust my butt or ankle out here. Vaughan still thought I was very sure footed, and I told him that this was “my kind of trail”. There were lots of water crossings, which didn’t concern me in the slightest.
The CF trail was full of rocks, streams, some shoe sucking mud, tree trunks to clamber over, and a few sections of easily walkable trail. Vaughan led on the CF Trail as he wanted to point out any dangerous sections.
There were a few parts of the trail that you had to step very carefully, as you were going around the side of a hill with a steep drop off. Luckily, this is the jungle; there would usually be a good handhold.
Toward the end of the by Concord Falls were two areas that could be fairly sketchy. Vaughan turned the first into “non-sketchy” as he had come prepared with a rope. The original trail through this very steep hillside had wooden steps built. Yes, wooden steps in the rain forest. They had long since rotted away, leaving the rebar poking up out of the ground! I basically “rappelled” down this about 45 degree slope. It was very easy and nice having that rope! It could have been a bit dicey and slick without it.
The next section was nearby, where an avalanche, or landslide had just occurred a few weeks before. Vaughan led through this section. There are actually steps cut into the rock through here, but it is very exposed. I made sure I just descended from step to step, slowly.
The Cross Country trail intersected the main Concord Falls Trail which started in a parking lot at Lower Concord Falls and ended at Upper Concord Falls. We took the right to walk a few hundred feet to the Upper Concord Falls.
We passed a family on their way back from the falls. Here Vaughan and I were, sweating, muddy, with some scratches. The mom of the family looked at me and gave me, a little patronizing “You’re almost there” statement. Later, Vaughan told me how funny he thought this was! This family thought we must have come from the parking lot like they did (no mud on them!) but we must have been the clumsiest people around , to be so muddy and scratched up on a less than one mile trail. They had no idea we had hiked across the interior of the island. I finally caught onto the funniness later myself.
We were finally at Concord Falls! It was beautiful! I sat in the water for awhile and scrubbed the mud off myself, just marveling at the site. How lucky Vaughan is that he lives here and sees wonderment like this on a daily basis!
We then followed the “tourist trail” which leads down to lower Concord Falls. I had been here in the past. There are several shops here, so it was nice to have a Carib and a snack at the end of our hike.
The Cross Country Trail is the most strenuous and technical trail I’ve hiked in Grenada. You should be in good physical shape to take this on. This will take you between five and six or so hours to hike. You need to bring water and a few snacks for this. You do need your hands free, so make sure to bring a pack of some sort so you are not holding onto your water bottle for six hours.
I would also recommend a guide for this hike. The Cross Country trail is fairly evident for maybe 75%. But you do go up some creek beds as part of the trail and I would not have known what direction to go. Likewise, with the landslide area, I didn’t see the steps, where you pop out of the jungle you don’t see them. This was an extremely steep slope and was good to have guidance through this section.
If you do want to hike this trail, look up Vaughan at Travel Adventure Grenada. I have no affiliate link with TA Grenada; I have booked hikes with Vaughan for the last seven years. He is also a good friend of ours now! Vaughan is experienced, with a great sense of humor, and very knowledgeable about the countryside. If you are a bird watcher, Vaughan also does bird watching tours.
Anyone have a favorite hike in Grenada I need to hike on my next visit?