Trekking through the forest
FOURTEEN kilometres; 2,700 feet above sea level.
That was the challenge of Forest Trek 2014, staged last Saturday in the Union Hill area of the Mount Diablo Forest Reserve which stretches from St Ann into St Catherine.
Some 500 trekkers took up the challenge and hiked from Schwallenburgh near Faith's Pen in At Ann to the Hollymount Great House, and back. Professional hikers, nature lovers, first-timers, the fit, the unfit, the very unfit, they came for the fitness benefit, for the opportunity to be out in nature, for the cause: to raise awareness for the conservation of forests.
"It's an opportunity for Jamaicans to experience the forest so they can develop a better appreciation for it. It's also an opportunity for them in participate in reforestation and an opportuntiy to learn about Jamaica's forests," public relations officer at the Forestry Department Francine Black Richards told the Jamaica Observer.
On the subject of reforestation, trekkers got the opportunity to plant a total of 150 forest trees, including Blue Mahoe, Cedar and Jamaican Mahogany.
Forest Trek 2014 was the fifth staging of the event. Here are some highlights: