MARINE HISTORY AT A GREAT HEIGHT
TAKE THE HIKE
This hike is full of history as well as heights. It is a circular walk which can start anywhere from Pigeon Beach to Nelson's Dockyard and in between. Base your start point on where you want to finish, for example sit at a bar in Nelson's Dockyard and watch the yachts go by, take a dip in the waters of Pigeon Beach and grab a rum and coke at Bumpkins for sunset, or drink a seriously good coffee at Seabreeze then make them your start points.
Wherever you start, head to the Dockyard, and when you reach the Copper and Lumber Store Hotel walk down to the marina front, and head right towards the water taxi pier. You will see a sign saying Fort Berkley. Walk around the wall, take the steps and follow the track down to Fort Berkley. At the Fort you will get catch some beautiful views across to Galleon Beach, The Pillars of Hercules and back towards the Dockyard and English Harbour. With the cannon still sitting guard over the harbour, you can understand why this was chosen as one of the British Army outposts, Come back along the fort and take a left by the sign for Middle Ground, and at this point start following the white painted spots on rocks, or bands on trees (maintained by the Royal Naval Tot Club). You will then come to Middle Grounds where sits the Keane's or one gun battery and Middle Ground Barracks, and further on along the trail Fort Culyer, with an excellent view over the entrance to Falmouth Harbour. Along the ridge you also get beautiful views of the coast line and Windward Beach.
For all of the hikes in this area we advise wearing good footwear, either trainers or lightweight walking boots, anything with a good sole. There are a lot of tree roots along the track especially lower down on the hill, which are easy to get a foot caught in, and in the dry season, the tracks can be slippy. Generally in the area there are also many Acacia trees with spines of over an inch long in some cases. They can pierce straight through a trainer sole into your foot, so require immediate removal! Always take drinking water, and we advise walking either early morning or late afternoon as the heat gets very intense between 10.00 am and 3..00 pm. It is also advisable to wear a hat.
For those interested in the flora and historic sites of the area there is a great hike book with photographs identifying many of the flora you will see available from the Environmental Awareness Group. (EAG). Find out more about the EAG and where you can purchase the book here.. Read more.