The St. Croix Environmental Association (SEA), as part of their mission to provide education and community outreach, offers low or no cost activities that provide opportunities to explore St. Croix and to better get to know our island’s environment. We joined them this past weekend on one of their hikes. We started our trek at Discovery Grove, which is situated at the base of Blue Mountain in Estate Canaan. Our fearless leaders, Ty McRae from BushTribe Eco Adventures and Lynnea Roberts from SEA, led us into the bush. We climbed down into Canaan Gut to begin our hike up the back of Blue Mountain.
A gut is a path where water flows, like a seam or a creak. On St. Croix, rain water flows down the hills during rainy periods and the path s they carve are called guts. When there isn’t very much rain, the guts are fairly dry and make ideal hiking trails. These guts harbor an abundance of wildlife. Giant bamboo stands, creeping vines, termite nests, giant kapok trees, orb spiders, locust trees, anoles, sprouting coconuts and many, many, many more.
The hike was moderately easy with a gradual slope up the mountain. There were some obstacles to maneuver, large rocks and fallen trees. We were almost completely in the shade for the duration of the hike thanks to the large trees towering overhead which made for a very pleasant temperature. There was plenty to see and explore and Ty took his time explaining what we were seeing and where we were headed. We encountered a couple of old Danish hoes and shards of pottery along our trail, evidence of St. Croix’s agricultural past.
There is no scenic overlook at the peak of this hike; all of the enjoyment comes from exploring what is seldom seen within the rain forest guts and all they have to offer.
About St. Croix Environmental Association
St. Croix Environmental Association began as a grass roots organization and now has 500+ members. It is a non-profit organization that depends on membership dues, donations and grants to continue their work. SEA is committed to protecting and conserving the beautiful island environment of St. Croix. SEA provides educational programs for kids and adults, sponsors activities to engage both members and non-members and provides leadership for a sustainable environment. In addition to guided hikes, they also offer free snorkeling clinics and photography workshops for school children. To learn more about SEA, their scheduled activities and how you can help preserve St. Croix, please visit their website.
About BushTribe Eco Adventures
BushTribe’s focus and passion is taking residents and visitors off the beaten path around St. Croix – the path less traveled, if traveled at all. They educate their adventure seekers about local vegetation, wildlife and history along the way. Ty McRae is one of the founders of BushTribe Eco Adventures and his high energy and enthusiasm make him a fun and engaging guide.