St. Lucia, Morne Pavillon, Cap Estate
Morne Pavillon, previously called Mt. du Cap is a lovely spot right at the height of about 500 feet above sea level in the very north of the island. The St. Lucia National Trust has made some lovely, though short, trails in this area. The work of the hike is getting here – it is about 2 miles from either Rodney Bay Marina or Pigeon Island, the first part of the walk is along the road and there is unfortunately plenty of traffic for the first bit if you are coming from Rodney Bay.
Walk straight up the main road into Cap Estate. You will come to a roundabout with the Golf Course on your right. Go straight across and up the hill. At the next roundabout you come to the main road swings to the left downhill, and straight ahead is a smaller road clearly marked “No through Road”. This is the one to take. You continue uphill turning neither right nor left till it comes to T junction with the top road. Turn right here, and you will soon pass a big handsome pink building well decorated with gingerbread. As you pass this building you will see a sign “No through Road”, “Mount du Cap”. At this sign look on your left and you will see a grassy road leading uphill, with a barrier to stop traffic. There happens to be a logwood tree right there, whose blossoms smell heavenly if in flower. Follow the road up. There is a division about half way up. It does not really matter what you do. If you go straight ahead up to the top you reach an area with some big circular structures, these were mounts for two 155 mm cannons that the US put up during the second world war. At that time, Morne Pavillon had about 200 artillery men residing there.
If, on the other hand, you take the right turn you come to another cleared area with various ruins. These may be parts of the house that Herbert Lutz started building when he purchased the property in 1966. He stopped building because the materials were “walking” from the site faster than he could get them put up. In 2010 Christopher Lutz, his son, gave the 22 acre parcel to the St. Lucia National Trust.
At the far end of either area is a trail which links the two and some other old ruins. This is a delightful small path with at least one spectacular view straight down onto the rocks below with Martinique in the distance. Hiking up and around, and relaxing will only take about half an hour – it is getting here from Rodney bay that gives the exercise. If you have a bike, then try detour on road back. Just keep going west along the top road, it will eventually take you down and down (with some lovely views), until you get to a T. Turn left and you will continue the loop with the road deteriorating into a trail. Eventually it will become a road again and take you back uphill till you come out just below the top road. Turn left and you are on your way back.