Photo essay images of short walks along the trails in the Black River Gorges National Park
Trails from Black River Visitor Centre
Three of my photo essay walks start from the centre carpark; each one is about 6 km to 8 km return. If you’re fit and don’t stop too much to enjoy the views or take photographs then they could be managed in one day. We did these on three different days.
All three walks encompass part of the Macchabee Trail, which is easy going to get to the final crossing over the Black Water River. After crossing the river, the Macchabee Trail is moderate going but it does have some strenuous sections especially when climbing the escarpment to the ridge.
Macchabee Trail and Lower Viewpoint
My first photo essay of the Macchabee Trail walk is to the first viewpoint at 260 m. It’s a strenuous and difficult climb to continue onto the Macchabee Viewpoint at 570 m and probably tackled by starting at the Petrin information centre. From the Visitor Centre it took us about two hours with an elevation change of about 130 m to the viewpoint. On our return, we spotted a Pink Pigeon, one of about 500 individuals in Mauritius.
The walk starts at the Black River Visitor Centre, follows the Macchabee Trail as far as the Riviere Noire crossing by the shelter (kiosk); the Parakeet Trails is on the right just before shelter. Its easy going as far the next crossing point over the river, after that it’s strenuous. We would have walked further but there was no bridge over the river just a fording place although it was passable, it may not have remained so if it rained heavily, so we turned around.
Although we didn’t see much wildlife, just a few butterflies and no parakeets, it’s worth walking as far as the river crossing as there are a couple of places where there are scenic river views.
Mare aux Joncs Trail Waterfall
The third walk starts at Black River Visitor Centre and follows the Macchabee Trail for a kilometre or so, a signpost to the left points the way. The trail is easy going, following a tributary of Riviere Noire, climbing steadily until it stops at the waterfall. The river has found its way onto several long sections of the trail; walking boots or wellies would have useful. Despite having to walk through flooded trail sections, it’s worth the hike for waterfall at the end.