home about trails tours lodgings communities flora Blue Mountain Club

The Blue Mountains of east St.Andrew stretch from the north-eastern edge of Kingston, inwards and upwards through the lush and beautiful countryside towards Blue Mountain Peak itself.

On this website you will find details of trails and tours. Why not have a look and then consider a tour or hike, even suggest one of your own. We may be able to help...

Besides the many, many photographs, we have also uploaded three YouTube videos showing the hike down from Holywell to Gordon Town , the journey (part-drive, part hike) from Papine to Blue Mountain Peak and a quick look at Cinchona Botanical Gardens

Or you could spend a night, or two, at one of the lodgings listed here. Some are bed & breakfast in family homes, some are guest houses and others are rustic accommodation.

If you would like to find out a little about the communities in the hills, you can do that here too. And even sample some of the beautiful flowers and other plants by clicking on flora.

Finally, we have a page dedicated to the Blue Mountain Club. We usually manage four or five hikes each year. Newcomers always welcome, especially if they can help with transport (preferably a 4WD).

WHAT DO WE HAVE FOR VISITORS - local and foreign?

In our corner of Kingston, we have the Mona campus of the University of the West Indies, the University of Technology, numerous other training and research establishments, and the University Hospital …. all set against the backdrop of those beautiful mountains. An old aquaduct runs through the area, a working relic of the historic Hope Estate, feeding into Kingston’s largest reservoir. Hope Gardens, an area of serenity and splendour, with wide lawns, an orchid house, many magnificent ornamental trees, a maze and even a modest zoo, is a favourite place for families and friends, especially on Sundays after church.

Alexander Bedward, religious visionary and antecedent of Marcus Garvey, lived in nearby August Town. His church and tomb are still there, and the Hope River was his healing stream, with popular folk-songs such as ‘Dip them Bedward, dip them’ helping to keep the memories alive.

Crossing the Hope River near August Town carries one towards Constitution Hill with breath-taking views of Kingston, hiking trails and a working coffee farm perched on Derby Peak at 3000 feet above sea level. Then down to Dallas, which gave its name to that US city of the same name, tucked away below the Port Royal mountains. A cool, clear river flows through the restful gardens at Dallas Castle, before reaching the invigorating Cane River Falls, another favourite spot with a well-established bar and grill nearby. The road leads on out to the coast at Bull Bay and easy access back to Kingston.

Papine is the gateway to the mountains. Following the Hope River, the road winds towards the highly-rated Blue Mountain Inn, set in truly salubrious surroundings. Gordon Town is two miles further on, with its wide, open square, home for many years to the Honourable Louise Bennett, poetess, legitimiser of our language and perhaps Jamaica’s most eminent and most-loved cultural icon. Hiking trails lead in every direction, but the road continues its gentle climb to Guava Ridge. Turning right leads to Flamstead, site of a great house from where Nelson could watch the harbour, 4000 feet below. Turn left and head to Content Gap and panoramic views of the Blue Mountain ridge, rising to 7402 feet, with Charlottenburg house on the trail which leads back to Gordon Town. A few miles further is St.Peters where the road branches to Clydesdale, a forest reserve and old coffee factory complete with water wheel, a favourite overnight venue for youth groups especially. A trail leads on up to Cinchona gardens, surely a suburb of heaven.

Way down below, but reached easily by road from Guava Ridge, is Mavis Bank where Blue Mountain coffee (the best in the world) is processed. From here you can begin your hike to ‘the Peak’, or take a 4WD a few miles further, over the river by Mahogany Vale bridge, past Penlyne castle and up to Whitfield Hall and Wildflower Lodge, to rest before the final climb which many like to take in the early morning, ready to catch the sun-rise. That 4WD could take you instead over the fording at Hagley Gap and through the hills back to the coast.

If you find yourself turning left at the Blue Mountain Inn, you will soon approach Irish Town, home to the highly-rated Strawberry Hill which looks across to Newcastle soldier camp, with its picturesque red-roofed buildings, an old but very active army training base, which hugs the base of the 5000 foot Catherine’s Peak. The road from Irish Town passes through the parade ground of the camp towards Holywell National Park, the most developed area of the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park (which stretches far into Portland in the east). At Holywell you can picnic, takes trails and stay overnight, either camping or in one of the three wooden cabins. Again, a favourite venue on holiday weekends, and Sundays, and home to ‘Misty Bliss’, an annual environmental and cultural event.

We can be contacted at: pgward72@gmail.com
Blue Mountain Tourism Initiative / Blue Mountain Club