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Grenada has in recent years begun to protect some of its most remarkable natural assets through a system of national parks and protected areas. Ranging from the magnificent Grand Etang Forest Reserve to the tranquil intimacy of La Sagesse estuary, these areas hold considerable attraction for hikers and birdwatchers as well as for those who simply want to become better acquainted with the peerless natural beauty of the island.

Grand Etang Lake and Forest Reserve
The most popular area in Grenada for hiking and trekking is undoubtedly the rainforest around the Grand Etang Forest Reserve, high up in the mountains of the island's interior. Grand Etang's varied elevations and terrains maintain several different ecological subsystems, culminating in the elfin woodlands high up the slopes of the reserve's central mountains. The focal point of the forest reserve is Grand Etang Lake, which fills the crater of one of the island's extinct volcanos. The rainforest around the lake holds a stupendously rich diversity of flora and fauna. Colourful tropical birds, tiny frogs and lizards, and rare orchids punctuate the dense rainforest vegetation, and the trails meander around the area's stunning waterfalls as well as the azure waters of Grand Etang Lake.

Grand Etang's flora includes towering mahogany and giant gommier trees as well as a multitude of ferns, tropical flowers, and other indigenous plants. The lush vegetation provides shelter for a wide variety of animals, particularly for the island's many species of birds.

The broad-winged hawk (known here as the gree-gree), Lesser Antillean swift, Antillean euphonia, purple-throated carib, Antillean crested hummingbird (known as the little doctor bird), and the Lesser Antillean tanager (known as the soursop) are all common sights. In addition, the Grand Etang is populated by plenty of frogs and lizards, as well as opossums, armadillos, mongooses, and the mona monkey.

Hikes at Grand Etang range from easy 15-minute jaunts to rigorous expeditions of several hours. The trails are quite good, and the Forest Reserve provides excellent guides (both written and human). 

The Morne LaBaye Trail: 
This brief and easy walk, which takes about fifteen minutes and is suitable for the whole family, features twelve points of interest intended to acquaint the visitor with the area's ecology.

The Ridge and Lake Circle Trail:  The Lake Circle Trail, which takes about half an hour, winds down to and around the perimeter of Grand Etang Lake. In addition to allowing outstanding views of the lake itself, which is so stunning that it really cannot be missed, this trail wends down through trees bedecked with hibiscus and the island's many varieties of wild orchids, which grow on the trees for support.

Mt. Qua Qua Trail:  One of the central mountains of Grenada's interior range, Mt. Qua Qua rises to a height of over 2,370 ft.720 m). The trail to and along its ridge passes by Grand Etang Lake and then rises up to the higher altitudes, cooler temperatures, and elfin mountain forests of the upper slopes. Hiking the trail takes about an hour and a half, with frequently steep and sometimes slippery sections that require some caution. One of the primary attractions of this walk, in addition to the panoramic prospects available from its occasional clearings, is that it provides a comprehensive introduction to the varied plant and animal life of both the rainforest and mountain ecosystems of Grand Etang.

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