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Mastic Trail, Grand Cayman

The Mastic Trail is a project of the National Trust. Guided tours travel through a woodland area along a two-mile trail. One of the most interesting areas is a region filled with fine red soil called "red mold." The dirt contains minerals found in the ancient rocks of Africa and scientists believe that, through the years, the dust from the Sahara Desert blew across the Atlantic and the Caribbean to accumulate here.

Birders have a chance to sight the Grand Cayman parrot, Caribbean dove, West Indian woodpecker, Cuban bullfinch, smooth-billed ani, and the colorful bananaquit.

The hike also passes 100 different types of trees, including black mangroves that grow from the brackish water, elegant royal palms, and tall mahogany trees. Fruit trees, first planted by early residents, include mango, tamarind, and calabash. Orchids bring color to the trees during the spring season, probably the best time of year to experience this eco-tourism attraction.

Guided 2 1/2-hour walks, led by local resident Albert Hines, travel past 100 different varieties of trees and 550 other types of plant species such as the wild banana orchid, the Cayman national flower. Only eight people are permitted on each of the tours.

TIP
The tour is not recommended for children under age six, for the elderly, or for those with physical disabilities. Travelers should wear sturdy shoes and bring insect repellent.

Cold soft drinks and transportation back to the trailhead are provided. Reservations are required; on weekdays call 345-949-1996 between the hours of 10 am and 3 pm.

For More Information: contact the Cayman National Trust, 345-949-0445 or 949-5688

 


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