Explore: Black River National Park

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Published on 2021-09-02 at 13:45 by Liza Bonne
A dip in cool water? A tough track for an early morning trail? A little picnic in a beautiful natural spot? Or just a nap in a clearing in the middle of the forest? You will find everything you need at the Black River Gorges National Park. We take you on a tour.

The Black River Gorges, which cover more than 6,500 hectares of the island, were declared a National Park in 1994. The park is popular amongst Mauritians and foreigners for its various hiking trails. There is a hike for everyone, from seasoned hikers to the less experienced. The park is located in the west-central part of the island and can be accessed through several entrances. The best known are Pétrin or Rivière-Noire. Here are some of the most popular trails of the park.

The Maccabee Trail

The best known of all Black River Gorges trails is the Macchabée Trail. It offers beautiful views of several waterfalls and passes through the park viewpoint which offers a magnificent view of the west coast of the island. The perfect place for a lunch break or a picnic. For novices, it is better to stop here and get back to Pétrin. For those looking for an adventure, however, it is possible to get to the Rivière-Noire welcome center by following the small path indicated at the viewpoint. The descent is quite technical and the ascent back up can be complicated but the trail is worth it!

The Mare Longue Loop Trail

This trail, which also begins in Pétrin, is a loop to the Mare Longue reservoir and brings hikers back to the Center de Pétrin. It is an easy 12 km hike and a complete immersion in the dense forest of this part of the island. Depending on the season, you can also pick wild guavas along the way. The reservoir area is the perfect rest and picnic area before setting off on the return journey. In addition, there is a small waterfall not far and you can go on a quest to find it.

Piton de la Petite Rivière Noire

The highest mountain on the island is found in the park. Depending on your level, you can start from Rivière Noire or Plaines Champagne. The Plaine Champagne route is much shorter (only 6km) and much less difficult than the trail from Rivière Noire (10km). The hike is accessible to anyone in good physical shape.

The Parakeet Trail

The Parakeet Trail is a trail for champions. We start the descent from Plaine Champagne or the ascent from Rivière Noire but be careful, in both directions the Parakeet is a six km trail for seasoned hikers, being very technical.

The Mare aux Joncs Trail

Perhaps the most famous waterfall in the Gorges: the Mare-aux-Joncs waterfall. This waterfall is accessible after two hours of walking from the entrance to the park in Rivière Noire. The hike is accessible to hikers of all levels but you will need to be ready to cross a few rivers. The hike is not the easiest but the waterfall is worth the trip.