Conservatoire du Littoral delegate for overseas territories Alain Brondeau (centre) cuts the ribbon to open the new trail assisted by President Daniel Gibbs (left), Préfecture General Secretary Fabien Sésé and Conservatoire Chargée de Mission Anne-Marie Bouillé (right). (Robert Luckock photos).
MARIGOT--The French coastal protection agency Conservatoire du Littoral officially inaugurated a new hiking trail on Tuesday morning in Grand Cayes, French Cul-de-Sac, in the presence of President of the Collectivité Daniel Gibbs, Secretary General of the Préfecture Fabien Sésé, Overseas Delegate for Conservatoire du Littoral Alain Brondeau and the Conservatoire’s local Chargée de Mission Anne-Marie Bouillé.
Located on the road to the eco-landfill, the one-kilometre trail starts on the right-hand side just after the residential area. A sign has been installed at the entrance. The trail starts with a climb up to a ridge offering a panoramic view of the bay of Cul-de-Sac, before descending and following the coastline. To the right are views of Pinel Island, Petit Clef and Tintamarre, and to the left, the imposing Red Rock hillside, the other side of which is Anse Marcel.
Hikers tried out the new trail on Tuesday.
The trail, dotted with English head cactus, includes the installation of a circular orientation table (map), and winds around the peninsular before ending at the dirt road to the eco-landfill. In the future the trail will connect to Sentier des Froussards beyond the eco-landfill to offer a seven-kilometre coastal trail.
On September 29, 2021, Conservatoire du Littoral acquired some 10 hectares of coastal land in the areas of L’Étang de la Barrière, Grand Cayes and Cul-de-Sac. These acquisitions were the result of negotiations in September 2020 and led to a positive outcome for natural spaces in St. Martin.
Work on the new trail began in mid-October 2021, thanks to the contribution of two associations: AIDS-M and Tournesol.
Due to the pandemic, shipping of some remaining signage for the trail was held up, but is apparently on its way to St. Martin. The France Relaunch Plan contributed 40,000 euros to the 50,000-euro project with 10,000 euros provided by the Conservatoire.
This new trail is part of a more comprehensive project aimed at valuing natural sites and developing more hiking trails.