Since most of the Islands’ undisturbed forest
is difficult to traverse, the Woodland Trail was built
to allow Park patrons an opportunity to get inside the natural
landscape. The trail is four-fifths of a mile long
and can be comfortably walked. Care was spent mapping the
site and the trail to ensure that it passes
through unusual or significant habitats such as that of the very
rare native Cockspur tree /
or a stand of Bull Thatch
palms / Thrinax radiata.
The trail goes through swampy areas, dry areas,
and some areas that have enough soil for larger trees such as
Mahogany / Swietenia mahagoni
lofty canopies. The land encompassed by the Woodland Trail
makes up approximately forty acres, and is estimated
to contain more than fifty percent of The Native Flora
of the Cayman Islands.
Scroll over the map, a hand will appear on the
links, click on it to virtually preview your advanture.
1 - Woodland Trail Entrance
2 - Queen Elizabeth II Monument
The monument stone is from a local quarry; note fossil shell embedded
in the rock. Behind the rock is a stand
of Silver Thatch palm, the Park’s logo tree.
3 - Fern Swamp
Features two native ferns that grow in semi-saline swamp conditions
and can achieve heights of up to ten feet.
4 - High Spring Pond
This deep sinkhole has an active spring near its surface near
which native plants are slowly establishing themselves.
The open water also helps encourage humidity-loving plants in
5 - Crocodile Hole
The fossil bones of the Cuban Freshwater Crocodile (Crocodylus
Rhombifer) were discovered in this wetland.
Wide-spread and abundant when the early mariners first visited
these islands, the crocodiles now survive only
in the Zapata swamplands of Cuba. Look across the bridge at the
Hickatee Habitat wetland where our native
freshwater turtles have found a permanent home.
6 - Buttonwood Swamp
The southern end of a large Buttonwood swamp yields its water
to this deep pool. it provides humidity for the orchids
and bromeliads growing naturally here.
7 - Kary’s Pond
A small swamp was enlarged to form this pond and plants native
to this habitat type were obtained from near the
Frank Sound Fire Station. Along with other wildlife, there are
two moorhens that have taken up residence in this area.
8 - Cherry Ground
The plant Myrcianthes Fragrans
is a member of the Myrtle family and is locally known as “Cherry”.
Birds eat the bright red fruit.
9 - Cactus Country
Moving into a drier, rockier environment, the flora changes to
display large Century Plants (Agave) and cacti.
10 - Epiphyte Woodland
Extensive surface flooding in the rainy season brings a humidity
ideal for epiphytes. Orchids and bromeliads
festoon the trees.
11 - Ground Dove Walk
Native and Caribbean doves can almost always be seen in this area
if it is approached quietly.
12 - Bull Thatch Bend
In the midst of a majestically wooded area, an explosion of Bull
Thatch Palms / Thrinax Radiata
creates a rare, lush vista.
13 - Calabash Corner
The deeper soil in this area support the growth of larger trees.
Important native trees are being introduced here,
some of which may not otherwise be seen due to their inaccessibility
or rarity. These include the Calabash (Gourd) tree,
the Mastic, and the rare Terminalia
14 - Smokewood Ponds
This is a network of sinkholes where the habitat changes dramatically
from the Dry to Rainy seasons. It is the habitat in
which the Smokewood tree / Erythroxylum