Finally got a chance to explore Welchman Hall Gully which is located in the centre of the island in St Thomas. Being one of the island’s oldest attractions, this natural wonder was formed when the roof a massive cave collapsed. The result is a gully that’s filled with various species of trees, bamboo, ferns and birds. There are two troops of monkeys that live on opposite ends of this space and rarely cross paths as there are very territorial. If you arrive there between 10:30 and noon, you can witness the monkeys being fed. Guided tours are available but we did the self guided. You receive a pamphlet which helps you identify the numerous species of trees and shrubs which are numbered.

There’s a small cafe at the entrance where you can grab some snacks, a sandwich, ice cream or some refreshments, beer included. We saved ours for the lookout point at the end of the walk.

A children’s play area is located near the monkey feeding platform. Trudy had to check out the zipline.

This giant banyan tree leaves quite an impression as you enter. As we made our way down a very well defined path, we spotted some monkeys in the trees and the resident roosters and hens scurrying about. The sounds of various species of birds can be heard throughout which makes for a more peaceful and magical experience.

Most areas along this 3/4 mile long nature walk are shaded and has the feel of a real rain forest. The only thing missing is a natural pool. The humidity can be high but there are benches and picnic areas along the way where you can stop and have a rest. The main walkway is wheelchair accessible, however, the path to lookout point is not.

There’s an area of the gully called the orchard where you can find coffee, nutmeg, cacao, clove, carambola and avocado. One claim to fame for Welchman Hall is that the grapefruit which is a hybrid of a pomelo and sweet orange was developed here in the 1700’s.

Remains of the collapsed cave are clearly evident. Stalactites and stalagmites are also visible and the sound of dripping water could be heard.

After the out and back walk, we ascended some stairs to a lookout point where a nice, cool breeze welcomed us. The views of the East Coast were stunning.

Since Trudy and I relocated to the island a few years ago, we’re always out and about exploring, finding hidden gems, but for me it’s also about revisiting some sites that I knew as a child growing up here, seeing how they’ve changed or not changed. For nature lovers, this is a great place to spend a few hours.


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