Located on the southern side of the island, in the Community of Giraudel, Morne Anglais stand at 3,683 feet and is one of Dominica’s tallest mountains. Morne Anglais has and original Kalinago named ”Couliaboune”. Morne Anglais is translated to “English Mountain”, and was named by the French because of the number of English Plantations located around the slopes, names such as Durham, Eggleston, Corlet, Gommier, Stewart, and Ridgefield among others. Morne Anglais is one of nine (9) live volcanoes on the island of Dominica. There used to large rocks at the top and near it was buried a bottle with a piece of paper on which climbers would write their names. At the top of Morne Anglais, one will see some equipment. This equipment belongs to the Dominica Amateur Radio Club Inc. It is a solar powered Repeater and is used for communication between ham radio operators during times of disaster. The equipment survived Hurricane Maria.
Before Hurricane Maria in 2017, the trek to the top of Morne Anglais was about 2 hours, but due to damages sustained to the trail, causing it to be re-routed in some areas, the time now is estimated to be 3 hours based on one’s fitness.
The entrance of the trail is located at an old abandoned area, which once housed a water storage facility. The beginning of the trail can be tough as you start immediately with a steep slope that will suck the breath out of you if not careful. After passing the slope, you pass through an agricultural spot before you enter the forest. Pre-Maria, the hike through Anglais was filled with orchids as you walk through the elfin forest plus a rain forest. It is best recommended to hike the trail during the dry season as if you could get caught during the rainy season, the trail can be muddy and challenging. The trek takes you along a ridge before starting the upward climb. It can be steep in some areas, and due to the damages sustained from Hurricane Maria, you can find yourself climbing through fallen threes. This has made the trek more difficult than before. At about the midway point of the trail, there used to be a sign, not sure if it’s been replaced, highlighting boundary for the Trois Pitions National Park. Along the trail, you would come across some openings through the forest offering you some wonderful scenic views of the mountains, nearby communities’ and villages, coastlines and the Capital of Dominica, Roseau. As you move higher, you are able to see surrounding mountain peaks such as Morne Watt, More Trois Pitions and More Diablotin. On a clear day, you will get a spectacular view of the Fresh Water Lake. On reaching the top, you are struck with magnificent views of the West Coastlines and South East Coastlines, the Grand bay Community, Roseau Cruise Ship Terminal amongst others.
Generally, the trail can now be considered a challenge trek post Hurricane Maria. The trail is a mix of steep climbs with some flat areas. The tree cover that was once there before Hurricane Maria is slowly coming back. The lushness of the forests is returning but still the visibility of the damages sustained by the mountains forests is there to be seen.
Be prepared for a challenging and enjoyable hike up Morne Anglais.