Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Hike to Matura River this Saturday


Hikers enjoying the trail.

Mark Fraser

 On Saturday, come join Caribbean Hiking Adventures as they visit The Matura River. 

The hike begins on an old farmer’s dirt road on undulating terrain through a pine forest. Hikers will encounter a soap hill, so named because of the collection of slippery smooth stones in the area. The journey begins down river through an accumulation of gorges until they arrive at Matura Basin better known as Mermaid Pools. Please walk with a lifejacket if you have one. 

In the forest lives the red-tailed squirrel, a tree squirrel in the genus Sciurus endemic to South America. It is found in Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela. It is thought that the long tail helps the squirrel to balance and steer when jumping from tree to tree and running along branches and may keep the animal warm during sleep. 

The coat of the red squirrel varies in colour with time of year and location. There are several different coat-colour morphs ranging from black to red. The red squirrel also has the ability to swim. The red squirrel is found in both coniferous forest and temperate broadleaf woodlands. The squirrel makes a dry (nest) out of twigs in a branch-fork, forming a domed structure about 25 to 30cm in diameter. This is lined with moss, leaves, grass and bark. Tree hollows and woodpecker holes are also used. 

The red squirrel is a solitary animal and is shy and reluctant to share food with others. The red squirrel eats mostly the seeds of trees, neatly stripping conifer cones to get at the seeds within fungi, nuts (especially hazelnuts but also beech and chestnuts), berries, young shoots, and bird eggs are occasionally eaten. The active period for the red squirrel is in the morning and in the late afternoon and evening. It often rests in its nest in the middle of the day, avoiding the heat and the high visibility to birds of prey that are dangers during these hours. 

Hikers are asked to assemble at the corner of Churchill-Roosevelt Highway and O’Meara Road, Arima for 7 a.m.

This hike are rated as moderate to moderately challenging with a duration- five-hour round trip. For further information please visit or Contact Richard at 788-8478.