Mastic Trail gets walkway

For those who have ever started down the Frank Sound end of the Mastic Trail and found themselves knee deep in water and mud on the waterlogged path, a new, drier way of trickier parts of the nature trail is being built.

The National Trust, which manages the trail, with cooperation from the Department of Tourism, is building a wooden plank walkway, stretching about 300 feet near the start of the low-lying southern end of the trail which can be difficult to traverse after rainy weather.

Frank Balderamos, general manager of the National Trust, explained that work on the walkway began in December and was expected to be completed this week.

“For a good portion of the year, the south end of the trail is flooded and people don’t feel like crossing through knee-deep water for about half a mile. It’s unusable,” he said.

Mr. Balderamos said that, with promotion by the Department of Tourism, the trail had become a “huge tourist attraction, both with guided tours and tourists who go out there on their own”.

The month-long project was done by a private contractor and cost about $20,000, he said.

The National Trust general manager said about another 300 feet of walkway was planned for the trail because “there are some stretches that may still become flooded”.

The two-mile Mastic Trail runs through the Mastic Reserve – 754 acres of sub-tropical, semi-deciduous dry forest.

The trail was restored from was an old footpath, which was first used at least 100 years, in 1994 and Governor Michael Gore officially opened the Mastic Trail in April 1995.

The trail passes through Black Mangrove wetland, stands of Royal Palms and Silver Thatch Palms, abandoned agricultural land and ancient dry forest and enables walkers to get a glimpse of several of Cayman’s animals, including lizards, parrots, non-poisonous snakes, frogs and butterflies.

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The new wooden walkway at the often flooded southern end of the Mastic Trail.
PHOTO: KRISTI FEIERSTEIN
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