Moon Author's Review
The centerpiece of the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park, Blue Mountain Peak can be reached by a variety of means depending on the level of exhaustion you are willing to endure. Generally, people leave from Whitfield Hall at Penlyne, St. Thomas, after having arrived there by four-wheel-drive vehicle. For ambitious hikers, however, there’s also a 4.5-kilometer trail from Mavis Bank to Penlyne Castle, which is pleasant and covers several farms and streams. This option also obviates the need to send for a four-wheel-drive vehicle. From Penlyne Castle, you follow the road to Abbey Green (3.2 km), and then from there to Portland Gap (3.7 km). At Portland Gap there is a ranger station, sometimes unmanned, with bunks, toilets, showers, and campsites. These facilities can be used for US$5 by contacting the JCDT, which asks that visitors register at the ranger station. From Portland Gap to the peak is the most arduous leg, covering 5.6 kilometers. Warm clothes, light rain gear, and comfortable, supportive footwear are recommended.
Blue Mountain Peak is a mildly challenging four-hour hike from Whitfield Hall, a rustic farmhouse with a great fireplace.
From Portland Gap westward along the Blue Mountain range there are several other important peaks along the ridge, which are hiked to a far lesser extent. These include Sir John’s Peak, John Crow Peak, and Catherine’s Peak. Get your hands on a copy of Guide to the Blue and John Crow Mountains by Margaret Hodges; it has the most thorough coverage of hiking trails throughout the national park. Otherwise locals are the best resource.