Hiking in Antigua
Carpenter Rock Trail.
Start on Galleon Beach, the southernmost end leads you on to the Carpenter Rock Trail. The path is well defined and leads up to Fort Charlotte, a one time fortification overlooking the entrance to English Harbour, now a ruin. The half moon shaped battlement was built at the same time as the Shirley Heights military complex at the top of the hill above. It is used by the race committee as the starting line for several annual yacht races.
Make your way up onto the wall and continue along the coastal path. Take care as there is no protection between you and the cliff edge. Once the path begins to descend and you negotiate a couple of large boulders you will find the mermaids pool, nestled into a rocky ledge. (The mermaids are quite shy so it is unlikely you will meet one on your first visit). Stop and dip your toes before continuing on.
Make your way back to the main path behind the ledge and here you can either take a shortish shaded path back to Galleon Beach or continue up. It is steep, but the views out to sea are spectacular. The total distance of the trail is about 1.5 miles. The trail ends on the main road to Shirley Heights, just opposite the Jones Valley Trail.
Walk down the road a few hundred metres and turn right. This will lead you to the Blockhouse where, along with more stunning vistas, there are the remains of officers quarters and a powder magazine.
Dont forget: Sensible shoes, water, hat and sunscreen.
The Reef. Beach restaurant for lunch, belonging to the Inn at English Harbour.
Shirley Heights Lookout, at the top of the hill has a bar and restaurant.
Re-starting December 2020 is the Rum in the Ruins tour. See Antigua Naval Dockyard FaceBook page for details.
One of the five trails in the National Park area of English Harbour, The Carpenter Rock trail leads to some stunning rock formations.