Photo by Aaron Cranford
By Aaron Cranford
Hell’s Gate, Saba — If you absolutely love to hike and are up for a challenge, then the Saba Heritage Trail is the one for you.
Not only is this three-hour hike arguably the most difficult on the island of Saba, but it is also the one I least recommend.
Difficulty: Strenuous (🐐🐐🐐🐐)
The trailhead sign in the English Quarter, a neighborhood of Windwardside, provides detailed information about the Saba Heritage Trail, which can also be referred to as Spring Bay Trail – Kelbey’s Ridge.
For our journey, Selma Neel and I started in Lower Hell’s Gate and hiked down from Kelbey’s Ridge to Spring Bay. We then climbed up next to Old Booby Hill and continued to scale the island until we reached the English Quarter.
What makes this trail so difficult is that there is no protection from the sun. We took approximately two liters of water, but I strongly recommend taking more and snacks. If you ever decide to attempt this hike, eat a hearty breakfast before your journey as well.
The rocky terrain also makes the trail difficult to deal with, as Selma and I continued to slip and slide on the rocks on the way down to Spring Bay and on the path up to civilization.
The waves at Spring Bay are high and strong, so I do not recommend swimming there. However, the roar of the rocks rolling back into the sea is memorizing, so stand there and enjoy it with a salty scent.
On the trail, we saw plenty of goats and one snake. Surprisingly, we also came across animal bones, including two goat skulls.
By the end of the three-hour hike, my legs were numb, and I was slightly dehydrated and out of breath. Since we were both exhausted, we decided to hitch a ride from the neighborhood to Upper Hell’s Gate.
Here are a few photos from the hike:
Would you hike this trail? Is a three-hour hike too long for you?
Share your thoughts below.Follow @akcranford