BRISE FER MOUNTAIN: Can you hike half of Black River National Park in one day?

In short, YES. The actual question should be if you want to be able to move your legs the next day.

Last Sunday took us (once again) to the Black River National Park. Even though I already did several hikes there, the park always seems to have another trail up its sleeve.

We had big goals for this day. We estimated our hike to be around 14 km and take around 5 hours. We would climb a mountain, get down in a valley, get up a mountain again and so forth.

 

Brise Fer Mountain:

First up was Brise Fer Mountain. It is the most northern peak in the National Park and offers a stunning view on Tamarin, Black River, Le Morne and Flic en Flac. To get there, we parked at the visitor center parking lot and went back the Les Gorges Road for about 300m. At the dried remains of a stream we turned right and into the forest. The trail led us right up Brise Fer Mountain. No signs mark this trail, only a couple of color markings here and there. With an ascent of around 600m within 2.5 km hiking, this part of the trail gets very steep and technical at points. Nevertheless, some hero managed to carry an aluminum ladder up to ca. 2/3 of the way. For us that was really helpful, because the part where he mounted it otherwise would have asked for some serious climbing skills.

Up at the peak we were happy to have finished the most challenging part of the day and stopped for a small breakfast (picture on top).

 

Mare aux Joncs:

The next part of the hike was way easier than the first. We followed the ridge of Birse Fer to the east in the direction of the Mare Longue Reservoir. Here the trail was rather flat in comparison to our first ascent. Along the way we found many wild bow tracks and even ran into two Pink-Pigeons. This bird was a really special sighting, because the species only exists in Mauritius and was nearly extinct in the early 90s. Luckily the species managed to grow back from only 10 individuals. However, it is still extremely rare.  

Next up was Mare aux Joncs. I had visited the waterfall already. This time however we approached it from the top and had an awesome view into the valley.

 

 

The Kiosk:

By now we had reached an area with several valleys. We faced steep ascends and slippery descents with a lot of mud. Because I was wearing sneakers with literally to profile what so ever, I was perfectly prepared for this situation…

As we were about 10km into our hike, this part was especially challenging. With heavy legs we managed to get out of the valleys and follow a ridge to the kiosk. Again we had a stunning view. The national park spread before us, Brise Fer Mountain was surprisingly far away and the mountain ridge we had used before looked way smoother than it had looked when we were walking there.  

From here it was only downwards for the next 3 km and back to the car.

With the legs in pain and a big smile on the face we got into the car and back home for a shower.

 

Well, this was it from me! My six months internship at Solis Indian Ocean are over and I am off to new adventures. A big thanks to Solis and the people who followed my articles for the last half year. I hope you had some fun while reading my stories about Mauritius!

Cheers!

@ Michael S.