Grand Etang National Park and Forest Reserve (Grenada)

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Grand Etang National Park and Forest Reserve (Grenada)

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Grenada's oldest and most extensive protected area is the Grand Etang National Park and Forest Reserve. It boasts diverse elevations and terrain that house numerous ecological subsystems. Notably, the Forest Reserve's Grand Etang Lake serves as its centerpiece.

Grand Etang National Park and Forest Reserve

Grand Etang National Park and Forest Reserve is Grenada's oldest and largest protected area. Occupying a large portion of central Grenada Island, the Forest Reserve teems with exotic wildlife, and it is here that you'll find four of Grenada's tallest peaks.

The 1,250-ha (3,088-acre) Forest Reserve was established in 1906. Its varied elevation and terrain maintain several different ecological subsystems, culminating in elfin woodlands (stunted forest) high on the slopes of the Reserve's central mountains.

The Reserve teems with exotic wildlife, including frogs, lizards and iguanas, and mammals such as opossums, armadillos, mongooses and the Mona monkey.

The broad-winged hawk (known here as the gree-gree), Lesser Antillean swift, Antillean euphonia, purple-throated Carib, Antillean crested hummingbird (known as the Doctor Bird) and the Lesser Antillean tanager (known as the soursop) are all familiar sights.

Grand Etang is the most popular inland attraction on the island, visited by tens of thousands of people annually. Unfortunately, the Reserve suffered great devastation from Hurricanes Ivan and Emily in 2004 and 2005, respectively.

Grand Etang Lake

Grand Etang Lake is the focal point of the Forest Reserve. The 14.5-ha (36-acre) lake fills the crater of one of the island's extinct volcanoes, standing at 530 m (1,740 ft).

Evidence suggests the lake is connected to Kick 'em Jenny, an active submarine volcano to the north. This is because when Kick Em Jenny was observed bubbling, so were the waters in Grand Etang Lake.

The rainforest around the lake holds a rich diversity of flora, including towering mahogany and giant gommier (Dacryodes excelsa) trees and many ferns, tropical flowers, rare orchids, and other indigenous plants.