Alcide islet

Walking/pedestrian at Saint-Paul

7.1 km
Ilet-Alcide-1.jpgLe parking obligatoire, la route forestière est fermée par une barrière
Ilet-Alcide-2.jpgLa route forestière que vous ferez à pied traverse une forêt de cryptomérias
Ilet-Alcide-3.jpgFin de la route forestière, le sentier débute après la table d'information installée par l'ONF
Ilet-Alcide-4.jpgFin de la route forestière, le sentier débute après la table d'information installée par l'ONF
Ilet-Alcide-5.jpgLe balisage mis au point par un agent ONF permet de vous orienter sur plusieurs sentiers. Ces informations sont bien décrites sur la table d'information
Ilet-Alcide-6.jpgAu départ, l'escalier vous fait entrer dans le sous-bois
Ilet-Alcide-7.jpgLe sentier
Ilet-Alcide-8.jpgLe sentier
Ilet-Alcide-9.jpgLa forêt de Tamarins des Hauts
Ilet-Alcide-10.jpgLa forêt de Tamarins des Hauts
Ilet-Alcide-11.jpgL'un des plus vieux Tamarins des Hauts, étonnament droit et âgé de plus de 400 ans
Ilet-Alcide-12.jpgL'un des plus vieux Tamarins des Hauts, étonnament droit et âgé de plus de 400 ans
Ilet-Alcide-13.jpgLe calumet est une variété de bambou endémique
Ilet-Alcide-14.jpgFougères et fougères arborescentes
Ilet-Alcide-15.jpgBifurcation vers le Maïdo
Ilet-Alcide-16.jpgLe point de vue "Les Terrasses"
Ilet-Alcide-17.jpgL'ilet Alcide
Ilet-Alcide-18.jpgL'ilet Alcide
Ilet-Alcide-20.jpgL'ilet Alcide
Ilet-Alcide-21.jpgL'ilet Alcide
  • You’ll find this trail on the estate of the biological reserve of Bois de Nèfles, which extends over 179 ha. The last vestiges of the native mountain forest of the Western Highlands, most of it has been cleared for growing geraniums or used for the production of timber. It shows what the vast massif that stretches from Sans-Souci to Tévelave used to be like, passing through Grand Bénare. Numerous trails cross the reserve, including the Alcide islet trail. Restored by the "Bois de Nèfles Découverte" association, this trail passes through undergrowth that’s full of biological treasures. It contains the endemic flora and fauna of Reunion Island. Now part of the Highlands National Park, it receives a little more attention. This islet, of which nothing now remains, bears the name of the man who lived in this area. The story of Vincent Clain Alcide is little known, but it is said that he left Mare à Martin in Cirque of Salazie to come and settle here in 1926. He cleared a few fields around the islet to grow geraniums and vetiver, but an agent from Waters and Forests saw this clearing from Dos d'Ane and began a lawsuit against this illegal occupation of the land. Vincent Clain Alcide was forced to leave the place in 1944 with his family. A few years later, one of the Omega antennas was to be installed in Reunion Island. Among the various projects, one of them involved stretching long steel cables between Alcide islet and Dos d'Âne, above the Rivière des Galets. The Omega trail was then marked out, and a helicopter area created near Alcide islet. A deep hole was dug at Alcide islet to check how solid the rock was. Fortunately, the ground was too friable, and finally the coast of Cambaie was chosen as the location for the Omega antenna, 427 metres high and weighing 800 tons, which would be disassembled in 1999.
    Start this walk very early in the morning to enjoy the beautiful sunshine, and first head for Les Terrasses to enjoy an incredible view of the Rivière des Galets and the north of Mafate. Follow the 'green-blue-yellow' markers, then 'green-yellow' so you don’t get lost. With easy access, this family walk offers a real change of scenery. Here, you’ll find papangues and paradise flycatchers, 100-year-old calumets and tamarinds, including one of the oldest tamarinds, that of Bois de Nèfles. More than 19 metres tall, it has withstood every cyclone for more than 400 years.
  • Difference in height
    398.24 m
  • Documentation
    GPX / KML files allow you to export the trail of your hike to your GPS (or other navigation tool)
How to reach the start
Head for the highlands of Saint-Paul very early and pass the villages of Plateau Caillou and Fleurimont. Then pass the villages of Guillaume and Petite France. After the village of Petite France, pass the restaurants of "Chez Doudou" and "Bazou", then take the road on the left at the junction towards "Ilet Alcide". The old dirt road has been paved to make a fine forest road that you take to the car park at the end.
0,3 km : Ilet-Alcide 0,4 km : Ilet-Alcide 0,5 km : Ilet-Alcide 0,6 km : Ilet-Alcide 0,8 km : Ilet-Alcide 1,1 km : Ilet-Alcide 1,4 km : Ilet-Alcide 1,7 km : Ilet-Alcide 1,8 km : Ilet-Alcide 1,9 km : Ilet-Alcide 2,0 km : Ilet-Alcide 2,3 km : Ilet-Alcide 2,4 km : Ilet-Alcide 2,7 km : Ilet-Alcide 2,8 km : Ilet-Alcide 3,2 km : Ilet-Alcide 3,7 km : Ilet-Alcide 3,7 km : Ilet-Alcide
0 km: Continue on foot after the barrier. The dirt trail passes through the forest of cryptomerias.

0.3 km: At the orientation table, continue along the path that immediately plunges into the undergrowth.

1.0 km: Pass junction 1, and continue straight ahead.

1.2 km: Cross a succession of small ravines, then begin a climb that’s longer and steeper than those encountered so far.

1.6 km: Reach an area of 100-year-old tamarinds. Their weak roots expose them to the onslaught of cyclones which, at best, twist them over and, at worst, lay them flat on the ground.

1.9 km: Here is the tamarind of Bois de Nèfles, immense and quite straight. Unlike all the others, it has withstood every cyclone for more than 400 years.

2.1 km: You have reached junction 1, where you go straight on.

2.3 km: This time, an old tamarind more than a hundred years old has been lying along the trail for a very long time, and it has continued to grow as well, like all tamarinds blown down.

2.8 km: You arrive at junction 2, and take the right-hand path to reach Les Terrasses as early as possible.

3.0 km: Continue straight on down at junction 3, as the path up to the right leads to the Grand Bord trail leading to Piton Maïdo.

3.2 km: You soon arrive at Les Terrasses and the weather is fantastic. You have an unobstructed view of the entrance to Mafate by the Rivière des Galets to Gros Morne. Return to the path and continue to Alcide islet, which is not very far off.

3.7 km: You’ve reached Alcide islet. After visiting the site, continue on the trail that goes up behind the hut (the hut is made of a bamboo or wooden frame, covered with vetiver and vacoa, and has been the main dwelling here for a long time).

4.0 km: You arrive at Piton Papangue, then at junction 2 a hundred metres further on. Then return to the car park by the path taken on the way out.

6.8 km: You’re back at the car park.
398 meters of difference in height
  • Start altitude : 1333 m
  • End altitude : 1333 m
  • Maximum altitude : 1557 m
  • Minimum altitude : 1332 m
  • Total positive elevation : 398 m
  • Total negative elevation : -398 m
  • Max positive elevation : 196 m
  • Min positive elevation : -196 m