A short guide to Trou de Fer – How to get there, which route to take and everything you should know before going.
12th of October, 2017 21°02'37.7"S 55°33'30.8"E
THE BEAUTIFUL SIGHT OF TROU DE FER
Definitely worth seeing, Le Trou de fer (“Iron hole’’) is a 300 meters deep gorge created by the volcano “Piton des Neiges” on la Réunion. Several waterways such as “Bras de Caverne” and “la Ravine Mazerin’’ dive into the gorge creating a waterfall of about 225 meters. Further down, the “Bras de Caverne” flows into the “Rivière du Mât’’and finally in the Cirque of Salazie. Often called the Niagara Falls of Reunion Island – its breathtaking scenery can be best enjoyed with a helicopter tour. If you are looking for something more economic there are two ways to experience this natural spectacle – either hiking or canyoning. For something thrilling and sporty we definitely recommend canyoning to get as close as possible and to feel the power of this place. And for something more relaxed but as impressive you can enjoy a beautiful hike through the unique nature of Reunion Island to reach one of the different viewpoints.
HOW TO GET THERE STARTING AT THE ‘GITE DE BELOUVE’
The hike starts at the end of the route of Bélouve, at the parking of the gite. Go in direction of the gite where you have the option to enjoy a splendid view on the Cirque of Salazie from a panoramic viewpoint. Turn back and follow the indicated path to Trou de Fer. This easy hike embarks you into the lush and primal forest of Bélouve where you will discover the endemic flora of Reunion Island such as arborescent fern (Fanjans) and different sorts of lichens. The winding path through the forest is made of wooden stairs, roots, rocks, wooden boards,grass but this is generally an easy trek that everyone can do.
Very quickly you will reach the path of Fleurs Jaunes surrounded by a majestic forest of Tamarin trees, where you can find a side path which leaves the normal route and guides you to la Reine des Tamarins (“The Queen of Tamarins”) a 300 years old tree laying down uprooted in the green nature. Take the same way back and keep following the previous way to Trou de Fer in direction of viewpoint. Be aware that this hike can be very muddy and therefore slippery and very hard to access (especially with kids) depending on the previous weather conditions. We recommend to check the weather forecast before going or call the gite of Bélouve for advice.
When reaching the junction with the path of L’Ecole Normale, turn left and go down the wooden stairs to finally reach the panoramic viewpoint – a huge wooden platform. If you are lucky enough you will be able to admire this impressive gorge without any clouds. People arriving just 5 minutes after us couldn’t see anything as a large smoke screen covered the beautiful view in an instant. At the viewpoint – take a break and the time to relax. Observe and feel the atmosphere of this unique scenery. Apart from the stunning waterfall dropping in the gorge we loved even more the nature surrounding us – the majestic green environment which constantly moves with the warbling of birds, the rays of light trying to make its way through the imposing roots covered by moss.
To go back take the same way until the junction of the path of L’Ecole Normale and turn left until la Grande Mare (big pond) where you have the option to go around the pond or keep going until you reach the path of Trou de Fer. This way is essentially made of wooden boards and very easy. Keep going until you find the direct way back to the gite or take the path of L’Ecole Normale. This path leads you through l’allee Cavaliere before reaching back the main road – an alternative which takes longer but might be a good option with kids as the way is rather flat and not muddy.
Difficulty : Easy ( good for families with kids)
Distance: 10 kilometers
Time: 2-3 hours to do the loop
Altitude: 1500 meters
Can be very muddy and slippery after rain
Start early in the morning to avoid clouds
Do not leave any valuable belongings in the car
Always bring a rain jacket as the weather can quickly change
There are few bins available bring something to collect your rubbish
HOW TO GET THERE
Via la Plaine des Palmistes – follow the Route Forestière 2 de Bébour-Bélouve.