The beautiful Mt Tabor is the name of the mountain top behind the Mt St Benedict Church. This hike is one of the most scenic in Trinidad with views of the East-West Corridor and all the way south to the San Fernando Hill on the way up and a view of the St Joseph Valley when you reach to the mountain top. It is a challenging hike as you are heading uphill, continuously, but at the end of day it is a really good workout and is one of my favorite hikes on the East-West Corridor ❤
The Abbey of Mt. St Benedict, also known as the Abbey of Our Lady of Exile is the home to monks of the Benedictine order. It was built during the period of 1912 – 1918 and contains a guest house, church, kitchen and living quarters for the monks. Today it also has a drug rehabilitation centre, cafeteria which sells the very popular PAX Yogurt, a seminary, a retreat house and a Catholic bookshop. Check out this 1918 article 😮 about Mt St Benedict from the Trinidad Guardian.
Mt Tabor is located at the hilltop behind Mt. St Benedict. It is all a part of the monastery grounds. On Saturday 1st February 2020, the Hikers United Crew ventured to the top of Mt Tabor. Our hike began at the car-park of the Mt St Benedict church. Before we even started walking we were lead in a warm up session by our Captain Khallid to get us ready for the challenging hike ahead…
After the warm up session, we proceeded on our journey to the top. As we neared the fire tower (about 1/3 of the way up) we began to hear someone shouting out ‘Thank You God.” It was only when we arrived at the fire tower and climbed it did we realized that there was a guy who ‘lives’ there now 😦 I don’t know how long he had been staying there, but I guess, it must be something special to wake up to that view every day. I don’t know if I could stay there and sleep though , the fire tower shakes when the breeze blows hard and also what if you roll when you sleep and find yourself by the stairs. Too many variables to make for an uncomfortable rest, in my mind 😐
After climbing the fire tower and talking to its newest resident, we decided to continue on our way to the top. Now, if you are using this trail for exercise, you could really try and ascend as quickly as you can, it will be a great workout and you will feel it in your legs especially your calves 😉 However, we were not only doing this hike for exercise, but also to enjoy the view so we stopped from time to time to take pictures, drink some water and enjoy the sweeping views of the Caroni Plains and the East-West Corridor. We even had a seat at this random bench that you meet when you are about 3/4 way to the top.
In total, the accent to the top of Mt Tabor took us about 50 mins because we took a long break at the Fire Tower and also we stopped a few times on our way up for water breaks. In all we hiked about 1.5 km with an elevation gain for 248m From the top we were able to enjoy the views of the St Joseph Valley.
On our way back we decided to take a different route. Now of course, you are free to go back down to the start of the hike the same way you came. But, we wanted to try the Bird Watchers Loop. This route is a little bit longer (walking distance of 4.4 km) than if you headed straight back down the side of the mountain, but it was much cooler and a much more gradual descent. My only complaint was that we did not see any birds on the bird watchers loop 🙄
One interesting part of the trail was the random bridge in the middle of nowhere. All of sudden, while we were walking, we came across this long concrete bridge……..the first questions that came to mind were ….Is this safe? How far down is that drop? How long has this bridge been here? Who built this and how? Wow, this is quite amazing ❗
The bird watcher’s loop ends by A statute of the Virgin Mary. I could only imagine the number of persons who have prayed before this shrine in the serene peace of this beautiful place 🙂
This hike is perfect as a fitness workout. Once you have been to the top once, it is quite easy to find it and follow it. I personally love this hike because i find it a fantastic workout….you really feel it on your legs and also I enjoy the views.
Thank you for reading this post. Next time you are looking for a hike to do in North Trinidad, be sure to check out Mt Tabor 🙂