Parks Authority Improving Trails Around World Heritage Site


The National Parks Authority (NPA) has initiated a major project that will bring significant improvements to the network of trails that wind their way through the ruins that constitute Antigua’s only World Heritage Site.

The project will have a special appeal for history buffs, nature lovers, fitness and wellness enthusiasts, and the general population who stand to gain a better understanding of the National Park and all of its exciting features that bring thousands on visits every year.

One of the key components is the development and erection of modern interpretation signs along the trails. These will help to leave visitors with an experience that will stimulate their imaginations about Antigua and Barbuda’s history and heritage. At the very same time, they will showcase the many beautiful environmental attractions that are to be found in the park.

Another crucial underpinning of the project is to ensure the continuation of research into the military encampments, some still undiscovered, and the contributions of enslaved and freed African labourers, pioneers and soldiers who built the Shirley Heights complex.

In this connection, members of the NPA’s Heritage Department are already well advanced in creating a new easy and accessible trail that links Shirley Heights with Blockhouse, two of the most scenic spots that are to be found anywhere in the Caribbean.

“We are extremely excited about this project. Beyond improving the visitor experience, it will fulfil a core mission of the national park in educating our people about our history and our heritage so generations to come can be better served by our past sacrifices,” stated Parks Commissioner, Mrs. Ann Marie Martin.

The National Parks Authority will endeavour to ensure that all stakeholders are consulted at various stages of the project as the trails are traversed by many tour groups and nature hikers regularly.

Crucial as well is the protection of the archaeological features of the park, some of which have been lost to indiscriminate acts of vandalism.

If not for just its beauty, the NPA is of the view that our World Heritage Site should be preserved at all costs for the enjoyment and learning for all who travel from near and far in search of its incredible attributes.

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