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Gorda Peak National Park

Gorda Peak National Park

Gorda Peak National Park
Virgin Gorda
(284) 494-2069
bvinpt@bvinationalparkstrust.org
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Description

Established in 1974    |     Area: 260 acres

The highest point on Virgin Gorda at 1,370 ft. Gorda Peak is located on the northwestern ridge, south of North Sound and north of Soldier Bay. Donated by Laurance Rockefeller in 1974, Gorda Peak is one of th elast remaining examples of Caribbean dry forest in the region, which makes it a high priority for conservation internationally.

Research conducted bt the National Parks Trust through the Darwin Initiative Programme revealed regionally restricted and endangered plant speciaes, including Calptranthese thomasiana and Zanthoxylum thomasiana, both of which are on the US Federal Endangered Species list.

The variety of vegetation types found within the Park varies with the elevation, from dry scrub forest to a moister forest at higher elevations. Many of the plants have adapted to these dry conditions and produce small waxy leaves that reduce evaporation, allowing them to retain as much water as possible. Gorda Peak is also home to the world's smallest lizard, the endemic Virgin Gorda gecko (Sphaerodactylus rarthenopion).

Following trails that lead to the lookout tower at the Peak, hikers are rewarded with a panoramic view of the BVI, particularly the popular anchorage at North Sound. On a clear day Anegada is visible on the horizon to the northeast. A pinic site is conveniently placed under a mango tree (Mangifera indica) at the junction of the east and west trails, attracting zebra butterflies and Antillean Crested Hummingbirds (Orthorhynus cristatus).