Falls of Baleine temporarily closed
February 4, 2005
Falls of Baleine temporarily closed

The Falls of Baleine, one of this country’s most beautiful sites, has been temporarily closed to visitors.. The spectacular waterfalls, located seven and a half miles north of Richmond Beache and which can only be reached by boat, has been closed for safety and security measures. {{more}}

This came after officials from the Ministry of Tourism and Culture and the North Leeward Tourism Association visited the site on Tuesday January 18, to assess the situation.

The site was extensively damaged after heavy rains in November with the path to the waterfalls completely covered with huge boulders. Any access now would therefore mean a climb over the newly created barrier to get to the falls. The 18-foot bridge which was once used by persons to jump into the pool has now been completely filled with silt.

But all is not lost. In fact, chairperson of the North Leeward Tourism Association Clem Derrick said that, “Although the site has been significantly transformed, it is not all bad as the river bed is now more beautiful.”

Derrick said there are ongoing consultations in the North Leeward Community concerning modifications to be made in an effort to get the path repaired.

Meanwhile Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and Culture Andreas Wickham said the ministry had contacted a Vincentian born volcanologist, Dr. Richard Robertson, at the Seismic Unit of the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus to do a study of the site.

Wickham said that according to the volcanologist’s report “there will be continuous landslides but the land would be stabilized overtime.”

He further said the major concern of the Ministry of Tourism is the continuous rock falls, though he believes that it will be stabilized. He said the ministry is monitoring the site on a weekly basis because they “understand the importance of the Falls of Baleine to the tourism industry.”

The Permanent Secretary stated that the Ministry of Tourism has issued bulletins that the site is temporarily unsafe and he has appealed to tour operators to desist from visiting the site since they can endanger the lives of the people they take there.

Wickham stressed that there are alternatives to the Falls of Baleine and “persons must not see Baleine as the only fall that exists.” He pointed out the Dark View Falls, the Trinity Falls and the Richmond Beache are all beautiful sites located in North Leeward which can be visited by the public.