Walk Distance: 2.5 km
Walk Duration: 1 hour (including toddling/playing time in the woods)
Map: Jersey Official Leisure Map
Suitable for: Baby carriers, older children and all the family. Toddlers will enjoy a walk in the woodland section but might need a lift for the uphill sections of the return route.
Walk features: Reservoir, woodland trails, rope-swing, streams and paddling opportunities, sea views on return walk along designated Green Lanes, car park.
St. Catherine’s Wood, located near St. Catherine’s Bay in the north east of Jersey is a great spot for families to while away some outdoor adventure time. This walk completes a full circular route, returning along some of Jersey’s designated Green Lanes. The second section of the walk does involve some uphill climbs and would not be suitable for very little legs but the first section through the woods is an easy toddle for even the smallest of walkers in dry weather. It can be walked as a there and back again walk, with plenty of streams to splash in, sticks to poke, wildlife and other interest for little walkers along the way. Due to the tree roots and the path crossing the stream in places this is not a suitable walk for pushchair and the compacted earth track means the woods can get muddy after wet weather – wellies are recommended! St. Catherine’s Wood is a great spot for escaping the heat of a hot day and letting all the family run wild with the whole loop walk providing additional interest for the keen adult walkers too!
The walk starts from the public car park, located off La Rue du Moulin. It can be a little hard to find if you don’t know where you are going so please see the map and directions section below for more details.
Leave the car-park on the trail at the far end, passing an information board on the area and the multitude of wildlife to be found in St. Catherine’s Wood. It is possible to see some of Jersey ‘s red squirrels here so keep a lookout! The path passes a small reservoir on the right and continues into the woods beyond.
Children will enjoy jumping across the shallow stream on the stepping stones provided as the path weaves its way twice across the water. There are plenty of opportunities for a paddle or splash in the stream along the way and older kids should keep an eye out for the rope swings that have been hung from the trees in the woods. As far as I am aware they are not ‘official’ kit in the woods and have been put up by local residents so using them is at your own risk – best to make sure the rope is definitely fully present and attached to the tree before going to wild!
After the second set of stepping stones, continue along the path keeping the stream to your right. The path begins to climb a little before reaching a rocky outcrop. If you are walking with a toddler and only completing the ‘there and back again’ woodland wander, this is a good spot to turn and retrace your steps. Otherwise, follow the path as it scales the rocks to the left (don’t worry – it only involves a few steps up not full on scrambling) and rejoin the path beyond. The walk now leaves the shade of the main woods passing pasture land on the right.
Ignore the public footpath sign that leads steeply up through the trees to your left. Instead continue walking until the path splits. Take the left hand path, following a small stream on your right hand side. The path now begins to climb uphill steadily through the woods before eventually emerging in a field by a pumping station building.
Follow the track to the lane beyond and turn left along La Rue du Pavillon. At the next intersection turn left along Rue de Charrieres. The lane eventually opens out into farmland providing gorgeous rural views across out to the sea beyond before descending back down hill.
Just before reaching the bottom of the hill and as the road bends sharply round to the right, just before the large house, you will see a small track on the left hand side. Take this track for a direct route back to the public car park and walk starting point. Don’t worry if you miss it – just continue on the lane until it joins the main road. Turn left and walk along the road side for a few hundred meters, following it as it bends towards the left. Near the ducks crossing sign you will find a small lane to your left signposted ‘Access to St. Catherine’s Wood only’. Follow this lane, keeping to the left-hand uphill fork and this will return you to your starting point.
Map of Route:
There is a public car park at the entrance to St. Catherine’s Wood. The car park is located off the main road leading to St. Catherine’s Bay. If approaching from the west in the direction of the sea, the turning point is on your left off Le Mont de la Mare Ste. Catherine, just after the life boat station. The lane is marked ‘Access to St. Catherine’s Wood only’. If you reach the public car park on La Maison Slipway on your right on the main road you have gone too far.
Take the left hand fork immediately after turning off the main road, passing some houses on your left and the car park is just beyond.
There is a limited bus service via Route 2 to St. Catherine’s Wood from St. Helier, via Gorey. Please see the bus timetable for more details.
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