The Quill

Overview

Introduction

On the southern end of St. Eustatius is the Quill, an 1,800-ft/550-m dormant volcano that has fine hiking trails. (The Dutch settlers called it Kuil, meaning pit or hole.) The 45-minute walk to the top is worthwhile—the lush rain forest in the crater is a delightful environment of mahogany trees, lianas, orchids, ferns, iguanas and rare hummingbirds. (At night, the locals catch large land crabs in the crater to make stuffed crab, a favorite island dish.) Start a hike early, when it's cooler and the birds are most active. Take along plenty of water.

Do not miss the white wall, an impressive geological wonder composed of solid limestone, pushed out of the sea by volcanic forces and now visible from many miles/kilometers at sea. Look for it, too, when visiting Fort de Windt.

The Miriam C. Schmidt Botanical Gardens are located on the southeastern side of the island near the Quill. There you'll find picnic and barbecue areas, a bee yard, an orchid garden and a system of marked walking trails that meander across the 14-acre/6-hectare site. http://www.statiapark.org/parks/garden/miriamcschmidt.html.

The STENAPA organization has cleared a beautiful pathway to Boven, the highest point on the north side of the island. This hike is strenuous and steep at times, but we think it's worth the effort for the remarkable view. http://www.statiapark.org.

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