Weekend Escape: Falling Edge

November 02, 2018
Sade Gardner takes a dip in the clean, cool waters at Falling Edge Waterfalls in Bowden Hill, St Andrew.

Photos of a cascading waterfall in Bowden Hill have been circulating on social media in recent times so THE WEEKEND STAR team decided to make the trip to see if the destination is worth the fuss and hashtags.

Boy, were we in for a few surprises.

Getting to the attraction - Falling Edge Waterfalls - takes a lot of effort.

"Once you reach Hermitage Dam, it's about a 25-minute walk to the falls," Clive 'Grampson' Campbell said when we stopped in Airy Castle in west rural St Andrew to ask for directions.

It's a good thing I wore comfortable shoes.

"It's nice up there; you're gonna love it," Campbell told THE WEEKEND STAR. "There are a lot of mosquitoes though."

Mosquitoes? I shrugged. I lived in Portmore, I got this. Well, so I thought.

It was a bumpy ride to Bowden Hill Primary and Infant School, so be sure to activate your four-wheel drive.

Mosquitoes awaited us when we arrived at the open space in front of the school, and birds and flowing water were the only sounds that permeated the air.

Oh, by the way, be sure to make a restroom stop at Stony Hill Square as there are no sanitary conveniences. And if you are thinking of sending a dope Snap, be advised that you might not have any signal on your phone.

The 25-minute trek to Falling Edge Waterfalls is along a narrow path. The trees seemed to sandwich us and we walked cautiously on the muddy, sometimes slippery, steep slope until we encountered a low, makeshift bamboo bridge five minutes into the adventure.

I felt like a paranoid, thirsty survivor from a plane that crashed in the woods. But after about 30 minutes of walking, there it was, a heavenly stream of water protruding before a thirst-deprived adventurer - no, I didn't drink it.

Falling Edge Waterfalls is no established attraction; there are no vendors, no restrooms. It is actually a small space. Nonetheless, it was indeed worth the trod and I had all that chilly water to myself.

"People usually come pon Sunday or holiday time," resident Richard Robinson told THE WEEKEND STAR.

I questioned resident Donovan Denie about monetising the spot. Think about it: the open space in front of the school could host a food stand, a restroom, a convenience shop with water, repellent spray, snacks, swimsuits, comfortable shoes, etc; even a tour guide.

"People in the community nuh recognise weh we have. Me know weh we have, but me too old," Denie said. "One time 100 people came here and we tried to cater to them by playing likkle music, a mostly yellow-plate people come up here. It need fi fix up but the younger youths nah think so far."

***RATING: 2.5/5

*** ESSENTIALS: Repellent spray, water, wipes, hiking footwear

*** BEST THING: Falling Edge is tucked away in an intimate, remote environment

*** WORST THING: No phone signal nor amenities

***LOCATION: Falling Edge Waterfalls is nestled in the centre of the Bowden Hill community in Stony Hill. You can drive to the Bowden Hill Primary and Infant School, situated at a dead end next to the Hermitage Dam. A rough half-hour walk awaits you thereafter.

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