“A trail carved into the cliffs of Mafate with exceptional views, waterfalls, exposure, river crossings, and more.”
— Karl W
River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Commonly Backpacked
A small parking area is available on the forest road that climbs up the ramparts from Grand Ilet to Col des Boeufs. The first section of the trail is the steepest, is likely to be wet, and has limited views. Thus the beginning is a bit of a slog, but the rest of the route is rewarding enough to be worth it.
The descent will bring you to Bras Bemale, a decent-sized creek/river that has a few small waterfalls for your enjoyment. You'll cross over this river multiple times as you follow the white-blazed trail. Keep an eye on the blazes at each crossing, as the trail can be temporarily lost among the boulders you'll have to jump between to stay dry. Eventually, you'll gain a bit of elevation and pull away from the river. You won't see it again.
From here on, the trail will follow the steep cliffside, and is actually cut into the cliff in areas. Some parts have boardwalks tacked onto the cliff where the trail is not wide enough. This whole section of trail has a lot of exposure to the steep cliff, can be wet because it will be in the shade of the cliff most of the way, and offers exceptional clear views of the Bras Bemale gorge and over Mafate. The downside is that a water pipe follows the trail. The pipe is a little unsightly, and (as of 2018) leaked in quite a few places. If you're uncomfortable with heights, this trail isn't for you. The trail ends in Aurere just northeast of the GRR2
and GRR3 Tour du Cirque de Mafate