Kirigalpoththa Nature Trail – Horton Plains National Park

Kirigalpothatha is the second highest peak inSri Lankaafter Piduruthalagala. Trail to summit of Kirigalpoththa is arguably the best nature trail in Horton Plains. It is not too though (but not easy either) and will let you experience all aspects of the unique and fragile eco-system of Horton plains. The trail goes through areas of wet grass land, cloud forests and scrubs at the summit. A wide variety of beautiful wild flowers can also be seen during the hike.

As you cross the stream you will find a trail towards your left moving uphill and another moving towards your right.  Walk the trail towards your right which goes along the edge of the forest. As you enter this section of the trail, you will notice a dense forest on your left hand side and the grass land on the right side. You will also notice that most of the grass land is covered by patches of dwarf bamboo trees. The trail moves between the forest and the patches of dwarf bamboo. As you walk about 300m more, the trail gets sandwiched between the forest and the bamboo patch. It is very hard to walk through bamboo and therefore you will have to get more and closer to the forest. About 1km walk from the stream, you will reach a point where the trail moves in to a tunnel created by dwarf bamboo (waypoint: k10). After a somewhat difficult still very brief walk through the bamboo tunnel, trail will again follow a path between the forest and bamboo patches. One of the specialties you would notice in this part of the plain is the presence of number of natural springs which feed Belihul-Oya. Literally what you witness is the birth ofWalaweRiver. The grass land will also be full of all sorts of little wild flowers. Large, blue “Binara” flowers stand out from the rest. Around 3km from the trail head, you will notice a fairly large spring on your right side (waypoint: K11) and you would also notice that the trail moves more towards the plain leaving the forest edge. You will also notice that grass land intrudes in to the forest on your left. The trail goes straight, crossing this intrusion (waypoint: K12) and again reaching the forest edge on the other side. Around 600m from the natural spring (K11) the trail will make an almost 90 degree left turn in to the forest

Author: nethuliariyasena

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