7 Wonders – Heart Shaped Waterfall – A romantic natural wonder
The Island has spoken and Heart Shaped waterfall remains one of St Helena’s most alluring 7 Wonders. Standing 90 metres from ground level this heart shaped cliff face is divided by a seasonal cascade -an aptly named romantic natural wonder.
Although having carved the way of the Historic town, the waterfall is hidden from town view. It is only as you as you drive the altitudes of Side Path road that you catch the first glimpses, often accompanied by a rainbow or two where the mist catches the sunlight.
The fall looks particularly spectacular at this time of year, with the winter rains feeding into the vigorous flow. When the early explorers landed in 1502 this would have been one of the first landmarks they discovered. Virtually unchanged since discovery, we share the same view of the fall today as Darwin, Halley, Maskelyne, Cook, Wellesley and Bonaparte.
The Waterfall sits to the rear of the Briars, famously known for the Pavilion where Napoleon spent his first months in exile. The land was formerly included in part of the French properties dating back to the 18th century, and was transferred to the St Helena National Trust by the French Counsel in 2007.
In the few years that followed the Trust took to restoring the pathway to the fall. This initiative made access easier and more popular. The trek was earmarked one of the 21 post box walks shortly after it’s made over debut.
Today many feet have journeyed the route to the Heart shaped fall. From the starting point at Barnes road, the steady decline of steps will lead you on to the narrow pathway which meanders a kilometre through woodland. The power of the fall can be heard as you progressively near it, but the tree canopy acts like a blindfold until you are directly at its foot.
At the base a small plunge pool is found, boarded by lush green plants, and to the side a wooden platform. The platform provides a welcome photo and picnic spot and is almost a respite reward for the 45 minute incline on this moderately rated 3/10 effort walk.
Experiencing the majesty of the fall up close moment to savour and worth every effort. A visit to St Helena is not complete with a quick stop here.