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Updated by Marti Gardner on May 27, 2016
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Best Nature Trails in Sri Lanka – Land of Many Splendours

Tropical Sri Lanka is blessed with diverse environs. You could be stalking through rough savannah, verdant rain forest or climbing misty mountains and trekking across freezing cold plains.


Trail to Sri Pada – Adams Rock via Deraniyagala Udamaliboda

This is a tough trail that demands a good level of fitness. You start at the Pandeniya River Crossing close to the sleepy hamlet of Dikelikanda in Udamaliboda. Sri Pada is a revered rock where the giant imprint of Lord Buddha's foot is believed to be preserved. The mountain sits at an elevation of 1,700 metres and requires a 7 to 8 hour climb. Sri Pada season is from December to April. It is best to take on the trail during the peak season as off season trails can be hazardous due to monsoon floods that lash this part of the country. The initial trail of 8kms will take you on an ascending path through thick jungle placed along the side of the Heenpiduruthalawa Mountain. The trail winds its way across waterways and some descending slopes as well as flat plateaus. The total length of the trail is 12kms and you start the trail at an elevation of 555 metres. Permits are required before embarking on the trail.


Sinhagala Nature Trail within the Sinharaja Forest

The Sinharaja Rain Forest is the largest in Sri Lanka. The Sinhagala meaning 'Lions Rock' is located within the exotic forest. According to legend a huge lion was supposed to have made his home on this rock which sits right in the middle of the forest affording you with views of diverse environs, stunning flora and an abundance of wildlife, in fact booking a Sinharaja eco lodge cocooned within the verdant borders of the forest is quite popular amongst visitors wanting to bask in the best of nature. Your trail is classified as strenuous and takes a duration of 5 to 7 hours. You start at the Kudawa Conservation Centre (KCC) from where a permit must be obtained before entering the protected forest. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988 the Sinharaja Forest is bordered by the Rainforest Ecolodge – Sinharaja on its south-western edge. It is also a UNESCO Bio-Sphere Reserve and Biodiversity hot spot; as such you can expect loads of rewards along the trail.


Bakers Falls, Mini Worlds End, Worlds End Circular Trail across Horton Plains

This is a moderate trail that can be taken on by anyone up for the challenge. Your trail starts from the Horton Plains visitors centre. Horton Plains located in the salubrious climes of Nuwara Eliya district is one of the most unique environs in Sri Lanka, The place is famous for its cloud forests, wide open plains and exotic wild life. Worlds End is an iconic attraction in the park as is Bakers Falls and the Mini Worlds End. The closest town is Nanu Oya; the trail length is 8kms and takes up to 4 to 5 hrs. The highest elevation is 2149 metres. You can reach the Horton Plains visitor centre in any vehicle; obtaining a permit is required. Best season to take on the trail is between February to April and July to September.