Reach Falls is located in the John Crow Mountain Range of Manchioneal, the most easterly town in Portland, and is managed by the Urban Development Corporation (UDC). It’s a family-friendly venue inclusive of a small food station headed by a jerk pan, and an eating area with an arced bench centre piece shadowing a large tree. Rentals of river shoes, towels, additional chairs and tables are available at the front office along with First Aid support.
In the past few years, this attraction has been elevated on the radar of locals and tourists alike, and with good reason. The picturesque waterfall situated in the Montane Forest has multiple streams of water cascading down a sizeable rock face into a clear, turquoise pool below. On most days, the water is so clear, if you take a moment to really look, you’ll notice small fish camouflaged with the stones swimming at your feet!
This scene is enough to spark the interest of someone on the lookout for a peaceful nature outing, and has acted as the main attraction of the site. A majority of patrons only spend their time at the base of the large rock, a few others will use the stairway exit to stand at the very top of it and even jump off, but what many don’t know is there’s a lot more to see upstream! Go even further to discover the true beauty of the Driver’s River that feeds the waterfall…
Jacuzzi of Love
A natural heart-shaped jacuzzi lies just a few metres beyond the rock’s peak. The water rushing through the channel offers a soothing body massage to complement a perfect frame for couples looking for the ultimate photo op!
Waltz even further to find a series of turquoise swimming pools of varying depths. The sun beams peeking through the forest canopies will shine a soft spotlight on your river stone seat and private natural tub. The peace of the space and scenic surroundings create the perfect nature chill. You may even get a complementary pedicure surprise from a crayfish, or what most Jamaicans refer to shrimps/’swims’.
But wait, there’s more! You’ll find a number of mini waterfalls along the trail upstream. Many of them are mostly scenic and too small to sit under, but when you find a space to sit and enjoy, do just that!
Have you seen the viral video of a female jumping into what proved to be a hole completed obscured by rushing water? The site that facilitated this disappearing act is known as the Rabbit Hole, and I found it! The river’s flow wasn’t as heavy at the time of my visit when compared to that of the video, so the leap of faith wasn’t as intimidating as expected. From above, all you can see is a small area where water cascades into a pool beneath you. Jump about 6 feet into this underground pool to reveal an entire cave surrounding!
The cave pools in the Rabbit Hole are mostly deep, but there are a fair number of large rocks you could easily swim and grab on to while admiring the combination of aquamarine water, shimmering sunlight, and golden-brown caverns. Get a glimpse of the outer world through various peepholes as you swim and do a couple more leaps to navigate your way out.
Did you know there is also a cave within the popular main waterfall? Find the opening at the side and take a step in. It’s not as large as the underground caves, and won’t provide you with nearly as much swimming room, but it’s definitely worth seeing!
What do you think, a trip to Reach Falls [and beyond] added to your list?
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