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17 Jun 2024
18 Jun 2024

Trekking the Trails

Discover a broad spectrum of biodiversity

In the company of a Tea Trails Naturalist or Experience Guide, walk or cycle (or both!) through our trails and explore the scenery of Sri Lanka's tea country.

A broad spectrum of biodiversity exists in hill country - especially ours - as the plantations are interspersed with forest patches that are home to a variety of biodiversity from endemic amphibians to birds and leopards.

The trails connect the various bungalows which are from 4km to 15km apart. Follow our Bungalow-to-Bungalow Trails or enjoy one of the many tea trails that surround each bungalow.

The collection of trails we present here can be self-guided or you might like to hike in the company of a Tea Trails Naturalist or Experience Guide for a deeper dive into the history of the valley and the biodiversity that exists in the hill country.

All of our trails can be accessed either on Wikiloc or AllTrails offering a seamless navigation experience for your outdoor adventures.

Trekking the Trails

Dunkeld Bungalow Trail | Ravana's Airport | 4 to 5 hours (there and back) | GUIDED

King Ravana is a central figure in the ancient Indian epic, the Ramayana. He is portrayed as a formidable demon king of Lanka who abducted Sita, the wife of Lord Rama. Ravana was a highly intelligent and powerful ruler with ten heads, symbolising his immense knowledge. Despite his villainous role in the epic, Ravana is also acknowledged for his devotion to Lord Shiva and his unparalleled musical talent. The story of Ravana serves as a timeless narrative exploring the triumph of good over evil. According to legend, King Ravana had six "airports" to land his flying machine, Dandu Monara (Peacock Flying Machine) in Sri Lanka. Today we hike to one of these locations, a giant slab of flat rock on the ridge-crest between the Maskeliya and the Bogawantalawa Valley. First we zig zag up the mountain to the ridge passing a small community of estate workers. We then saddle onto the other side of the valley which offers beautiful views of the Maskeliya Reservoir and Adam's Peak. Ravana's Airport is a place of contemplation and reverence stepped in mythology best visited in the early morning.
Trekking the Trails

Summerville Bungalow Trail | Easy Tea Fields and Community Loop | 1.5 hours

This 4.6km trail is one of two walks from Summerville Bungalow. Both similar distances and both offer breathtaking views of the reservoir below. While the other takes you to the abandoned tea factory, this one takes you to a quaint community where tea plantation workers live, beside their vibrant Kovil. This leisurely walk is perfect for early mornings or late afternoons, and you can effortlessly complete it in less than two hours.
Trekking the Trails

Summerville Bungalow Trail | Tea Factory Loop | 1.5 hours

This short walk takes you in a loop up and around the tea fields immediately behind Summerville Bungalow. It is one of two short loops we offer around the property, both easily done in under 2 hours. Take a left turn onto the main road as you leave Summerville and walk for a few hundred metres on the main road. Soon the GPS will prompt a hard right dog-leg as you leave the road and head up the mountain on a tea estate road. We zig-zag up the mountain and soon reach the abandoned Tea Factory which offers magnificent views of the valley and the reservoir below. The trail gracefully descends, providing a delightful morning or late afternoon stroll.
Trekking the Trails

Dunkeld Bungalow Trail | Gorthie Loop | 2 to 3 hours

A fairly easy morning or late afternoon stroll on the southern slopes of the Bogawantalawa Valley offering wonderful views of the lake and tea fields on the other side of the valley. Soon after we leave Dunkeld we're on the road we came on when we arrived at the property. We follow this estate road for approximately 2 km until we reach the main Norwood-Maskeliya road. After we walk 200 metres down this road, we take the left track down towards the Gorthie Bungalow and at the junction below turn right and walk back up to Dunkeld on a wide and scenic tea estate road.
Trekking the Trails

Dunkeld Bungalow Trail | Easy Tea Factory Loop | 1 hour

This is a short loop around the tea fields surrounding the bungalow. We walk down towards the Dunkel Tea Factory and then zig-zap back up. The entire walk is easily done in one hour or a little longer at a slower pace. This is the same route you will be taking when visiting the Dunkel Tea factory where our resident Tea Planter shows you what goes into creating the perfect cup of tea. The view over the lake are spectacular all along this short walk.
Trekking the Trails

Bungalow to Bungalow | Tientsin to Norwood (or vice-versa) | 4 to 5 hours (one way)

The trail from Tientsin Bungalow to Norwood Bungalow offers a picturesque journey through the Bogawantalawa Valley, presenting both natural beauty and glimpses of local communities. As the trail progresses, it gradually transitions into a series of zig-zags along the tea estate roads. Throughout the hike, there are several vantage points that afford breathtaking views down the valley. Additionally, the trail offers glimpses across the expanse of the Castlereagh reservoir, providing a serene backdrop to your adventure.
Trekking the Trails

Tientsin Bungalow Trail | Kew Gap View Point | 4 to 5 hours (there and back) | GUIDED

A challenging yet rewarding 5-kilometre hike from Tientsin Bungalow to the scenic Kew Gap. The trail winds uphill with a gentle gradient. Along the way, the journey is adorned with small local shrines, village homes and lots of verdant tea fields. We pass by The Kew Catholic Church and Kew Tea Factory. At the summit, a lovely panorama of the Maskeliya Valley unfolds crowned by the iconic silhouette of Adam's Peak.
Trekking the Trails

Tientsin Bungalow Trail | Kew Heritage Loop | 2 to 3 hours

The Kew Heritage Trail meanders gently up through the undulating landscape of tea plantations towards the small village of Kew with its iconic factory and prominent catholic church. The trail offers panoramic views of the Bogawantalawa Valley. The trail winds its way back to Tientsin through the tea gardens and a local village, allowing you to absorb the beauty of your surroundings once more.
Trekking the Trails

Norwood Bungalow Trail | Panoramic Maskeliya View Point | 2 to 3 hours (there and back)

A rewarding 2.5-kilometer trail from Norwood Bungalow up and over the ridge weaving through the heart of Norwood's tea estates. The trail leads to a hidden gem-a breathtaking viewpoint that offers panoramic vistas of the Maskeliya Valley. From this elevated perch, the landscape unfolds revealing the undulating hills and valleys below, with the iconic silhouette of Adam's Peak gracing the horizon.
Trekking the Trails

Bungalow to Bungalow | Norwood to Castlereagh and Dunkeld (or vice-versa) | 3 to 4 hours (one way)

An enchanting 8-kilometre hike from Castlereagh Bungalow to Norwood Bungalow. The trail unfolds along charming tea estate roads. The trail winds past Dunkeld Bungalow and Gorthie Bungalows, and two quaint villages. As you tread along the path, the Castlereagh Reservoir offers mesmerising reflections of the surrounding hills. The silhouette of Hatton Rock stands in the distance. The aroma of freshly plucked tea leaves fills the air as you approach the renowned Norwood Tea Factory.
Trekking the Trails

Castlereagh Bungalow Trail | Village and Field Tea Loop | 2 to 3 hours

A lovely early morning or late evening 6-kilometre loop around Castlereagh Bungalow. First, the village road winds through the heart of the community, passing a few shrines, temples, the local school, and a few local shops. As the path gracefully ascends, the landscape transforms into a quilt of lush tea fields. The trail saddles up, revealing panoramic views of the Castlereagh Reservoir where the shade of a few impressive trees offering respite as you meander back to Castlereagh Bungalow.
Trekking the Trails

Castlereagh Bungalow Trail | Easy Tea Factory Loop | 1 hour

A short and delightful 2.5-kilometer loop around the captivating tea fields enveloping Castlereagh Bungalow in Sri Lanka. First we meander gently along a village trail, leading you past the local cricket pitch, a local school and quaint houses. The trail then loops back up toward the Dunkeld Tea Factory, a testament to the region's tea-making heritage. The loop takes you back to Castlereagh on lovely tea estate roads offering panoramic views of the Castlereagh Reservoir below.
Trekking the Trails

Norwood Bungalow Trail | Easy Upper Norwood Division Tea Loop | 1 hour

This is a short and easy trail that meanders through the lust tea fields surrounding Norwood Bungalow. We exit the bungalow and follow a foot path that connects with the main 'tea trail' linking Norwood with the Stockholm Estate on the other side of the ride. The trail then loops back towards Norwood at a higher elevation. At its highest point the trail offers fabulous views of the valley below.
Trekking the Trails

Tientsin Bungalow Trail | Easy Tea Trail Loop | 1.5 hours

Nestled amidst the picturesque landscapes surrounding Tientsin Bungalow, this gentle loop is an ideal morning or late afternoon walk. The village you see to your left as you exit the bungalow is also called Tientsin. We're surrounded by lush greenery and rolling hills as you follow the meandering path. The trail offers panoramic views of the upper Bogawantalawa Valley on both sides, north and south - both ridges standing at an approximate elevation of 1600 metres. These are the same views the famous 19th century photographer Julia Margaret Cameron, one of the pioneering figures in the history of photography, would have seen almost 150 years ago.
HIKING TIPS
RESPONSIBLE HIKING

YOUR SAFETY

Ceylon Tea Trails offers the services of professional naturalist guides who are highly recommended. If you choose to self guide remember to consider all the information available and to heed local advice when necessary. Trail users are responsible for all decisions pertaining to the trail routes, trail conditions, weather, and safety. In addition to the hazards posed by steep terrain and mountain weather, trail users should be prepared for challenging route-finding and sometimes challenging trail conditions, dogs, leeches, heavy rain, intermittent thunderstorms, and plenty of sun. It is recommended to drink at least ½ litre of water per hour when hiking. Access to emergency medical care and rescue may not always be immediately available.

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17 Jun 2024
18 Jun 2024
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