The Cockpit Country
The Cockpit Country is a large area in west-central Jamaica that derives its name from the ‘cockpit’ krsat limestone which has the appearance of an overturned egg-tray. This area measures approximately 450 km2 and though centered in the parish of Trelawny, has extensions into St. Elizabeth.
The Cockpit Country is conekrast, consisting of yellow and white limestone that erosion and chemical dissolution have sculpted into a dramatic topography of rounded peaks and steep-sided, bowl-shaped, closed depressions.
The Cockpit Country vegetation is the largest and most intact example of wet limestone forest in Jamaica. Its flora exemplifies the outstanding endemism of the West Indies. And, most of Jamaica’s 550 native ferns grow in this area. Additionally, the Cockpit Country’s topography and vegetation create habitat for 27 of Jamaica’s 28 endemic land birds.
Apple Valley Park
Apple Valley Park is a nature park set on the Black River in the unspoiled countryside of Maggotty, a rural community in the heart of the parish of St. Elizabeth.
Nestled at the western edge of the Appleton estate and rum factory, the 500-acre property is also sited in a rainforest, the exploration of which is a must for all visitors who wish to have a truly authentic experience of hiking through a tropical forest.
It is the water all around, the trickling waterfalls, the man-made ponds for fishing, and paddle-boating that all add to the quiet charm of Apple Valley.
Black River Safari
A big treat, for holidaymakers, young and old is the Black River Safari tour. This is a serene trip up Jamaica’s longest river. This is also a journey up one of the islands few, easily accessible waterways, along which you can see rare tropical animals and an abundance of flora and fauna – even crocodiles – on their natural habitats.
The Black River Safari has been said to be as breathtaking as a tour of the Florida Everglades and the operators of the tour will take you on an hour-and-a-half-long safari up seven miles of this fascinating wetlands area.
Farther south and a little off the beaten track is Lover’s Leap in Southfield. Legend has it that two young lovers, forbidden to see each other again, jumped to their deaths at this spot, 1700 feet into the sea below so that they could be together forever.
Very close to the town of Black River is Y.S. Falls, said to be probably the most beautiful and unspoiled in Jamaica. This privately owned property offers unparalleled tranquility. Here you can discover a quiet valley and a waterfall that cascades down 120 feet of beautifully formed rock into tempting swimming holes.
Appleton Estate Distillery
This 4,400 hectare plantation nestled between the Nassau mountains and the Black River valley dates back to 1749 and still produces a blend of rum reputed to be the world’s oldest and a rum of choice. A tour of this estate and distillery will yield Appleton Rum samples for all imbibing visitors.
Formerly Bamboo Avenue. 17th century landowners planted bamboo along both sides of the road in the hope that the foliage would provide them with shade during their travels across the usually torrid savannahs. It is one of the most photographed areas in Jamaica.
This Maroon village was named for its founder who was also the brother of Cudjoe. This village is now the only remaining Maroon town on the western side of the island. The leader of the town is called Colonel and traditional Maroon ceremonies are held on the sixth of January every year, in celebration of the signing of the Maroon treaty and the founding of the town.
Interesting Place Names in St. Elizabeth
Said to have got its name from the quarter sessions of court held in that village. Now popularly known as “shrimp country”.
A mountain named for Ajax of Greek legend.
Formerly pepper pen and before that Pimienta – so named by the Spanish because of the many pimento trees. Pepper is thought to be a wrong translation of Pimienta.
This name reflects the attitude of the Maroons during their early years. Visitors were not generally encouraged, and if the leader did not sanction someone’s entrance, he was led through the most tortuous routes, in the hope that this would lessen his curiosity.
This area was named for an officer of the Jamaica Militia, Colonel Guthrie who made peace with the Maroons. Guthrie met with Cudjoe and granted the Maroons full freedom along with some 1,500 acres (606ha) of land for use as a settlement.
Located near Balaclava, this area was given the name of a place in Kenysham, England.
This is a Welsh place-name
This name originated in Moravia, and is said to have been first used by the early Moravian missionaries.
Persons unaccustomed to being shod would sling their shoes over their shoulders and choose this particular spot to “shoe themselves”.
This area at the foot of Spur Tree Hill has been aptly named. After heavy rainfall, water flows through this town from three different directions, making navigation extremely difficult.
Once known as “Gideon Hall”, after its first owner, it is not certain when the name was changed to “Giddy”.
This name came about as a result of the annual drought in St. Elizabeth, which makes it difficult for farmers to predict an exact harvest time.
Language peculiar to St. Elizabeth
You pretty too – You are not worthy of my attention
Dung home – In St. Elizabeth
Who you be? – Who are you?