Hiking in the Knuckles Mountain Range 0 410

Hiking in the Knuckles Mountain Range 0 411

A waterfall you find when Hiking in Knuckles

Named due to its remarkable resemblance to a clenched fist, the Knuckles Mountain Range offers some of Sri Lanka’s most hauntingly beautiful nature trails. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to around forty rural villages and a plethora of endemic wildlife which therefore has been closely studied by both scientists and anthropologists. An area that regularly experiences the varied conditions of all climate zones in Sri Lanka, it has very unpredictable weather that makes hiking in Knuckles a rather grueling affair. Also, note that Knuckles is home to a sizeable population of leeches.

Different Hiking Trails in Knuckles

It’s common to find both foreign and local tourists, as well as natives, hike the trails. Guides are provided by the Knuckles mountain range forest conservation authorities as navigating the trails can be tricky as well as dangerous for Knuckles trekking novices. You have the first option, which is to stick to a one day hike. However, the more adventurous can venture further into the deep forest and spend the night among the enthralling wildlife.

Experienced trekkers can stay up to 3 nights in the forest. However, if you are novice camper we do recommend to camp for just one night. Not many things in life beat the experience of camping under a star-filled sky. Try to make it during the dry season to avoid encountering the leeches. With many camping sites scattered over the multiple trails, there are even spacious caves that offer sanctuary during rainstorms. Keep in mind that camping in Knuckles requires permission from necessary authorities.

This article describes in detail few of the popular hiking trails in Knuckles. They include:

  • The Mini worlds end trail which starts from the Knuckles Conservation Centre
  • The Dothalugale nature trail which takes you to a beautiful observation point with panoramic views
  • The trail to Nitro caves from the Corbets Gap

Accommodation Near Knuckles

Did you know that the Knuckles Mountain range is heavily and closely protected? Hence, if you are not camping, it can be a challenge to find satisfactory accommodation within close proximity to the park. However, around half an hour away, one can find comfortable accommodation options at guest houses such as Yoho Residence Rajapihilla Mawatha or Yoho Old Teldeniya Road.

There is also the option of reserving a bungalow that belongs to the Wildlife Department. Keep in mind however that they are in high demand and very hard to reserve.

Packing for Knuckles

camping outdoors

While everyone gets excited when it comes to packing for the holidays (this includes the boys as well), keep in mind that camping is not your usual trip. While we do have a helpful list of technology equipment that just might come in handy, travelling light is very important. Make sure that you take some essentials such as warm clothing for the nights and whatever that is easily washable (if it’s for a longer stay). As the Knuckles mountain range might have a tendency of some chilly nights, remember to take light and warm clothing. Packing in some safety and first-aid equipment for the trip comes advised.

Things to See While Hiking in Knuckles

When you are Knuckles mountain range trekking, you will also catch glimpse of seven mesmerizing waterfalls. The trails wind through about 18,512 hectares of dense vegetation, lush paddy fields and cultivated land. These trails offer glimpses of endemic species including spotted deer, giant squirrel and purple-faced leaf monkey.

If time permits you, drop by to the small and native village of Meemure. Nestled deep within the Knuckles forest, the village is known for the enchanting views that guarantee to mesmerize you.

Another point of interest is the Mini World’s End in the South of the Knuckles mountain range. An escarpment of approximately 1,192 m, it makes for an excellent vantage point for the entire mountain range. On a clear day, one can behold the stunning vistas of the villages littered over the valleys.

*Picture by the author.

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Naveedh Samad is an enthusiastic travel and lifestyle journalist and a content marketer. A reader by night and photographer throughout the day, he is also an avid writer. Based in Colombo Sri Lanka, he is a travel aficionado who prefers to travel across the globe and share first-hand experiences with his readers. A Mechanical Engineer who decided to follow his passion between pages and letters, he was also a journalist for a local newspaper.

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