Spanning Hardwar Gap, this area protects 120 hectares of remnant woodland, lush with dozens of fern species, epiphytes, impatiens, violets, nasturtiums, wild strawberries and raspberries. The mist-shrouded, uppermost slopes are densely forested with rare primary montane forest, dominated by pine trees. The birdwatching is fabulous.
The staffed ranger station is a short distance beyond the entrance. The orientation center hosts occasional live entertainment such as traditional music and dance, plus outdoor games, storytelling and a treasure hunt for the kids; contact the Jamaica Conservation & Development Trust for information.
Well-maintained, easy hiking trails lead off in all directions through the ferny dells, cloud forest and elfin woodland. The 2.4km Oatley Mountain Trail, best seen with a guide (US$20) who can point out the different flora, leads to a river good for bathing. The 2km Waterfall Trail leads down along a stream to the Cascade Waterfalls – more trickle than cascade, due to recent landslides.