10 Reasons to Visit Horton Plains

10 Reasons to Visit Horton Plains.

We love Horton Plains National Park and many of our guests at GlenMyu Estate plan a day trip to explore this UNESCO Worlds Heritage site.

There are many reasons to visit Horton Plains National Park and we have created a list of 10 reasons.

Of course, there are many more, and we are sure that once you have hiked the eleven kilometre trail you will come up with lots more reasons.

Our 10 reasons to visit Horton Plains are in no particular order of importance.

1. Experience a unique environment in Sri Lanka

Horton Plains National Park is home to a montane forest, where the land rises to 1,200–2,300 m (3,900–7,500 ft) above sea-level.

This 3,160 hectares (12.2 sq mi) unique environment in the Sri Lankan Hill Country hosts an extraordinary range of flora and fauna.

Several species that call Horton Plains their home are endangered, such as the Sri Lankan leopard, the Horton Plains slender loris and the western-purple-faced langur, theand .

This region of Sri Lanka is considered a super biodiversity hotspot.

You will experience a landscape of montane evergreen forests, grasslands, marshy lands and aquatic ecosystem.

2. Feel great - Hiking is a healthy way to explore the island.

We always have a great feeling once we have completed the eleven kilometre circular hike when we visit Horton Plains. 

Walking at an elevation of between 1,200–2,300 m (3,900–7,500 ft) above sea level, you will feel that you have done some exercise, despite the walk being reasonably easy.

3. See the view from Little World's End

If you walk clockwise (the harder route) around Horton Plains the first main stopping point you will encounter is Little World’s End. 

This is a 270 metre precipice with a spectacular view (provided that the clouds are not obscuring the vista). 

You will be able to sit and enjoy views of the villages below and across the mountain landscape. 

If the clouds upset your view it is worth waiting there for fifteen minutes or so to see whether the clouds lift.

Don’y say for too long as you have an even greater precipice to see at the next main viewing point.

4. Experience the exhilaration at the precipice at Greater World's End.

If you enjoyed the view at 270 metre precipice at Lesser World’s End then you will feel the exhilarated when you see the 870 metre precipice a Greater World’s End.

This is a popular spot to take those selfies and photos to post on Instagram.

Again, wait a while for the clouds to lift if it is covered when you arrive. 

5. Marvel at the cascade of water at Beautiful Baker's Falls.

Baker’s Falls is a beautiful waterfall nestled in Horton Plains National Park.

The falls are 20 metres in height and, despite it’s size compared to Bambarakanda Waterfall and Diyaluma Waterfall, it is stunningly beautiful.

Sitting and marvelling at the cascade as you recuperate from the endeavours of your hike (so far) is a peaceful experience.

The waterfall was named after Sir Samuel Baker who was a famous explorer. He is known for being the founder of Nuwara Eliya Town.

6. Discover the Flora in this Montane Cloud Forest.

The vegetation at Horton Plains is classified into two distinctive groups, 2,000 ha (7.7 sq mi) of wet patna ( montane grasslands and shrublands) and 1,160 ha (4.5 sq mi) of subtropical montane evergreen forests.

Around 750 species of plants, belonging to 20 families, have been recorded at Horton Plains. There have been nearly 54 woody plant species recorded, of which 27 (50%) are endemic to Sri Lanka.

Amongst the trees and plants that are unique to Horton Plains, the most striking are Binara, Dwarf Bamboo, Patana grass and the tree fern Maha Meemana which dot the forest openings.

The Ministry of Wildlife and Forests Resources Conservation advise that research, conducted in 1992, states that there are about 101 species of plants at Horton Plains. (49 of them are endemic to Sri Lanka).

Some plants are endemic to Horton Plains including:
Rhododendron (Rhododendron arboreum), a beautiful red flower.
Maharatmala(Rhododendron) which is symbolic Central Province flower, (Normally found from April to July).
Ratu mihiriya (Adinandra lasiopetala)
Kina (Calophylem walkeri)
Wal kurudu (Cinnamomum ovalifolium).
Wal sapu (Michelia nilagirica).
Binara (Exacum trinerva macranthum).

7. Listen to and watch the the Fauna that inhabit Horton Plains.

You are most likely to see some Sambar Deer on the plains as you approach the car park at Horton Plains National Park.  Some are used to seeing visitors and will come very close.

As we were unpacking our car about to start the hike a male deer approached us hoping that we would provide him an early snack. We were aware that you should not feed the animals and he got close enough to give me a gentle head butt with his antlers. It still hurt a little and is a good reason to keep your distance. They are just as enjoyable to see in their herd at a distance!

Among the other mammals in the park are Strip-necked Mongoose, Long-tailed and Giant Squirrel Wild Boar.

Our guests managed to take a picture of the endemic Bear Monkey hiding in a tree.

The Toque Monkey, Fishing cat, Otter and all of the Montane endemics of Sri Lanka are also found in Horton Plains.

8. Spot and listen to the birds at Horton Plains.

There are also a variety of birds, some endemic to Sri Lanka, that will provide some background music to listen to during your hike.

Horton Plains is an important birding area in Sri Lanka. It contains 21 endemic bird species including:
the Sri Lanka Superfowl
Sri Lanka Junglefowl
Yellow-fronted barbet
Orange-billed babbler
Sri Lanka bush warbler and Sri Lanka Whistling thrush
Sri Lanka Magpie
Dull-blue flycatcher
Sri Lanka White-eye
Sri Lanka Wood pigeon.

We should also not forget about the reptiles that have Horton Plains as their home. You are likely to see a lizard such as the Rhino-horned Lizard (Ceratophora stoddartii) dart past you into the thicket.

Pick up a leaflet or book about the flora and fauna of Horton Plains from the bookshop before your enter your hike.

9. Practice "Friluftsliv" - be connected with nature and the landscape

We really love the Scandinavian philosophy of “Friluftliv”.

It is a lifestyle based on experiences of the freedom in nature and the spiritual connectedness with the landscape. Hiking around Horton Plains, taking in the fresh air, doing something with physical exertion, learning about the plants and animals all appear to us to reflect the “idea”. 

We always come back to GlenMyu Estate with smiles on our faces, taking about this shared experience and appreciating nature even more. 

You can visit Horton Plains at different times of the year to experience the changing landscape and colours of the plants and trees.

For example, the official flower of the Central Province, the Rhododendron arboreum – subsp. zeylanicum grows in the regions 1700 – 2300 m above sea level. The flowers can be seen in bloom  during April to June.

10. To support local people and preserve this unique environment.

You will be supporting the preservation of this environment whilst helping create employment for local people. Horton Plains National Park is a World Heritage Site and needs the funding to maintain the pathways and continue to make it a safe environment for you to enjoy on your holiday.

Although the entry fee to Horton Plains National Park is quite expensive for the island, we think that the experience is worthwhile. You can spend several hours there when you visit Horton Plains and we would recommend that you take your time to really enjoy the day. 

We and our guests at GlenMyu Estate are not the only people that love the experience of visiting Horton Plains. Here are some videos taken by other visitors who have also enjoyed their hike. These videos will also give you a flavour of the environment and how difficult the hike is. 

10 Reasons to Visit Horton Plains - Summary

  1. Experience a unique environment in Sri Lanka
  2. Feel great – Hiking is a healthy way to explore the island.
  3. See the view from Little World’s End
  4. Experience the exhilaration at the precipice at Greater World’s End.
  5. Marvel at the cascade of water at Beautiful Baker’s Falls.
  6. Discover the Flora in this Montane Cloud Forest.
  7. Listen to and watch the the Fauna that inhabit Horton Plains.
  8. Spot and listen to the birds at Horton Plains.
  9. Practice “Friluftsliv” – be connected with nature and the landscape.
  10. To support local people and preserve this unique environment.

Stay at GlenMyu Estate to visit Horton Plains National Park.

A stay at GlenMyu Estate as you explore the Sri Lankan Hill Country and see sights like Horton Plains National Park is a unique experience.

We only have three bedrooms and you will need to book early during the peak holiday season.

The estate is usually within an hours drive of the major sightseeing locations such as Nine Arch Bridge, Ella Town, Upper Diyaluma Waterfall, Lipton’s Seat, Bambarakanda Waterfall and many more,

GlenMyu Estate is listed on Booking.com and Airbnb.
Contact us by the WhatsApp button on our website for direct booking rates.

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