Named after a former British governor, the Horton Plains National Park is – at around 2,200m (7,200ft) – the island’s highest and most isolated plateau. Covered by montane forest and undulating moor-like grassland, it forms the headwaters of three major rivers. The area is rich in biodiversity, particularly birds, but while you’re likely to spot sambar deer, much of the other wildlife is elusive.
The main reason to come here is to walk in the shadow of Sri Lanka’s second and third-highest mountains – Kirigalpotta (2395m) and Totapola (2359m). A well-trodden trail winds south to the edge of the plateau and Little World’s End perched on the side of a sheer cliff. It is a terrific prelude to ‘World’s End’, about a kilometre further along. Here, the precipice reveals a spectacular, vertigo-inducing, 900-m (2,950-ft) with far-reaching views across the southern hills. Walkers typically loop back past the 20-m (66-ft) high Baker Falls. On clear days you might notice a distant pyramidal hill – Adam’s Peak, sacred to Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims, is one of Sri Lanka’s most spellbinding pilgrimage sites.
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