Tempting as it may be to walk through the Forest Reserve alone, it’s far better to hire a guide: you won’t lose your way, guides can point out things you may otherwise miss, such as bachac ants carrying their leaf shreds back to the nest, and you’ll learn a lot more about forest dynamics. If you do decide to walk alone, remember that the sun sets quickly on the island, resulting in a rapid drop in temperature and the increased possibility of getting lost. Since this is an isolated spot, you should also be mindful of the security risks of walking alone in the forest. During daylight hours, registered guides (usually ex-foresters) wait at the entrance to Gilpin Trace (registered individuals all have an ID badge), and you can also visit as part of a longer tour. Most forest guides are from nearby villages such as Parlatuvier and Roxborough, and all of them are far cheaper than the hotel-arranged guides. Reliable, certified guides include Dexter James (t 660 7852 or t 757 0761), who lives in the second house after the Northside Road/Parlatuvier–Roxborough Road junction; Fitzroy Quamina (t 660 7836 or t 344 1895), Junior Thomas (t 660 7847), Darlington Chance (t 660 7828 or t 660 7823) and the only female guide, Shurland James (t 660 7883 or t 294 3470). All guides also offer walks to local waterfalls, and night walks into the Reserve (prices negotiable).
In addition to the local guides mentioned above, there are several other reputable guides who offer rainforest tours.