(Dec 20/06) In the past, the JCO has advised against visiting Maroon Town. Recent visits to Maroon Town, however, warrant the JCO’s removing the advisory against Maroon Town. Below is information on the caves in the Maroon Town area, as well as a couple of historical and cultural notes.|
Maroon Town, St James has no Maroons. Maroon Town is one of the five original Maroon settlements, but the British removed all the Maroons from the area following the second Maroon War in the late 1700’s. The nearest present-day Maroon settlement is in Accompong, St Elizabeth.
There are three roads that lead into Maroon Town. Two of the three roads connect to the main road that links Montego Bay with St Elizabeth. Though not a through road for two years following damage from hurricane Ivan in September 2004, the road is currently open along its entire length. This may change, as a piece of the road in Niagara is currently sliding down a hill. Any road closure cannot be predicted, and any repairs may take a while. Such conditions are typical for Jamaica, but those not initiated to traveling in Jamaica may be surprised. Coming from MoBay, the turn-off to Maroon Town is in Point square. Coming from St Elizabeth, the turn-off is in Flamstead square. Remarkably, both turn-offs are currently signed. These are the nicest roads approaching Maroon Town, though harassment along this route is common. The third approach to Maroon Town is along the Springvale road. Though a rough road, it offers the best scenery. The road winds past a pawpaw farm, then up into the hills, which offer a spectacular view of the valley. As a bush road, four-wheel drive is easier and faster, especially in rainy times. However, one can stop to take in the view, admire the plants and birds, add nitrogen to the flora and dig things out of the car-back without bothering to pull off the road. Actually, there is nowhere to pull over, since the road is barely wide enough for one car.
The Maroon Town area includes several notable caves; details of JCO visits are found in the fieldnotes. In Maroon Town itself is Young Gully Cave, a stream passage with a good deal of breakdown. Jackson Young’s Cave in Schaw Castle is a stream passage with rudist fossils. Rudist Rock Cave in Vaughansfield also has a good deal of rudists. Also in Vaughansfield is Vaughansfield Cave, a stream passage whose end has yet to be discovered. In Maldon is the Peterkin-Rota system, where a single stream links Peterkin Cave, Rota Cave and Rota Sink.