Blue waters await at St Toolies River

June 21, 2022
St Toolies River in Clarendon.
St Toolies River in Clarendon.
Wayne Bryan dives into the inviting water.
Wayne Bryan dives into the inviting water.
The river is a popular spot for families and has areas which are shallow, making it perfect for those who aren’t good swimmers.
The river is a popular spot for families and has areas which are shallow, making it perfect for those who aren’t good swimmers.
Wayne Bryan tells first-time visitors to be prepared as the water can be quite cold.
Wayne Bryan tells first-time visitors to be prepared as the water can be quite cold.
Shyan Graham enjoying the cool water of St Toolies River.
Shyan Graham enjoying the cool water of St Toolies River.
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As the school year comes to a close and the months get warmer, the search for activities to fill the seemingly endless summer days increases in importance.

The St Toolies River in Clarendon may provide the getaway some people seek. When THE STAR team set out on this excursion, expectations were high based on the praise heaped on the spot.

"A di bluest water!" touted one person we met along the journey. Our previous experience on a weekend escape predisposed the team to assume that hidden gems like the one being described were just that, hidden, often situated in great hills far from civilisation and 'guarded' by locals determined to cash in. But this could not be further from the truth for St Toolies River. Not only is it merely 10 minutes drive from the Clarendon Park rest stop, but the older gentleman who seems to be endeavouring to profit off the river scarcely enforces his payment policy, rendering the experience essentially free.

"Mi kinda shy enuh, so me nuh really come out," said Wayne, the man in question. After parking on land owned by Wayne, the small trek to the river takes you over a tramline, through a path cut out by heavy traffic. In the clearing lies a plot of land under a noni tree which is perfect for setting up camp. A few feet away lies the clear blue lagoon, embellished with miniature waterfalls and rocks so perfectly placed they look to have been intentionally put there for seating. Testing the water for myself, the temperature was surprisingly chilly, but not uncomfortably so. The canopied trees made it easy to escape the piercing sun above and, I can imagine, during heavy rains it would carry out a similar purpose with the heavy raindrops.

Sitting on the shallow end of the pool were two families enjoying the scenery and the cool water, thus confirming our assumptions that the area was a family-friendly spot. The matriarch of one the families, Shyan Graham, told THE STAR that the trip to St Toolies was a regular occurrence for her.

Hailing from May Pen, the water, which she says remains blue even during inclement weather, has sections shallow enough for her toddler to enjoy safely.

"It's a very cool spot to hang out with your kids or your family. There's a deep part, there's a shallow part, so you know there's places for the adults [and] there's places for the kids," she said. This being their third visit since the start of the month, Graham said that her son learned to swim here.

"Yeah, me cyah swim but him father can swim. So me ago carry him here and make him teach him. Sometime we even have we boom box down here and dance and we do we likkle TikTok dem and we dance and we gwaan wid we self," she said.

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