Horton Plains is a beautiful, stark world with excellent hikes in the shadows of Sri Lanka’s second- and third-highest mountains, Kirigalpotta (2395m) and Totapola (2357m). The ‘plains’ form an undulating plateau over 2000m high, covered by wild grasslands and interspersed with patches of thick forest, rocky outcrops, filigree waterfalls, and misty lakes. The surprising diversity of the landscape is matched by the wide variety of wildlife.
A protected area in the central highlands of Sri Lanka, you can get the stunning end of the world views at this UNESCO World Heritage site. The park also serves as the headwaters for three major Sri Lankan rivers, the Mahaweli, Kelani, and Walawe. Between the foliage, wildlife, rivers, and stunning scenery, Horton Plains National Park is truly a sheer natural beauty. Situated between two peaks, the park boasts stunning views with The World’s End the primary attraction to the park. You can also check out The Small World’s End which cliff is only about 300 meters but still boasts wonderful views of the valleys and the island below.
There are also a few waterfalls in the park. Baker’s Falls, a very popular attraction is a beautiful, tiered waterfall lined with rhododendron and fern bushes. The park is also home to Slab Rock Falls, which is slightly smaller, but still beautiful.
If you love hiking, there are stunning hiking tracks offered in Horton Plains National Park. This hike is the best way to see everything the park has to offer taking visitors past the World’s End and Baker’s Falls as well as through all the different types of vegetation, grassland and dense expanse of cloud forest. A hike is also a great opportunity to see some of the endemic wildlife in Horton Plains. You can observe a variety of birds, including those that are endemic to Sri Lanka on a trail. Horton Plains is also home to the slender loris, which is found only in this park.
The Horton Plains plateau comes to a sudden end at World’s End, a stunning escarpment that plunges 880m. The walk here is 4km, but the trail then loops back to Baker’s Falls (2km) and continues back to the entrance (another 3.5km). The 9.5km round trip takes a leisurely three hours. Unless you get there early, the view from World’s End is often obscured by mist, particularly during the rainy season from April to September.
A local landmark, Farr Inn was a hunting lodge for high-ranking British colonial officials, but now incorporates a basic but expensive cafe and a visitor center with displays on the flora, fauna, and geology of the park.