River Trek to Mapawa Cascading Falls
The hills and mountains in Cagayan de Oro conceal trails with green scenery and white waters, ideal for mountain bikers, trekkers, and to those seekers of nature adventures! The cascading waterfall in Sitio Mapawa is one of the favorite water destinations here in the city. Getting there only requires gutsy legs and a happy face.
September 5, Sunday. It was a fine Sunday morning, temperature was enough to warm you up as I rushed to Divisoria to take my breakfast in a fast food chain. I took a hitch on my klub buddies Khokitz with his eldest son and his wife, and Dropedz as we head on the meeting place – entrance gate at Sacred Heart of Jesus Montessori School, Fil-Estate Grounds in Barangay Gusa along J.R. Borja Extension.
After a short orientation and a prayer, we started walking along J.R. Borja Ext. road, went straight ahead to Galaxy crossing section, passed by some quarry spots on the river side and hiked for about 2 kilometers until we’ve reached the starting point of the river trek.
Confident enough with my leather sandals, I didn’t hesitate to cross the cold crystal clear waters, as the current was manageable enough to allow us through it very smoothly. There were cases when some of us have to improvise their footwear by tying up with rubber band behind the ankles to prevent from getting washed out by the current and refrain them from slipping off the rocks and mud.
There were already established tracks used by the local residence so trekking was really easy. But if you really want to trek on the river ‘mismo’, that won’t be a problem too. There were times when we have to climb some slipper boulders, turned around some washed logs, vines and twigs, and even the easiest single track can hurt when you’re lucky enough to be caught by thorns from small plants. With all these challenges, such activity is guaranteed that you’ll never get thirsty while trekking.
It is quite amazing how I was not able to expect such awesome place exist near the city. For about 4 hours of walking (approximately 4,300 steps from starting point), we’ve reached the cascading waterfalls located in Sitio Mapawa.
We took our lunch near a waterfall about as high as a 3-storey building and a green (if not raining) lagoon at the bottom. On the left leads you to another set of cascades and a man-made stairs to climb until you’ve reach the area which is already a part of the Mapawa Eco Park. The actual ascent could take you to the top of the waterfall. There were actually a lot of levels on these cascading waterfalls with lagoons and somehow we’ve managed to climb up to the 2nd level only. Dito daw madalas yung rapelling at dati’y nagshoot ang Extra Challenge a few years ago.
At around 2PM, we started to pack our things to leave. The gray clouds started to show up too and we’ll still have to walk back but this time, we’re not going on a backtrack but instead, we headed west to Indahag. We’ve crossed some cornfields, picked some guavas along the way as we follow the tracks to “Torres”, a popular biking trails here in the city that exits to Camaman-an.
Special thanks to ATTACK Outdoor Club for making these things possible.
See more river trek photos on Flickr!