You can either see the heart-shaped rock from the road leading from the airport through Longwood and Alarm Forest down to Jamestown (there’s a little viewing gallery on the roadside) or you can yomp up from Jamestown (follow the signs from the hospital and on up Barnes Road) to the foot of the rock. This is supposedly St Helena’s easiest postbox walk but it’s still a bit of a workout! Expect a good hike of about 90 minutes duration from Jamestown with LOTS of steps (the infrastructure is brilliant!) and alarming notices cautioning you to proceed at your own risk due to the risk of rockfalls! You’ll need water. And you don’t really see the heart shape from the foot of the waterfall. Apparently, water only flows over the rock if the reservoir above it is full – and St Helena is having a drought right now.
In 2008-2010 the St Helena National Trust (with funds from the Overseas Territories Environment Programme) refurbished the woodland walk that leads from Barnes Road, at the southern end of James Valley, up to the base of the waterfall, improving the footpaths and building a viewing platform beside the waterfall’s plunge pool. The trail opened in 2011. This is a pleasant afternoon stroll from Jamestown, particularly enjoyable on a warm afternoon when the shade of the trees is welcome. Paddling in the plunge pool is not actually prohibited, though the rocks can be rather slippery.
Building the new trail was a challenge for the Trust: the valley is too steep to have brought heavy machinery or even donkeys, so all the materials, even the bridge beams which weighed over half a ton each, had to be carried up the valley by hand.
A special event to mark the official opening of the St. Helena National Trust’s new footpath to the Heart-Shaped Waterfall was attended by over 120 people on 22 December 2010.
The water from the waterfall heads north to the sea at Jamestown, via The Run. As far as we can tell people in Saint Helena regard it as the world’s only Heart-Shaped Waterfall. There is a waterfall in the Gold Coast with a heart-shaped plunge pool, but that’s it.
One can only imagine how beautiful it looks if there it had rained recently. It is an easy stop outside of town on your way to other sights.