St. John is known for its crystal blue waters, picture-perfect white sandy beaches, and lush forests. When you visit St. John you will be able to participate in memorable watersports in its pristine and beautiful Caribbean waters, as well as its many land-based activities.
One of the places to visit when you come to St. John U.S. Virgin Islands is the Virgin Islands National Park where you can enjoy a variety of activities on both land and water. This includes snorkeling and scuba diving; sailing, kayaking, and windsurfing as well as camping, hiking, and bird-watching. More than 40% of the Virgin Islands National Park is found underwater with mangrove shorelines, seagrass beds, and marine life that is unique to each location. The Virgin Islands National Park’s hiking trails can provide you with hours of exploration of the rich, natural cultural history of the island.
Beaches in the Virgin Islands National Park include:
- Salomon/Honeymoon Bay – its reef areas provide shelter for a variety of colorful fish and marine coral species
- Hawksnest Bay – discover the Federally protected Elkhorn corals. Hawksnest Bay is an accessible beach with beach wheelchairs, accessible parking, restrooms, changing rooms, and a path to the water.
- Trunk Bay – is the most famous beach on St. John and is often listed among the most beautiful beaches in the world. It is home to the underwater Snorkel Trail. Trunk Bay is an accessible beach with beach wheelchairs, accessible parking, restrooms, changing rooms, and a path to the water.
- Cinnamon Bay – provides shelter to fish, crabs, and coral colonies
- Maho Bay – this is where you can come to look for sea turtles
- Francis Bay – is known for its calm waters where you can find schools of fish, small coral heads, sea turtles, pelicans and predator fish, and sponges
- Leinster Bay & Waterlemon Cay – it’s a 10-minute walk to shallow reefs of coral heads, sea turtles, and gorgonians
- Brown Bay – is only accessible by hiking trail or boat. It’s a remote, narrow beach with shallow waters making it the ideal home for conch
- Salt Pond Bay – is a long white sandy beach with green sea turtles and southern stingrays and birds
- Great and Little Lameshur Bays – a rocky access road will get you to areas with good snorkeling
- North and South Haulover Bay – pebbly beaches with very little sand
If you are looking for hiking trails, the Virgin Islands National Park has them. The hiking trails allow you to experience the beauty of St. John and the island’s rich, natural cultural history. There are two trails that are wheelchair accessible and the Annaberg Plantation has a wheelchair-accessible path that goes through the ruins.
Hiking Trails in the Virgin Islands National Park include:
- Caneel Hill Trail – this is an uphill trail that leads you to views of the beautiful bays and water on the north shore of St. John Island. You can spend some time at the observation deck at the trail’s end.
- Cinnamon Bay Nature Loop and Accessible Trail – You will hike past the ruins of the Cinnamon Bay Plantation, at one time the most prosperous sugar plantation on the Island. Cinnamon Bay Nature Loop has a trail that is accessible and can accommodate wheelchairs.
- Cinnamon Bay Trail – You can stroll past the ruins of the Cinnamon Bay Sugar Plantation and smell the leaves of the bay rum trees.
- Francis Bay Trail – You will hike past the Francis Bay Sugar Factory, Mary’s Point Estate house, and around a salt pond. Francis Bay Trail is an accessible trail that can accommodate wheelchairs.
- Lind Point Trail – the trail begins just past the park’s visitor center and ends at the breathtaking beaches of Honeymoon Bay or Solomon Bay.
- Johnny Horn Trail – this is a more strenuous hike that goes past the remains of historic stone ruins and incredible views.
- L’Esperance Trail – the trail follows a historic Danish road and passes the ruins of some of the earliest plantations built on St. John. You will be able to see the island’s only baobab, a tree species, considered to be sacred, that was brought to the Caribbean by enslaved Africans.
- Reef Bay Trail – this is a more strenuous hike that goes past historic trees on the island, ruins of a Danish sugar plantation, stone walls, a waterfall, and ancient rock carvings from pre-Columbian era settlements.
- Salt Pond Bay & Ram Head Trails – these are pleasant trails along a beautiful beach. Great for morning or late afternoon strolls.
Tektite Trail – a moderately strenuous trail along the Cabritte Horn Point. You’ll pass desert-like terrain as you reach scenic views on the coastal cliff.
Yauzi Point Trail – if you are looking for an easy trail, this is it. You will hike past the ruins of homes that remain from the Danish colonial period. You can get to small rocky beaches from the side trails.
You can reach the visitor center for Virgin Islands National Park and Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument at Cruz Bay. There is a wheelchair-accessible entrance, parking, and restrooms available.