“A must-do run on St. John with many historical and cultural ruins along the way.”
— Jon Eichner
Birding · Swimming · Views · Waterfall · Wildlife
Lots of loose rocks and roots so be particularly cautious. Another note as there is no easy extraction by local "medical services." This is true for most of the island trails but due to the volume of visitors we see, it particularly applies on the Reef Bay Trail.
The trail is typically an out-and-back from Centerline Road to Reef Bay Plantation. It is possible to combine this trail with the Maria Hope Trail
and run from the north shore to the south shore of St. John.
From the trailhead, the trail covers an old donkey path that was used to transport goods for the sugar cane industry. About two-thirds of the way down the trail, you'll find the Petroglyph Trail
. This spur trail will take you to the natural reflecting pool where Taino indians had carved totems referred to as "zemis" into the rock bed. Certain times of year this area also has a natural waterfall.
You'll see several old plantation ruins along the way including Par Force and the Reef Bay Sugar Plantation, which was actually converted to steam use in its later years. The equipment is still there today.
The National Park Service also offers a guided tour several times a week. This tour offers interpretive knowledge of local plants and animals as well as cultural and historical information about several plantation ruins that you'll find along the way. The tour includes a shuttle service from the NPS center and a return boat trip from Reef Bay to Cruz Bay. All proceeds go directly to support the National Park. More information on these tours can be found at FriendsVINP.org/hike