Hiking on St. John
It is always great when staying at villas in St. John to get even closer to nature. It's always warm in St. John, so, hiking should start early in the day or later in the afternoon . . . and only with lots of fresh water, sturdy shoes and a little bug spray. Good sneakers will be OK unless it rained hard. If you really like to hike—bring your hiking boots, you won’t regret it. All luxury villa rentals in St. John have favorites of where they like to hike--I think they are all great in their own way Our favorite spots are…
Rams Head trail
2.5 hours RT. Take only road from Coral Bay to Salt Pond along the sea. Park in the lot at the top. Take the trail down to the beach. Follow the trail around the edge of the water about a mile . . . you will be walking on the stone beach for longer than you think at the end. Keep looking up the hill to your left (ocean on your right) for a subtle little post with an orange thingy on top that marks the trail up to Rams Head at the top. Great at night with a flashlight and a full moon. Be careful though--there can be steep drops. Skinny dip in Salt Pond when you come down. Cool beyond belief.
Johnny Horn Trail
2.0 hours RT. Steep, but gorgeous trail that starts at the foot of the Moravian Church right in Coral Bay. (the big red roofed church in Coral Bay) After the first BIG hill, follow the spur to the left to Leicester Bay (Waterlemon Cay). Waterlemon beach is usually deserted until 9 AM. Bring your swimsuit at least. Only sailboats are in the bay. You can return to this beach to snorkel seriously tomorrow from another passage and will see the turtles and sting rays. (*see BEACHES)
is the right spur on the Johnny Horn trail as said above. Another way to get to Brown Bay. Go past Skinny Legs towards the East End. Just past Estate Zooenval (there's a sign), you'll cross a little bridge. There is a beach and mangrove snorkeling for those who know how to do it. Shallow and mysterious. Beautiful walk back to the road. Follow the road right to Coral Bay and your car.
Soloman Beach Trail
1.5 hours RT. Beautiful walk right out of Cruz Bay. The guidebooks say it takes you to the only nude beach in St. John—but don’t get too excited. The nudity thing is frowned upon in St. John--but don’t let that stop you, just watch for park rangers with clothes on.
Honeymoon Beach Trail
1.5 hours RT - Beach is only accessed from a long, hot trail, but worth the trip. It is like out of a dream--just like your honeymoon. Cinnamon Bay Trail – 1 hour round trip. The most interesting from a historical perspective. Ruins. Take the short walk and read up about the Taino culture that lived on St. John before Columbus. You will see why it was a special place to them too.
Cinnamon Bay Trail
1 hour RT. The most interesting from a historical perspective. Ruins. History. Spirits everywhere. Take the short walk and read up on the Taino culture that lived on St. John before Columbus. You will see why it was a special place to them too.
3.5 - 5.5 hours RT. Reef Bay Trail. The most challenging of the trails. Rangers will take you on a tour and boat you back to Cruz Bay if you want. But, if you are in fairly good shape, just go up and down by yourself--and feel good about yourself that you can! Take the spur to the right on the way down to Petroglyphs and have a snack at this ancient place. If you are lucky the waterfall will be running when rainy. Go further down the hill. Tour the sugar mill ruins. Look the mill at note all of the huge stone piled up everywhere along the way. Imagine slaves building it all and working in the heat their whole lives with no future other than to do it again the next day. Recover from this hideous thought by taking a swim in Reef Bay. Climb back up. It is a long walk, but worth it. Note that the giant Mahogany and Kapok trees only found here once covered the island before the sugar plantations deforested everything on St. John and actually changed the climate of the island -- don't think we can't do the same to 'ol mother earth.
Bordeaux Mountain trail loop.
6 hours RT. This is the most challenging trail. Park by Café Bordeaux. Walk up the hill into Bordeaux Mountain. Keep following the roads to the right. When you can begin to see vistas of the sea and the undeveloped hills to the right, look carefully for a trail head that goes down the hill to the right. This trail is not always marked so you gotta’ really look. Follow this trail for many hours along spectacular vistas. You will eventually meet up with the Reef Bay trail. Follow this trail uphill to the road. Take the road uphill ¼ mile to the left where you left your car and take a deep breath. Have a cold beer (or two) at the café—you earned it.
Near Maho Bay. Follow the signs or ask someone. Short walk and a cool tour of the ruins. Also, check out the ruins of the old school off the roadside before you make the right hand turn to get there. Culture day. Nice for when you are tired but still want to do something fun.