I booked this tour through the cruise line. The excursion description on-board stated that there was "a lot of walking, hiking shoes required". I was a bit concerned since I hadn't brought hiking boots with me on the cruise, but a quick check with the Explorations Desk assured me that Chacos or Tivas would be fine. They were exactly right. I had no problems with my open-toed footwear. (The guide wore flip-flops.) There is a bit of a steep climb right at the beginning of the hike, but the remainder of the approximately 1 mile long trail is on a fairly wide gently sloping dirt and rock path which ends at an almost deserted, pristine beach with crystal clear waters. We were there in low season (early September), however, so it could be more crowded at other times of the year. Water, rest rooms, snacks, and a small collection of merchandise are available at the beach hut. They also provide snorkel masks and fins. If you don't want to snorkel, the guide will arrange a beach chair for you in the shade or the sun. There are also a few hammocks.
Our guide was Nate, a recent transplant from Wisconsin. (Ask him to tell the story of how he ended up in St. John) He was both energetic and knowledgeable about the flora and fauna we encountered along the way, taking time to explain each plant, even coaxing a tarantula to crawl out of its hole for a picture. I felt safe and entertained. He was also very conscientious of our deadline to return to the ferry that would return us to St. Thomas. The hike ends with a walk through the ruins of a former sugarcane plantation. A small open bus then picks you up and whisks you back to the harbor so the walk is only one-way. There are a number of photo stops on the way back.
A towel is about all you need to bring. I wore my bathing suit for the entire hike, but there is a changing room if you'd rather. The hike is about an hour and we had about 1.5 hours to enjoy the beach. Completely suitable for a family with young children, but not with a stroller.
Great tour if you want to learn some natural history and enjoy some sun and water. If you are coming from the port in St. Thomas as I did, the boat ride over is about 30 minutes. There may be a wait in the hot sun to board that boat, but it's worth it.
If you own or manage St John Eco Hike & Snorkel Adventure, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.