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“Hiked from Cinnamon Bay to the end of this trail”
Review of Reef Bay Trail

Reef Bay Trail
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: This 2.2-mile hiking trail is one of the best on St. John: descend through a shady, moist forest and a dry forest, through visible remains of four sugar mills, pass by pre-Columbian petroglyphs, and end at a beautiful, pristine beach.
Reviewed April 29, 2012

Lots of bugs along the way, this was expected. 1/4 the hike was along centerline road (not scenic and cars were dangerous). One side trail to a ruin was closed but unmarked so .4 miles of hiking uphill out of the way led to a closed site.

1  Thank sanissipour
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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352 - 356 of 394 reviews

Reviewed April 23, 2012

We started at the top, I believe off of Centerline Rd. We went down and stopped at the Petroglyph trail. We went through the abandoned sugar cane factory at the end and snorkeled in Reef Bay. The hike back up, was well a little rough. The hermit crabs along the trail at the bottom were so cool. This was one of the most amazing hikes I have ever done.

Thank Peacefulcampers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 8, 2012

We decided to do the hike on our own on a day that the park service was not running its tours. That way we didn't have to run into too many people while hiking. It had a few stops along the way to explore. Grab the 'off the beaten path' book so you have a little info and history about the ruins and petroglyphs. I downloaded it to the kindle app on my android and had it with us along the way, which made it easy to read along the way. The bats in the sugar ruins at the bottom of the trail were a little freaky... Especially since we were tuck there waiting out a rain storm for an hour.

Thank deezy456
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 27, 2012

Everyone on Trip Advisor says to reserve this hike through the National Park Service early, so I shouldn't have been so surprised when I called two weeks before our vacation to St. Thomas and discovered that it was all booked up. Undaunted, near the end of our trip to St. Thomas, we took the car ferry to St. John, drove up Centerline Road to the trail head, and attempted the hike by ourselves. Be forewarned: there are no bathroom facilities at the trail head. Either use the restroom on the car barge or stop off at the NPS Visitors' Center beforehand. I learned the hard way.

The hike is surprisingly steep and rocky. As everyone says, wear good walking shoes, bring lots of water, bring snacks or lunch to eat at the petroglyphs, and don't forget to bring sunblock and bug spray. We started our downward hike around 11:30 and made it to the petroglyphs after 12. We actually caught up with the NPS group who were picnicking by the pools. Unfortunately, it hadn't rained in a while so there was no waterfall and the water was stagnant. Then as the NPS group headed down to the sugar plantation ruins on the beach, we headed back up the trail. While I work out at the gym almost every day, my middle-aged body found the upward hike quite rigorous. My husband and teenagers, on the other hand, were completely fine. We made it back to Centerline Road in about 50 minutes of straight hiking.

When I finally made it to the rental car and changed back into my flip flops, I was huffing and puffing and feeling sorry that we weren't sitting on the boat with the other NPS hikers enjoying a cool ride back to the Visitors' Center. However, as we drove a few hair pin curves further along Centerline Road we reached Chateau Bordeaux, a charming yellow and purple building perched on the side of the mountain with a smoothie shop, an art gallery, and a small restaurant. We decided to sit outside for lunch on the patio with a cool breeze and an amazing view of eastern St. John and Coral Bay. We met the nicest family from Boston who vacation on St. John every year and who told us where my daughter could find the best chicken fingers on the island ( at "Shipwrecked", although my daughter liked the ones from "Aqua Bistro" next to Coral Bay). Then after lunch we had the yummy mango smoothies before heading down to the beach for a swim.

If you can't schedule the Reef Bay Trail Hike through the NPS and are in good physical condition, definitely consider doing this hike yourself. The trail is well marked, and there are sign posts with information about the different plants and ruins that you pass. And all that physical exercise will make you appreciate the delicious Chateau Bordeaux smoothies.

Thank TulipL0ver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 13, 2012

We did the hike with a ranger. It was nice to have the transportation taken care of. If you go to the VI park visitors center, you can leave your driver's license, get a permit and park in the employee parking for the day, huge bonus! They transport you to the trail head and a guide takes you on the hike. It would have been nice to have a smaller group, there were 30 of us, we didn't hear much on the hike. The ranger was very interesting when we did hear her. We got to see a orb web spider (yikes), some mongoose (mongeese?), bats, hermit crabs and a huge freshwater shrimp. Seas were rough so only 1 brave soul made the swim out to the boat. Take plenty of water and a lunch! And don't forget your camera.

Thank farmgirlIdaho
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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