We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Get reservations for the National Park Service guided hike before your trip” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Reef Bay Trail

Reef Bay Trail
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
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.
Hanover, Maryland
Level Contributor
69 reviews
47 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Get reservations for the National Park Service guided hike before your trip”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 17, 2013

We didn't get to go on this highly touted NPS hike--we were on St John for 10 days, heard about this from the National Park volunteers the first day, and it was already totally booked up for the entire time we were there. We signed up for the stand-by list but everyone showed up, so there was not room for us.
Why is it so popular? Because the NPS drops you off at the top of the mountain, guides you through the island's flora and fauna down to a bay where you have a nice swim, then the NPS arranges a boat to take you back to their HQ for $30---sooo wish we could have done this!

Visited March 2013
Thank Kathy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

362 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Level Contributor
172 reviews
50 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Highlight of our family excursions!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 14, 2013

This hike was the most enjoyed by the family of all the activities shared together on the island.Our guide was very knowledgable of the land.Educational & exhilarating event.Good downhill hike with several points of interest along the way.Most of the hike is under foilage so the heat of any sunshine was not a factor.The ruins @ the bottom of the trail & boat ride back were pretty cool.

Visited April 2012
Thank DougBen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Great hike”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 26, 2013 via mobile

We hiked this trail from the Cinnamon Bay campground. It's a great hike. Th steeper part is growing from the campground to the Centerline road. It was nice and we met no one on this part. Rainforest makes a nice shade even in the sunny day. Hiking along the Centerline road is not too scary - just stay on the right side to face the traffic. You can hear cars and especially large trucks from far away. The Reef Bay trail proper is longer, and therefore not as steep, especially towards the second half of it. We saw many more people there - park service groups hike, and hikers who parked along the Centerline road. Yet, when we reached the beach, there were only couple people there snorkeling. It's a very nice snorkeling spot , but beware of coral and sand flies. The flies were vicious the moment we took shelter in the shrubs, and the corals made walking the beach difficult. I guess we should have been ok if we packed the sandals. Anyway, I loved the beach because of the solitude and because I found two absolutely fantastic conch shells there. I highly recommend the hike and the beach - just pack sandals and bug spray.

1 Thank Oolahclaire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Needham, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
65 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Go with the National Park Service guide”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 24, 2013

This was a very enjoyable experience. If you want to learn about the history of the island, this is the way to go. We went with Ranger Don who was outstanding. He provided lots of information at numerous stops along the way. Make sure you buy your ticket at least a few weeks in advance since it gets booked up. Our group was about 25 people ranging in age from about 7 to 65 years. Since this is a half day experience, it might be difficult for the very youngest visitors.

As others have said, you should not wear flip flops, but you can wear good sneakers... you don't need hiking boots. On our hike it did not rain, and there is almost always tree cover, so even though it might be warm and humid, it is not uncomfortable. If you are coming over from St. Thomas on the ferry, there are places to get breakfast, snacks, and food and water to bring in a pack for the walk. Also bring a bathing suit and towel for the swim at the end. There is a bathroom where you can change into your bathing suit.

Visited February 2013
2 Thank soxfan1975
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Monument Beach, Massachusetts, United States
Level Contributor
579 reviews
235 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 290 helpful votes
“Excellent opportunity to explore”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 18, 2013

We did the 3 miles to Reef Bay and loved it all. The Ranger, Golda, was fabulous with great local knowledge and we learned alot about plants, petroglyphs, local cuisine and the old sugar industry. The hike down was pretty easy then we took the boat back to Cruz Bay - excellent value for $30. We were lucky to get a reservation since we only went the day before so plan ahead.

Visited February 2013
Thank Peter R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Reef Bay Trail also viewed

St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands National Park, St. John
Cruz Bay, St. John
Virgin Islands National Park, St. John

Been to Reef Bay Trail? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing