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“Great hike/lovely beach”
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 September 1, 2013

We hiked the Reef Bay Trail in late July, without a guide. You don't really need one, as the plants/trees are marked with informative signs, as are the sugar plantation ruins. Obviously, if you hike without a guide you can also travel at your own pace.

Parking is limited at the top of the trail head; we got there about mid-morning and didn't have any trouble finding a spot.

As other reviewers have pointed out, the trail is downhill on the way to the beach. We saw lots of hermit crabs and large spiders/webs, in addition to all of the cool plants, trees, and ruins. The petroglyphs, which are about a 20 minute side hike (that's to and from) were also neat.

When you get to the bottom of the trail, that trail that leads to the swimming beach is to your right, prior to the plantation ruins (note: there are pit toilets located at the ruins). So you'll have another 10 minutes or so of walking (up and down) to get to the beach, but it's worth it. We packed our lunch and ate/swam in solitude. (The beach that is on the other side of the swimming beach is rocky and full of sea urchins-nice to look at, but not so nice for swimming.)

The hike back up really isn't too bad--just pack lots of water and you'll be fine.

1  Thank cbucksred
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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277 - 281 of 394 reviews

Reviewed August 22, 2013

This hike is almost all down hill, so even for a non-hiker it is a fairly easy jaunt. The guide provided walking sticks for those who wanted to use them. Our tour group was about 30 and included people of all ages. I felt like we were a little rushed through the hike and would have liked a little more time to enjoy the flora and fauna. Our guide was excellent and pointed out many different trees, told us about the plantations that were on the island at one time. At the end of the hike we had a short time to swim before the boat came to pick us up to return to the park headquarters. You do not have to pay for a tour to enhoy the Reef Bay Trail, but if you do not, then when you get to the beach, you must turn around and hike uphill over the same traiil. There is not much parking at the trail head.

1  Thank MotherMayEye
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2013

This is one of the challenging but the best hikes in St. John. I have read that it was ranked as one of the 10 best hikes in Caribbean by Caribbean Travel + life magazine.

The hike on the way back is up the hill and could be hard for some people. If you dont want to hike back, you can call Park Service and they can come and pick you up on the boat from the bay.

You can see petroglyphs and sugar factory ruins at the end.

You can watch this video to get more information about the hike: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMu9Bg5hq70&feature=youtu.be

5  Thank Tkon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 14, 2013 via mobile

Really nice hike to the petroglyphs. We did not have a ranger guide us but it was still a fun time. A little strenuous for some of our older (early 60s) friends but most wouldn't have a big problem finishing it. Petroglyphs were great and splash water on them to see them better

Thank Michael L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 8, 2013

We hiked the Reef Bay Trail to the petroglyphs and then back up the hill. It is not an easy hike, but seeing the petroglyphs made it worth the effort. Go early in the morning before it gets hot.

Thank liveoak33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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