Caneel Hill-Margaret Hill Trail
This is one of the island's few loop trails.
2. Caneel Hill-Margaret Hill Trail
Length: 2.4 miles. Time: 2 hours. Difficulty: 2. Trailhead: The Caneel Hill Trail begins in Cruz Bay about 20 yards past the Mongoose Junction parking lot. It ends at the entrance to the Caneel Bay resort.
Note: This hike can be made in reverse, leaving from Caneel Bay. The uphill climb isn't quite as rugged coming from Caneel Bay.
This hike is mostly a steep ascent. It's 0.9 miles to the overlook tower on Caneel Hill (elev. 719 feet). At 0.3 miles you'll intersect with the Caneel Hill Spur Trail, which will be on the left.
The spur trail descends to the North Shore Road and eventually connects with the Lind Point Trail. Continue to the right, up Caneel Hill. Just before reaching the peak you'll find a bench and a terrific scenic view over the north coast.
At the top the panoramic view is even more impressive.
From Caneel Hill, it's 0.5 miles to reach Margaret Hill. Descend steeply and then begin climbing again as you walk the ridge connecting the 2 mountains. The park service has been kind enough to place a bench at the bottom of this descent.
Near the summit of Margaret Hill is a large flat rock offering fine panoramic views of the part of St. John known as the Pastory. It's one of the finest viewpoints on the island.
Heading downhill (840 feet down) to Caneel Bay, look for a large triangular shaped rock covered with orchids. This section of the path is well shaded.
Shortcut to Margaret Hill: To cut out considerable walking, you can reach the Margaret Hill overlook by starting at the Water Catchment Trail on Centerline Road (Hike No. 4) and taking the spur to Margaret Hill.