St. John, USVI
Reef Bay Trail
|Here's an alternate route, starting from the beach.|
When the park service offers tours of this trail, they have a boat waiting to take everyone back to Cruz Bay so no one has to make the return climb up the hill.
This is the easier way to make the Reef Bay hike, roundtrip and on
your own, by starting from the Reef Bay beach to reach
the sugar mill ruins. This way your return is downhill, not uphill.
Driving from Cruz Bay, go to the right of the Texaco station, proceed
downhill and turn right onto the South Shore Road (Rt.
104). Go just under two miles on South Shore Road to the intersection
of Marina Drive and Reef Bay Road. Turn left on Reef Bay Road for about
0.2 miles and, staying on Reef Bay Road, go left up
a steep hill. Go for 0.2 miles until on the left you see a house with
wooden shingles. Park in the small pull-off (for 3-4 vehicles) opposite
trail starts at the utility pole. It's a steep descent to the beach
and someone has kindly placed a number of knotted ropes
to make the climb down (and back up) much easier. But be careful; the
rocks can be slick and slippery.
path comes out on the beach at Parrot Bay, a part of
Reef Bay. Go left along the beach until you reach a cliff of red rocks
you must climb around. The 20-30 yard trail is obvious and at high tide
you might get your feet wet.
From the rocks you'll
step down onto Little Reef Bay Beach, a nice secluded
spot that even locals rarely see. Follow the beach, detouring into the
woods to skirt around fallen trees blocking the way. At the end of the
beach you'll see a trail leading up a cliff.