St. John, USVI
Reef Bay Trail
Part 3
Here's an alternate route, starting from the beach.

All Caribbean Islands

Hotel Search

Cruise Planning

Island Tours

Caribbean Recipes

Caribbean Weather

 

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.

From the ruins, it's an easy 1.2-mile walk to the petroglyph pool. Along the way, enjoy a spectacular panorama of Reef Bay that most visitors never see. However, this route does require some tricky scrambling along a seaside cliff where your hands need to be free.

Trailhead: 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 it.

The 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.

The 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.

This trail skirts the water and brings you out at the Reef Bay sugar mill ruins. The obvious, marked route to the Petroglyph Trail is to your left.

Reef Bay Trail Part 1

Reef Bay Trail Part 2

Return to St. John Hiking Trails Listing