St. Croix
Sandy Point National
Wildlife Refuge
One of the world's most important turtle nesting beaches.

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Length: The 3-mile beach is the longest in the USVIs. Location: You have 2 choices. The simplest is to start at Frederiksted and walk southeast along the shore toward Sandy Point. Signs will tell you when the beach becomes part of the NWR.

If you're interested in birding, the following route will take you closer to the salt pond near the point. Take Route 70 from Frederiksted. Where it turns left at a 90-degree angle for Christiansted, go straight ahead on Route 661 to where it makes a 90-degree turn onto Route 66.

Do not take Route 66 but go right onto a dirt road.

At the first intersection of the dirt road, bear left. Go straight at the next intersection to the gate marking the NWR boundary. Note: The beach may be closed during the leatherback nesting period from March through July. Call 340-775-6762 for information.

The 380-acre Sandy Point peninsula is a protected reserve for the leatherback and other sea turtles.

The leatherback is the largest of all sea turtles, weighing from 700 to 2,000 pounds. However, it starts life as a mere 2-ounce egg. Leatherbacks may live as long as 80 years.

This is one of the 13 most important leatherback nesting grounds in the world and the most important in U.S. possession.

It's been said that at one time a person could walk the beach to Frederiksted on the backs of nesting turtles without touching the sand. The leatherback turtles favor this beach because the water around it is deep, providing easy access.

A salt pond here usually has plovers feeding in it. The stunted plant community bordering the gorgeous, flat beach is a marked contrast to the dark green hills of the moist forest that dominate the northern horizon.

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