The island of St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands is home to one of the more unique national parks. Referred to as “America’s Paradise” this place is the embodiment of a tropical island, offering the world’s most beautiful beaches, along with hiking trails that wind through subtropical forests, historical ruins, jagged rocky bluffs above crashing waves. Let’s take a look at the best activities in the Virgin Islands.
Snorkeling in The Virgin Islands
Snorkeling from shore is a beautiful activity and with so many beaches to choose from, you will experience a new adventure each time. Swim with sea turtles, urchins & parrotfish; the variety of underwater life in the Virgin Islands is truly unique.
Hiking in The Virgin Islands
Hiking the various trails covering the island is a significant aspect of St. John. The national park service maintains the trails and beaches throughout the park, keeping them clean and accessible. Reef Bay Trail is a challenging hike that takes you past Danish ruins, some of the oldest and tallest trees on the island, and ancient petroglyph carvings. The remains of a sugar factory are at the very end of the Reef Bay Trail. The factory, built at the start of the 19th-century, has survived remarkably well & was in use up until the early 20th-century.
Ram Head Trail provides beautiful scenery that shows a new side of St. John. Plus, you can combine a beach day with it if you desire, as the path opens to a sparkling turquoise, crescent-shaped white sand beach. Pass by a rock beach where you will find the most solitude; we highly recommend pausing to take in the view for a moment. It’s a feeling that you have St. John all to yourself!
If snorkeling isn’t your jam, there is kayak rental available on most beaches. Tranquil, turquoise waters provide a window to view the underwater world beneath you.
Cinnamon Bay Beach is the longest beach on the island. Here, the waters are calm and perfect for snorkeling, but the island’s deer population is unsuspecting; they emerge from the forests in the early morning and late afternoon. A secluded beach to the west of Cinnamon Bay Beach is Little Cinnamon Beach which is accessed by a moderate hike and is well worth the reward. The wreckage of a plane is just off the coast and can easily be snorkeled to.
The island holds several plantation ruins which are scattered across St. John, and provide a glimpse into the darker times in Virgin Island’s history. The sugar cane industry dominated the island and enslaved people were forced to care for the crops. Take time to explore the area and some of the most spectacular views will greet you.
Join Us on a Group Hiking Tour in The Virgin Islands!
This November, Timberline Adventures will be hiking and snorkeling on St. John island. Each day’s adventure will bring a new perspective to the island, and each afternoon will offer a chance to relax and rejuvenate in your favorite manner. See our full itinerary and reserve your spot to explore another national park, Timberline style.