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“A wee bit of history at your fingertips”
Review of Hassel Island

Hassel Island
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Hassel Island Kayak, Hike and Snorkel Tour
Ranked #48 of 149 things to do in St. Thomas
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Attraction details
Owner description: A haven for hikers, more than 135 acres of this island located in Charlotte Amalie harbor is part of the Virgin Islands National Park.
St. Thomas
Level Contributor
13 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“A wee bit of history at your fingertips”
Reviewed 1 July 2014

Fabulous bit of history within a 5 minute ride from downtown. Visitor and local alike are sure to enjoy learning a bit of the history Hassel Island and the role it played in the development of St. Thomas. Exploring the ruins and hiking the trails is the perfect way to spend a few hours of your day.

Visited August 2013
1 Thank KathyS-STT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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67 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
St. Thomas
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Charming Local Guide”
Reviewed 14 June 2014

My wife and I visited Hassel Island as a result of reading the review by wbbntsh. The idea of a tour with a local fisherman on his boat appealed to us. We went to Frenchtown (small fishing dock) and asked the locals if they knew "Boogie". A young man named Jeffrey told us that he knew where he lived and would tell him we were interested in going to Hassel Island. Within a couple hours we received a call from Boogie who told us he could take us the next day.

Boogie is of French descent. His family has lived in St Thomas for generations. He built his fishing boat himself. He is not an official tour guide. But what he lacks in historical knowledge he makes up for in a personal, organic relationship with the island. He grew up playing with his friends in the various forts on Hassel Island. He told us of how his older friend would tell them pirate stories, walk ahead of them, and the circle back to scare them! My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed our conversations with him and felt we understood something real about the culture.

At the end of the tour, he asked us if we would like to go to Water Island. We agreed, and he took us full-tilt in his boat, which was exhilirating. We stopped at Honeymoon Beach where we ordered something to drink and ate a picnic lunch. (We packed enough for Boogie who gladly joined us.) He was selling some Lion Fish to someone, and asked if we would like to stay on the beach while he went back to Frenchtown and brought them back. We agreed, enjoying some time alone and a romantic walk on the beach. (We are celebrating our 30th anniversary.)

By the way, Boogie is a single dad with three children. It felt good to know we were helping him support his family! :-)

P.S. There are no facilities on the island, so make sure you have a pit stop before boarding the boat and bring plenty of water, suntan lotion, etc.

Visited June 2014
11 Thank DarylCindy1984
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Baltimore, Maryland
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“enjoyable hike”
Reviewed 6 June 2014

My husband and I did the Hassel Island 3 hour tour through the Historical Trust (although it ended up being about 4 1/2). The price has gone up to $50 per person from when we researched it before we left (used to be $40). Our tour guide was Marissa and she was very informative and she is a volunteer so she enjoys leading these tours. It is definitely a good hike, some strenuous parts. Bring lots of water and wear closed toed shoes! Also, make sure you are interested in history!!

Visited June 2014
6 Thank Katie C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
21 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
“Amazing history - Find a local guide”
Reviewed 6 June 2014

I went to Hassel Island in 5/14 and got a local fisherman named "Boogey" from Frenchtown to take me across to Hassel island. He was very knowledgeable and took us around. I visited the ruins, which included 1. Garrison House 2. Prince Fredericks Battery 3. Cowell's Battery & Signal Station 4. The Rail port area. We spent about 1 to 2 hours in Hassel island. Brought some lunch and it was great. The hike to Cowell's Battery & Signal Station is short, but its a steep climb up to the top of the hill - not for the faint hearted. Bring plenty of water. Other tours are offered to Hassel island, though limited but there is something that is unique and charming about going with a local Virgin Islander. Get plenty of pictures and mind your cameras in the water. We went on a 4-6 man fishing boat, which was awesome. Watch your step on the ruins. Hassel island was previously attached to St Thomas but this was separated (due to a blast) in the 1800s for strategic - military reasons. Nice place to visit. Bring all your necessities as there are no shops or facilities on the island to include Bathrooms. Also the Real World (season 27) House is located here - not actually in St. Thomas as coined. Ensure you use the bathroom before you go.

Visited May 2014
8 Thank nrw38
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lilburn, Georgia
Level Contributor
41 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Take the Eco Kayaking tour”
Reviewed 31 May 2014

great amount of history here on this island and a beautiful place to visit. it is a short kayak from frenchtown

Visited May 2014
3 Thank GaCoGirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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