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“Reef trail”
Review of Reef Bay Trail

Reef Bay Trail
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: This 2.2-mile hiking trail is one of the best on St. John: descend through a shady, moist forest and a dry forest, through visible remains of four sugar mills, pass by pre-Columbian petroglyphs, and end at a beautiful, pristine beach.
Reviewed 8 November 2013

We did the Reef Trail hike through the Natural Park yesterday. It was a nice hike. The ranger Golda was very informative and helpful with information about the ruins and petroglyphs. We didn't think the trail was all that bad but there were others on the hike that weren't hikers and found it to be difficult. It was a pleasant day and the ride back to Cruz Bay was a great. The most frustrating part was when the ranger would stop and talk about things and since there was such a large group of people -31-the people in the back could not hear her. I think it would be a better tour if the group was only about 15 people. They should run two groups an hour apart and make it better for all concerned. Make sure you call ahead for reservations, this does fill up fast.

1  Thank stjohnlover44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"guided hike"
in 39 reviews
"great hike"
in 72 reviews
"boat ride"
in 57 reviews
"park service"
in 40 reviews
"hermit crabs"
in 42 reviews
"sugar mill"
in 64 reviews
"centerline road"
in 23 reviews
"mostly downhill"
in 9 reviews
"bring plenty of water"
in 16 reviews
"great workout"
in 12 reviews
"park ranger"
in 17 reviews
"rum factory"
in 5 reviews
"ancient petroglyphs"
in 5 reviews
"sadie sea"
in 4 reviews
"don't wear flip flops"
in 4 reviews
"side trips"
in 4 reviews
"tough hike"
in 6 reviews
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281 - 285 of 401 reviews

Reviewed 29 October 2013

We have been going to the islands for the last 10 years and finally decided the boys are ready for the hike to the petroglyphs. We carried plenty of water and some chia snacks for energy. We made sure we wore good foot ware too. The hike down can get wet and the rocks become slick. The trail is pretty well marked and easy to follow. We were told that most people walk down and catch the boat back, not our family, the two teenage boys saw it as a challenge and the parents were not about to be bested. The ruins at the end of the trail were amazing. The walk back up the trail was tough. Take your time and it is climbable. Don't forget water!

Thank Rugbydox
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 September 2013

During low season, the Parks Dept. offers a guided hike on Mondays and Thursdays. The $30 ticket includes taxi ride to trail head and a 45 min. boat ride back to Cruz Bay. Even during low season, they still sold-out they day we went.

The ranger had lots to share including native fruits to taste and leaves to chew on. Yes, it's annoying to hike with 30 people but we learned so much more than if we had gone on our own.

FYI, there were several kids under the age of 10, and they looked so bored.

The trail is mostly downhill, mostly shady, and easy, but long. Definitely wear hiking shoes/sneakers and bring lots of water and a lunch. There are toilets at the bottom but they looked too gross to even think about using.

Wear a bathing suit so you can swim to the boat. If not, you will have to ride a dinghy to board the boat. As with all boats in St John, no shoes are allowed on board.

Thank veganmona
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 September 2013

We hiked the Reef Bay Trail in late July, without a guide. You don't really need one, as the plants/trees are marked with informative signs, as are the sugar plantation ruins. Obviously, if you hike without a guide you can also travel at your own pace.

Parking is limited at the top of the trail head; we got there about mid-morning and didn't have any trouble finding a spot.

As other reviewers have pointed out, the trail is downhill on the way to the beach. We saw lots of hermit crabs and large spiders/webs, in addition to all of the cool plants, trees, and ruins. The petroglyphs, which are about a 20 minute side hike (that's to and from) were also neat.

When you get to the bottom of the trail, that trail that leads to the swimming beach is to your right, prior to the plantation ruins (note: there are pit toilets located at the ruins). So you'll have another 10 minutes or so of walking (up and down) to get to the beach, but it's worth it. We packed our lunch and ate/swam in solitude. (The beach that is on the other side of the swimming beach is rocky and full of sea urchins-nice to look at, but not so nice for swimming.)

The hike back up really isn't too bad--just pack lots of water and you'll be fine.

1  Thank cbucksred
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 22 August 2013

This hike is almost all down hill, so even for a non-hiker it is a fairly easy jaunt. The guide provided walking sticks for those who wanted to use them. Our tour group was about 30 and included people of all ages. I felt like we were a little rushed through the hike and would have liked a little more time to enjoy the flora and fauna. Our guide was excellent and pointed out many different trees, told us about the plantations that were on the island at one time. At the end of the hike we had a short time to swim before the boat came to pick us up to return to the park headquarters. You do not have to pay for a tour to enhoy the Reef Bay Trail, but if you do not, then when you get to the beach, you must turn around and hike uphill over the same traiil. There is not much parking at the trail head.

1  Thank MotherMayEye
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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