Reef Bay Trail
Descending down a stone stairway, you’ll pass an old stonewall before heading into a sub-tropical forest, filled with tropical flora of all kinds. Signs along the way detail the environment, as you take in the sights and smells of such trees as locust, sandbox, kapok, mammee apple, and mango. A ranger-led tour is the best way to experience the trail’s riches. On your way down, you’ll learn about various flora, the history of the Reef Bay Plantation, and petroglyphs on the rocks at the bottom of the trail. Once you reach the bottom of the trail, a boat takes you from the beach at Reef Bay back to the visitor center. If you choose to take the trail on your own, you’ll have to endure the uphill climb.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Reef Bay Trail is a must-visit for history buffs and outdoor enthusiasts.
- The hike takes about two hours and is almost entirely downhill.
- Remember to wear sturdy closed-toe shoes as the trail can be slippery, even when dry.
- Make sure to bring water, lunch, a hat, and mosquito repellent.
- Ranger-led tours tend to fill up, so it’s a good idea to book at least a couple weeks in advance.
- While the Virgin Islands National Park visitors center is wheelchair accessible, Reef Bay Trail is not.
How to Get There
While there is some parking available at the Visitor Center, it’s a better idea to take a ferry or taxi to the Visitor Center near the trailhead, or join a guided tour. Bus service on the island is not very reliable.
When to Get There
The national park is open and accessible 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. Guided trail hikes are offered seasonally, so it’s a good idea to check the calendar before your visit.
The Reef Bay Petroglyphs At the base of Reef Bay Valley’s highest waterfall lies a spring fed pool where a series of mysterious faces have been carved into the blue basalt. Researchers aren’t certain what the petroglyphs mean or who exactly carved them, but it’s believed they date back to the pre-Columbian Taíno peoples.