Virgin Islands National Park Visitor Center

Overall Rating

General Impression
 
4.8

The National Park Visitor Center, in Cruz Bay, is the place to start your exploration of St. John. The exhibits presented will introduce you to the park's history, hiking trails, historical sites and local flora and fauna. Park rangers can help answer questions about trails and hikes. Brochures about the Park, maps and books are also available. The Visitor Center is open daily from 8 am to 4:30 pm.

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Virgin Islands National Park Visitor Center
Virgin Islands National Park Visitor Center
Virgin Islands National Park Visitor Center

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Part of Paradise
General Impression
 
5.0

We make an annual trip to St. Thomas, and renting a car can greatly expand your horizons. This year (Week of April 18th) we decided to take the car ferry over to St. John, something we had not done before. The trip was interesting to say the least, with locals playing dominos on the deck and having some colorful discussions. After arriving in Cruz Bay, we decided to drive the entire island and make occaional stops. This island is truly paradise, with scenic stops, beautiful pristine beaches, and of course the curious donkeys on the roadsides. Driving ourselves allowed us to explore and enjoy on our own time, beautiful mountains and beautiful beaches. First stop, Hawksnest. While right along the main road, it had very nice accommodations with showers and restrooms. The water was crystal clear and there were no crowds. Next stop, Trunk Bay which is a National Park. In addition to very nice amenities, a great snorkel trail, and pristine beach, it also has an archealogy center and small museum with working members present to provide some of the history of the island. Lunch was at a little place called Skinney Legs, which was touted as having the best burger on the islands...and they were correct. Tie died shirts and other beach apparel, jewelry not found anywhere else, and a local feel that was one of the higlights of our trip. The trip also involved visiting the ruins at Denis Bay (it's a climb but well worth it), and the old sugar mill called Annaberg. We really didn't want to leave, but the ferry back to St. Thomas was our only way home. Oh well, we'll be back I'm sure many more times to explore more.

LB
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How to Determine Hiking Difficulty

Easy

Hiking
  • Little Gain
  • Short Distance
  • Fair Health
  • Trail Condition Good

Moderate

Hiking
  • Moderate Gain
  • Medium Distance
  • Good Health
  • Trail Condition Good

Challenging

Hiking
  • Significant Gain
  • Medium Distance
  • Good Health
  • Trail Condition Good

Difficult

Hiking
  • Significant Gain
  • Longer Distance
  • Excellent Health
  • Trail Condition Good

Use a Map

Hiking on St. John is a popular activity that lets you enjoy the tropical outdoors. We recommend using the St. John Trail Bandit Hiking Map/Guide to plan your hikes. 

Virgin Islands Nature

Hiking Tips

  • Tell someone where you are going and when you will return. Avoid hiking or swimming alone.
  • Allow for sufficient time to explore, swim and rest.
  • Remain on park trails – some trails cross private property, do not trespass into private property.
  • Wear cool clothing, comfortable walking shoes. Sandals are not recommended. Sneakers are your best option.
  • Protect yourself against the sun and insects.
  • Bring water and snacks.
  • Do not leave items or garbage on the trails. Make sure you leave with all the items you brought with you.
  • Do not remove anything from the park property; this includes but is not limited to shells, rocks, artifacts, flowers, plants and animals.
  • Pace yourself to prevent fatigue. Watch footing on wet rocks and trails made rough and slippery at times by heavy rainfall.
  • Do not eat unknown fruits, nuts or berries. Some plants and fruits are poisonous and can cause allergic reactions. Do not touch unfamiliar plants. Avoid handling or picking plant life that may harbor stinging insects, cause rashes, scratches or skin punctures. Many plants have thorns beware, look but don’t touch. Some ground covering shrubs cause severe itching – it is in your best interest to stay on trails.
  • Do not climb on fragile historic structures. Leave artifacts in place.
  • Hike early and return early.
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