Green Musings of an Eco Resort

Saturday, January 1, 2011

We've had some unusual weather over the last few weeks, overcast and cooler than normal for this time of year but ideal for hiking the many wonderful trails on St. John.

Many Maho campers hike over to Waterlemon for snorkeling, but have you ever continued up the Johnny Horn Trail to Brown Bay or all the way to the Moravian Church in Coral Bay? Just five minutes up the hill from Waterlemon Beach you will find the ruins of the Leinster Battery looking out over the Bay. Another five minutes up the hill you will find a small trail on the left which leads to the Leinster Great House ruins. It sits on a knoll with a wonderful view of the Bay below, Soper's Hole, Tortola across the channel and down island. It's well worth the climb!

Maho campers also enjoy the Reef Bay tour with a National Park Guide followed by a boat ride back to Cruz Bay. But many of our adventurous campers do the tour without a guide, hiking down and up both the Mariah Hope and Reef Bay Trails. The Petroglyph Falls are a must see, just a short spur trail near the bottom of Reef Bay although water flow is not guaranteed year round.
Did you know that there are still cannons at the Fortsberg Battery ruins? And there are wonderful ruins of the original Fort at the top of the hill. Looking out from the forts gives you a beautiful view of the Bay and lets you see how well Coral Bay was protected.

Remember while driving or hiking to watch for donkeys and goats. They wonder along the roads and trails, especially on the Coral Bay side of the island.

Concordia campers look out over Ramshead from their cabins and most cannot resist the temptation to "conquer the mountain". The hike is not too steep but is challenging due to the desert like conditions on that side of the island. Try to do this hike early in the morning or in the late afternoon when the sun is not so intense and always bring plenty of water. The end of the hike is at Salt Pond Bay, a great place to relax after a hot hike!

There are many other great hikes on both sides of the island. Check with Activities or pick up a map or book from the Store or National Park Headquarters for more information. Enjoy the diverse flora, fauna and scenery -
Happy Hiking!


Anonymous said...

Been to the top of the hill to the old fort, but aren't the canons on private property now, a bit below the actual fort ruins? Tried to find the canons in October, was told that one must get permission from the landowners? Is that correct?

RumShopRyan said...

I'd have so say hiking is just about my favorite thing to do on STJ. I just love to explore and find new things. Thanks for sharing.


norm said...

My wife & I have been going to Maho Bay for eight years...never rented a car. We snorkel or hike to wherever we want to go. In September (post-Earl) we tried hiking the Moriah Hope Trail from Centerline Rd to Cinnamon Bay. After twenty yards the "trail" disapeared into a mangled thicket of undebrush & uproted trees. We always visit in the fall, and it seems VINP only sponsors trail maintenance trips "in-season". Is there any way to sign up to volunteer to help get this trail cleaned-up? also, the Waterlemon Trail needs some serious brush removal, also post-Earl (both now probably in even worse shape, with all the weather you've been having).

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puertoricoistheplace said...

Very nice being able to hike among that beautiful scenery!