5 Breathtaking Trails You Have to Explore at Virgin Islands National Park

Sunny skies and sandy beaches 

If you're looking for an unforgettable outdoor adventure, look no further than Virgin Islands National Park. This park is a nature lover's paradise with its stunning scenery and well-maintained trails.

Established in 1956 and located on the island of St. John, the park covers 5,000 acres of  Caribbean landscape and is home to some of the top-ranking beaches in the entire world.

The US Virgin Islands is also one of the most sought-after vacation destinations. The Virgin Islands National Park welcomes over 100,000 visitors annually and provides travelers with incredible historical and cultural experiences. 

Used as a plantation in the 1950s, the park has a partially restored sugar factory that produces molasses from the native sugar cane. Park rangers provide tours of the historic district that is home to many similar relics of the past.

While the island is known for its scuba diving experiences, the park offers some of the best hiking trails in the Caribbean. Here are five top picks from the team here at Parks and Landmark's.

Leinster Bay Trail

If you’re looking for a relaxing time near the ocean, exploring Leinster Bay Trail is perfect.

Walking next to the shoreline, you’ll get a stunning view of just how clear the ocean water is here. You’re likely to spot all sorts of sea creatures, including jellyfish, sea turtles, and stingrays, as they love the warm shallow waters.

This trail will also take you directly out to a well-known snorkeling spot at Watermelon Bay, so make sure to bring your snorkeling gear with you for an even more exciting adventure.

Total Distance: 1.92 miles

Elevation Gain: 249 feet

Difficulty: Easy - Hiking, Walking

Route Type: Out & Back

Other Info:

  • Little to no shade on this trail. Sunscreen is recommended.
  • Some rocky areas. Wear proper firm footwear if you are not sturdy on your feet.
  • This trail is child friendly.
  • No dogs allowed on this trail.

Cinnamon Bay Trail

Even if you’re seeking total relaxation, you’ll feel even better once you get that heart rate up and work a few muscles. And Cinnamon Bay Trail is an ideal spot to do just that.

A steady climb takes you up and over a hill to reveal a spectacular view of Cinnamon Bay and the surrounding ocean. 

The incline near the start can be challenging for those not used to a steep hike, but the hike is doable and the reward at the top will definitely be worth it.

Total Distance: 1.80 miles

Elevation Gain: 889 feet

Difficulty: Moderate - Hiking

Route Type: Out & Back

Other Info:

  • Dogs must be leashed on this trail.
  • This trail is very rocky in areas, so bring proper hiking footwear.
  • Wasps and other insects are common on this trail. Take along bug spray.

Johnny Horn Trail

The history of the island beckons from the Johnny Horn trail.

With much of the 1900s sugar plantation still intact, this trail provides both a historical and breathtaking experience. Take time to admire the sugar mill, old rum stills along the way, and the beautiful landscapes surrounding you. 

If you happen to visit during the flower blooming season(Spring and early Summer), an explosion of colors will surely catch your eye.

Total Distance: 3.10 miles

Elevation Gain: 1089 feet

Difficulty: Moderate - Hiking

Route Type: Out & Back

Other Info:

  • Little to no shade on this trail. Be sure to bring sunscreen along.
  • Bring lots of water when attempting this trail.
  • Dogs must be leashed.
  • This is a very steep trail with rocky sections. We recommend proper hiking footwear.

Reef Bay Trail

Step step back in time on the Reef Bay trail as you walk through the site of a run-down sugar mill from the 1950s.

This trail offers a unique combination of history and nature as you explore the jungle and find petroglyphs carved into the rocks. 

The hike becomes steep as you near the end, but the view from the top will leave you speechless. Keep in mind that while the hike down may be easy, the climb back up can be quite strenuous, so pace yourself and be ready to drink lots of water on the way back.

Total Distance: 4.41 miles

Elevation Gain: 1184 feet

Difficulty: Moderate - Hiking

Route Type: Out & Back

Other Info:

  • Dogs must be leashed.
  • This is a very steep trail with rocky sections. Bring proper hiking footwear.
  • Bring lots of water when attempting this trail.
  • Avoid touching the petroglyphs. But feel free to take pictures of them.

Ram Head Trail

This trail offers a stunning 360-degree view of both the ocean and forest as you make your way to the top of Ram Head, an iconic rocky bluff that is located on the southern most part of the island. You can even catch glimpses of Salt Pond Lake and the British Virgin Islands in the distance.

Remember that this trail can be quite strenuous, with sharp and lose rocks rocks that litter the trail’s steep sections. Keeping hydrated and wearing proper hiking shoes is a must!

Total Distance: 2.29 miles

Elevation Gain: 314 feet

Difficulty: Moderate - Hiking

Route Type: Out & Back

Other Info:

  • Some rock scrambling is required on this trail.
  • Little to no shade on this trail. Have sunscreen with you.
  • Dogs must be leashed on this trail.
  • Bugs are pesky on this trail. Bug spray is recommended.

No matter if you’re a history buff, nature lover, or just looking for some exercise on your Caribbean vacation, Virgin Islands National Park offers a little something for everyone. So while you’re enjoying the stunning beaches and ocean views, be sure to check out these five breathtaking trails for a truly unique experience in paradise.

Happy hiking!