Cinnamon Bay is one of our favorite beaches on St. John. If you haven’t been for awhile, watch this video of our recent visit to see for yourself what an amazing beach it is!
Cinnamon Bay, at about 1 mile, is the National Park’s longest beach. There is good snorkeling around Cinnamon Bay Cay, a short swim from shore. The clear waters will tempt you to spend your time swimming and snorkeling, while the beautiful turquoise water and sugar white sand will call you to spread your beach blanket and relax. Don’t forget to check out the hiking trail through the Cinnamon Bay Plantation ruins just across from the beach parking area (see a previous blog post)
According to our favorite book about St John activities, St. John Off The Beaten Track, “If you only have enough time to hike one trail, then the Cinnamon Bay Self-Guiding Trail is the trail for you. Also, because the trail is relatively short, flat and shady, it’s a perfect choice for those who would like to experience a taste of the St. John interior, but who might be put off by the prospect of a long hike on the often hilly and rugged terrain characteristic of the St. John forest.”
Here’s a video we made of what it’s like to visit this magical and mysterious place. Meander through the ruins of the historic Cinnamon Bay Sugar Plantation. Smell the scent of the leaves from the bay rum trees, which were once used to make the famous St John Bay Rum Cologne. The boardwalk and nature loop are located across the road from the entrance to the Cinnamon Bay Campground. The nature loop is an easy 0.5 mile hike.
Represented on the Trail are three important stages of the economy and life on St. John in days gone by, the sugar industry, the emergence of bay rum and the subsistence economy that existed from the end of slavery to the beginning of the present day tourism economy.
The old sugar works are in good condition and you can see the remains of the horsemill where the sugar cane was ground up and juiced and the factory where the juice was boiled down and evaporated to produce the crude sugar and molasses that were stored in the building that once existed where the stone columns are alongside the road.
You can pick up the half-mile trail that leads through the forest crosses the gut and heads back to the ruins. Here you’ll pass through a stand of bay rum trees planted in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and walk by an old Danish cemetery.
If you’re the active type, why not start the day by working up a sweat on the Cinnamon Bay trail, followed by cooling off and relaxing at Cinnamon Bay beach. Head a few minutes past Trunk Bay down the North Shore road until you reach Cinnamon Bay, either in your own jeep or take one of St. John’s open air taxis.
Cinnamon beach is the National Park’s longest beach. It’s almost a mile long and is perfect for walking, snorkeling, water sports, and of course, lounging. Right now Cinnamon is still recovering from Hurricane Irma, so the water sports concession is closed as is the campground. The beach however, is open and still beautiful.
Ah, now for the working up a sweat part. Before you head to the beach you can take an uphill hike that begins right after the Cinnamon Bay Campground entrance off of the North Shore Road. The moderately strenuous trail follows an old Danish plantation road and provides breathtaking views down onto Cinnamon Bay and the British Virgins Islands in the distance. Those that make it to the top will see the ruins of an old plantation that happens to be one of my favorite photo ops.
Travel Tip created by Leslie and Peter in association with Vacation Soup