Hike Along the Francis Bay Walking Trail

Hike Along the Francis Bay Walking Trail

The Francis Bay trail is an excellent short hike (about 30 minutes round trip) that starts from the parking area before you start down the road to Francis Beach.  The trail starts right behind a scenic old stone building. It wanders about half a mile, through the forest, past some ruins, around a salt pond, then leads to Francis Bay beach.  Watch this video to experience the diverse flora and fauna along this beautiful trail.

The trail is built and maintained by Friends of Virgin Islands National Park, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting our National Park. A large portion of this trail is ADA and eco friendly. Almost half of the trail is built as a raised platform to protect the ecosystem of the local salt pond. Here you’ll find many native species of birds and ducks. It is also common to see lots of land crabs, hermit crabs, iguanas, deer, mongoose and, of course, donkeys.  The pond is of the best bird watching spots on the island.   Expect to see lots of Maho trees and Mangroves towards the pond.

francis bay trail st john usvi

Right after you start the trail there are some interesting ruins.

Francis bay trail st john USVI

Francis Beach Update

Francis Beach Update

Francis Bay is a laid back beach that  really makes you want to stay and chill out at for a while.  The bay is on the north shore and since it faces west it tends to be calmer than other north shore beaches.  This makes it especially good for stand up paddle boarding, and it is another great spot to snorkel with the  turtles.

francis bay st john

Irma has taken away many of the shade trees, so it you want shade you may want to bring an umbrella for the time being.  The beach is still beautiful and also wider, so I would definitely check it out on your next visit. We noticed that many of the branches of the seagrape and maho trees are growing back nicely.   Some people have been creative and have created little sun shelters out of the driftwood.

Here’s a short video to show you that Francis is #stillbeautiful