The Battery in Cruz Bay

The Battery in Cruz Bay

The Battery is a short walk from St John Escape at Grande Bay. Once a fort that protected Cruz Bay since the late eighteenth century, the building now serves as government offices. However, the building itself is protected as a National Historic Site, and has a small museum inside. The grounds of the Battery offer great views of Cruz Bay and the harbor.

To reach the Battery you walk out of the Grande Bay garage and head onto the beach. You walk towards the ferry dock along Cruz Bay beach which is always an interesting experience, no matter what time of day.

Once you reach the ferry terminal you continue on the small beach until you reach the Battery grounds entrance. To get some great photos just walk along the perimeter, close to the rocky shore. You’re reward will be some great views!

Escape to the Caneel Hill Trail

St John’s Caneel Hill Trail begins in Cruz Bay about twenty yards past the Mongoose Junction parking lot and rises to the summit of Caneel Hill.  It’s a great hike that can easily be done starting right from St. John Escape, but it is by no means an easy hike.   When you reach the viewing platform at the top of Caneel Hill you will be able to see spectacular views all the way out to St. Croix and Puerto Rico.   It is definitely worth the effort.

Check out this video to see what it’s like to go on this excellent hike.

The total distance is 2.4 miles.  The trail to the peak of Caneel Hill is a steep and steady incline, gaining 719 feet of elevation in less than one mile.  We would recommend wearing proper footwear as this is definitely not a flip flop hike. You probably want to  wear sneakers or Keens and bring  along a bottle or two of water.  So while it is not an easy hike, it is definitely doable.

You will be amply rewarded for your efforts with spectacular views.  So if you like a nice little hike with stellar views, add the Caneel Hill trail to your list on your next visit.

 

Hiking the Caneel Hill Trail St John USVI

 

 

 

St John USVI St John Escape at Grande Bay

 

Day 2 of Your Perfect Week on St. John

Day 2 of Your Perfect Week on St. John

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.

The Perfect Week on St. John

The Perfect Week on St. John

As your plane begins to land and you look out the window, your reasons for visiting St. John–no matter how many times or for however long –become as clear as the turquoise Caribbean waters surrounding the island.  As we prepare to visit the island this week, we are just as excited as we were when we visited 16 years ago.

great view of-coral-bay-st-john

With about two thirds of the island preserved as a national park, lush green vegetation covers the mountainous terrain ( even after the hurricanes) and colorful reefs surround the beautiful beaches.

St. John is the smallest and least developed of the three US Virgin Islands, but what it lacks in size it easily makes up for with its natural beauty.  The abundant beaches on St. John are as diverse and beautiful as the marine life under the water.  The island is home to many hiking trails that please all skill levels of hikers.  The only problem in this paradise for you, is the limited amount of time you have to spend here.

As owners of a second home on St. John, our guests frequently ask us what they should see and do during a typical one week stay.   Our blog posts for the next two weeks will be devoted to what we believe is the best one week itinerary to follow.  During our upcoming stay on island, we will get a first hand view as to how far St. John has recovered from Hurricane Irma and we will share our impressions with you upon our return.