Reef Bay Trail is a 4.4 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Coral Bay, Saint John, US Virgin Islands that features a great forest setting and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and bird watching.

Distance: 4.4 miles Elevation Gain: 1,184 feet Route Type: Out & Back

hiking

bird watching

beach

forest

views

bugs

historic site

no dogs

Trail goes through two forests and remains of deserted sugar mill. It ends at the beach. The trail is mostly down hill.

hiking
1 month ago

This trail is beautiful and has something for everyone. It will give you a real sense of the park.

recorded Reef Bay Trail

hiking
over grown
rocky
3 months ago

Swam into the bay from a boat and started from the beach. A warm and tropical day for hiking, but with lots of shade it was not unpleasant. Saw deer, a couple of mongoose, lots of hermit crabs, and fish in the pools at the petroglyphs. Not many people out, so the solitude was really appreciated. An easy all age jaunt.

hiking
3 months ago

Excellent trail. Well maintained and you emerge at a wonderful beach.

4 months ago

Great easy terrain trail with excellent reward at the "end"! Lots of little creek crossing but all manageable. Lots of rain in the past few days so waterwall was nice and flowing! Do not skip seeing it or taking a dip in the bay! Started to rain on our hike back up but the tree coverage helped. Trail was never too muddy to get by. Saw lots of hermit crabs on trail. Definitely lots of bees around the sugar mill so be cautious there. Mosquitoes, ants, drenched, sweaty, with the uphill on the back end, yet totally worth the reward.

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful hike. Great canopy coverage the entire way. Petroglyphs worth the short hike off the trail to see beside a cool waterfall. The beach at the end of the trail is a worthy reward! Take lots of water and save some for the hike back up along with some energy.

hiking
4 months ago

Very easy trail! End is a beautiful beach with the old sugar mill. Two awesome sights for one hike!

hiking
5 months ago

Pretty trail with cool ruins and petroglyphs along the way. The beach is amazing and very quiet. Hardly anyone there. We took our snorkeling gear. Not much to see but we did see a huge spotted ray and some live conch in the seagrass. There is great potential for sea turtle there. Would do again for the beach.

hiking
5 months ago

Great trail. It’s more like 3 miles one way. Very good plant coverage, so not crazy direct sun. We went to the Petroglyphs and they were okay, definitely not a must, but only an extra 1/2 mile, so doesn’t add a lot to go see. We spent the day at Reef Bay Beach, with access on the trail past the bathroom (didn’t use it, but looked okay - no toilet paper). Only one other group was there, felt like our own personal beach! We started on the trail at around 11:30, took us an hour and half down (including the petroglyphs), left around 3:30 to go back up, good coverage not too hot. The worst/hardest/steepest part is definitely the very top, so keep a little fuel in the tank for the top! We had about 2 liters of water per person and it was enough. Highly recommend taking a dip in the water at the bottom!

hiking
bugs
8 months ago

The trail is great hike for at least half day. Going out is mostly down hill, and you could see birds, lizards, hermit crabs, deers, donkeys. It’s covered by trees 70% of the time, and there’s a stream half way of the trail. A lot of mosquitoes around.

hiking
11 months ago

Trail head has parking for vehicles on both sides of road. It is fairly open with nice canopy most of way. At the bottom "half-way" you'll find scenic & historic site, abandoned since 1917. You can either take trail back to trail-head or take the L'Esperance trail back to Centerline (you'll then need to walk back to other trail head). Part way down, check out the petroglyphs and the water fall on the petroglyph trail.

Fri May 17 2019

The trail was shaded most of the way in the morning. It's very steep going down and the way back up is harder because the sun is high and the trail is like 2 miles in 2 miles out. Overall a great little hike. Lots of wildlife and cool nature

hiking
Tue May 14 2019

Most difficult part is ensuring you have a ride to and from the trail heads if you aren’t renting a vehicle (the buses run much less often on the south shore/centerline rd since the hurricanes). Would recommend taking the L’esperance trail back out to create a sort of loop. Trail up gets very steep (and unshaded) in places so make sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen. It is unlikely that you will see many other hikers and you will probably have the entire beach to yourself when you reach reef bay! We were warned off multiple times from this trail (by locals) but we persisted and were just fine.

hiking
Mon Apr 22 2019

Great trail with much more shade than most on St. John. As one hiker mentioned earlier, make sure to wet the petroglyphs to really see them in all their glory. You get a whole range of flora and fauna on this hike as well, especially as you get closer to the beach. Last stretch is all uphill, so bring water and snacks and be ready for a climb at the end.

hiking
Mon Mar 11 2019

Beautiful in 2001. Will go again soon!

hiking
rocky
Sun Mar 10 2019

The trail is fairly easy-moderate. It’s great because it’s alllll downhill initially. It gets challenging hiking back out at the end. It’s a steep hill climb towards the end especially as you get closer to your car/the road. The petroglyphs were pretty cool and the old plantations are awesome. Some of the stones have coral in them. Loved seeing all the deer and the hermit crabs as you near the beach.

hiking
blowdown
Tue Feb 05 2019

Bring a container to: WET THE PETROGLYPHS!!!

hiking
Sun Dec 23 2018

easy to moderate hike. compared to other hikes on the island, it was the best hike. Overall, not much to see but a great morning workout

hiking
Sat Dec 01 2018

Pretty moderate trail until the last half mile back uphill, it gets a bit steep. The ruins are amazing and the beach it nice too. Lots of wildlife too!

Tue Jul 17 2018

Amazing hike!! Stay hydrated!! It’s actually almost 6 miles from start to finish, longer if you take other trails off of this trail, but stay on the trail leading to the factory, you’ll be so glad you did!

hiking
Mon Jul 02 2018

great trail with lots of wildlife, flowers and ruins. many trail options off this one to enhance your hike (petroglyphs, lameshur, lesparance). it's mostly easy, downhill one way, the uphill back is only difficult in the last .5 miles, make lots of stops, beach is naturally beautiful but not for swimming

hiking
Fri Jul 28 2017

I presume ranked hard because of the hike back...quite a climb. So many hermit crabs as you get closer to water. This was our most challenging hike on St John's but not the favorite.

hiking
Mon Jun 19 2017

Beautiful trail. A lot to see. The way down was really steep in the beginning so you can imagine what the way up was like. Bring lots of water to hydrate. Would definitely rate it moderate-hard.

hiking
Wed May 10 2017

This was a very easy trail down to the beach and back. You can hike over the rocks and go to a private beach and snorkel. The trail ends at a Rum Still and it is pretty cool. There are many little trails off of Reef bay to run off to. You can most definitely make a nice day of all of these little ones. Trails is maintained and the big huge things that look like massive bee hives are actually termites. You will see them all over and they are harmless.

Mon Apr 03 2017

Groomed trail. (We actually started near Maho Bay hiking up the Maria Hope Trail (rugged, trailhead not marked) then crossed Centerline Road to the Reef Bay Trailhead.) Side trip to petroglyphs a must. Right before you reach the ruins there is an amazing population of large land crabs. Sizeable bat population in one of the ruins. The actual beach was crawling with ants so we didn't stay long. We took the L'esperance trail out which is a tad longer, but less steep. Would rate both Reef Bay Trail and L'Esperance Trail at moderate.

hiking
Sun Mar 05 2017

Great hike. Well maintained trail with lots to look at along the way. Beautiful beach at the bottom to cool you off for the return trip. We loved it!

hiking
Sun Jan 29 2017

Difficult Hike, bring plenty of water.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

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