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Guided Reef Bay Hike Set to Resume

The beginning of the Reef Bay hike

Well folks, soon you will be able to check out the petroglyphs, once again, without having to hike up a steep, two-mile hill because the guided Reef Bay hike is back!

Friends of Virgin Islands National Park announced yesterday that the ranger-led, guided Reef Bay hike will resume on January 8th. This guided hike will be offered on Mondays and Tuesdays only through June 25th. The cost is $100 per person.

For those of you who are not familiar with the Reef Bay hike, it’s a tough 2.2-mile hike down a steep hill from Centerline Road (Route 10 on the map) to Reef Bay beach. There are remnants of the longest-running sugar plantation at the base of Reef Bay and petroglyphs, which are reached from a quick .22-mile spur trail. The hike down isn’t too terrible; it’s the more than two-mile hike back to your vehicle gets you. But thanks to this new guided hike offering, many of you will be able to forgo the grueling hike back up!

Beginning on Monday, January 8th, you will be able to hike down Reef Bay alongside a Virgin Islands National Park ranger, who will discuss a variety of items along the way, including the area’s rich history, the local flora and fauna, and much more. You will have the opportunity to visit the petroglyphs, as well, which are ancient rock carvings done by the pre-Colombian Taino. Once you get to the bottom of Reef Bay, you will hop aboard a boat that will bring you back to Cruz Bay.

Remnants of the Reef Bay plantation – Image credit: Sarah Hanson
Some of the petroglyphs carved by the Taino – Image credit: Sarah Hanson

Again, the cost of this guided hike is $100, and trips run on Mondays and Tuesdays from 8:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. Trips will depart from the National Park Visitor Center at 8:45 a.m., and transportation will be provided to the Reef Bay trailhead. The hike down takes about three-and-a-half hours, which will be followed by a picturesque, 45-minute boat ride to Cruz Bay.

Please note: The only way to take advantage of the boat ride back to Cruz Bay is by buying a ticket for the guided hike in advance. If you hike Reef Bay on your own, a boat will not be waiting at the bottom to transport you back to town, nor will you be able to hop on the boat when it is there. You can only get on the boat if you are a paid participant of the guided Reef Bay hike. 

And for those of you who have been paying attention to our weather lately, you have probably seen that the island has received a fair amount of rain this past week. Rains like this create a beautiful waterfall at Reef Bay. The picture below were taken after a good rain last year. A big thanks to Sarah Hanson for sharing it with me!

The waterfall was flowing yesterday! Image credit: Sarah Hanson

If you’d like to learn more about the guided Reef Bay hike, please visit the Friends of Virgin Islands National Park’s website. Ready to book? Simply click this link to visit their secure checkout page.

Click here to learn about other educational offerings within the Virgin Islands National Park.

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