There are a multitude of reasons to visit the U.S. Virgin Islands. In fact, you can do anything from enjoying a big party to taking in some of the solitude in the USVI’s lesser-known hiking spots. The islands truly have it all!
USVI Hiking Overview
Before you hit your preferred hiking trail, let’s take a few minutes to discuss how to enhance your experience. First, always make sure you take sunscreen with you, and look for a reef-safe variety. Second, it’s a wise idea to wear sturdy hiking boots. Although the trails are generally well maintained, there are still a lot of areas with exposed roots, and we’d hate for you to twist your ankle.
If it’s summertime when you go, you’ll also want to pack insect repellant and a light raincoat. Don’t forget to leave only footprints and take only pictures!
10 Best Hiking Spots in the USVI
In total, there are at least 45 different trails for hiking, climbing, mountain biking, etc. These trails are generally rated as moderate, but there are a few that are easy or difficult as well. Let’s explore the USVI best hiking spots!
1. Ram Head Trail – St. John
Do you want to get away from people for a little while? Ram Head Trail is a 2.3-mile hike inside the Virgin Islands National Park. It typically takes about an hour to finish, and the odds are high that you won’t encounter many people. This trail provides a fantastic spot to walk your dog, but make sure you keep them on a leash. You’ll also want to use extra sunscreen and bring a lot of water as the majority of this trail is exposed to the sun.
This St. John hiking spot has been rated number one by AllTrails users!
2. Carambola Trumbull Trail to Annaly Tide Pools – St. Croix
Do you feel up to taking a 4-mile hike? Located near Frederiksted, this St. Croix hiking spot is quite popular with hikers and walkers. In other words, go to this particular trail if you’re in a friendly mood and want to see other hikers.
As a moderately challenging trail, it usually requires people to bring a minimum of three water bottles per person. The average length of time to finish is just under 1 hour and 40 minutes.
3. Reef Bay Trail – St. John
Reef Bay Trail is part of the Virgin Islands National Park. It is located near Coral Bay and is in an area that doesn’t attract a lot of people. With a 4.4-mile out-and-back trail, this is the perfect spot to go if you’d like to see a variety of birds while you hike. Most people spend approximately 2-1/2 hours here.
Be aware that dogs are not welcome. Although it’s rated as moderate, most of the trail heads downhill. Explore two forests and an abandoned sugar mill during your walk!
4. Magens Bay Beach Trail – St. Thomas
You can visit Magens Bay Beach Trail at any time of the year! Simply go near Charlotte Amalie to begin your trek. Don’t forget to bring your kids, as this particular trail is rated as kid friendly. You’ll stay on the loop for 2.4-miles, and it’ll take an average of 1 hour, 15 minutes to complete this St. Thomas hiking spot.
If you’re looking for solitude, you can find it on certain spots of the trail, but keep in mind that the Magens Bay Beach Trail is quite popular for hiking and walking. The good thing, though, is that it literally ends at a beach!
NOTE: Please be careful with the area’s red bark trees (manchineel). They aren’t marked, but they ARE toxic. If the chemical for the tree’s bark and leaves touches you, it’s possible to suffer from burning, irritation, blistering, and even blindness.
5. Lind Point Trail to Honeymoon Beach – St. John
This trail is rare in that it’s been rated as easy, rather than moderate. The 2.3-mile loop is near Leinster Bay and is part of the Virgin Islands National Park. You’ll spend approximately 1 hour hiking the trail and will probably see lots of other people. That’s because Lind Point Trail to Honeymoon Beach attracts hikers, birders, and paddle sports, and it’s open year-round.
Whether you want an easy day on the trail or are newer to hiking, you and your kids will fall in love with this beautiful area. As a bonus, you can also bring your dog—but make sure they’re on a leash.
Once you reach the beach, you’ll have the opportunity to rent kayaks, snorkel equipment, SUP boards, and chairs. You can also go on a guided snorkeling or kayaking tour.
6. Jack and Isaac Bay Preserve Trail – St. Croix
Visiting Jack and Isaac Bay Preserve Trail during the quieter part of the day is likely to give you plenty of solitude. If you go during the busier parts of the day, however, you’ll most likely encounter at least a few other people. Rated as moderate, this 3.6-mile trail begins near Solitude, and what a perfect name!
The beach this hike leads to has lots of rocks everywhere, so consider packing beach shoes. Your dog is allowed to visit this trail but must be on a leash. Be sure to share the trail nicely with other hikers, runners, and walkers. Be aware that the very beginning of the trail is a bit rough, but it gets easier from there. Wear proper footwear as there are lots of thorns. You also won’t be able to get a signal during much of this hike, but disconnecting from the world is one of the best parts, right?
7. Petroglyph Trail – St. John
Most of this 3.3-mile hike is relatively easy, but it’s been rated as moderate due to having significant elevation during the last ½ mile or so. During your 2-hour hike, you might encounter wildlife such as deer, mongoose, and tons of different birds. Another nice thing about the Petroglyph Trail is that the majority of it offers shade.
Birding and hiking are extremely popular on the trail, so prepare yourself to see other people. You can take your dog with you, if you’d like, but make sure to put him or her on a leash. There may be lots of bugs on the trail, so be sure to take some bug spray with you. And, of course, the best part of this entire experience is seeing the ancient petroglyphs!
8. Mermaid’s Chair Trail – St. Thomas
You will be required to check in with a security guard because this trail begins in a gated community. Once you’ve taken care of this, you’ll have the 3.6-mile Mermaid’s Chair Trail to explore, and it’s highly likely you’ll have it all to yourself. There are a lot of fantastic USVI views, two beaches, and ideal conditions for hiking, running, or walking.
Don’t let the seeming simplicity of this trail fool you, though. It tends to be extremely humid, so bring a lot of water. You’ll be in almost constant, direct sunlight with little to no shade to be found. The trail down to the beaches is pretty steep, and you’ll need to walk it in reverse when it’s time to leave. Therefore, be sure you don’t use all your energy on the way down.
9. Leinster Bay Trail – St. John
This is the second trail on this list to be rated as easy, which makes it a fantastic spot for new hikers. It’s also only 1.9-miles long, and that’s by far the shortest hike on this list. Leinster Bay Trail is part of the USVI National Parks, and it typically takes 48 minutes to complete.
You may run into other hikers, runners, and walkers, but you can still find some solitude if you go at the right time of day. One of the primary reasons that people love Leinster Bay Trail is because it leads to great snorkeling at Waterlemon Bay. Unlike other trails in the USVI, this one is also mostly flat. If you decide to go snorkeling, you can expect to see turtles and stingrays!
10. Caneel Hill Trail – St. John
Finally, we’ll end with a hard-rated trail for those of you with lots of hiking experience. Caneel Hill Trail is appropriately named, as you can expect lots of elevation gain. If you walk the entire 4-mile trail, it’ll take you approximately 3 hours to finish. You do have the option of taking a 2.4-mile trail instead of doing the entire thing, though. There is some shade but bring lots of water anyway—you’re going to need it.
Relax in Luxury After a Day of Hiking
Are you looking for the ideal place to stay for hiking in the USVI? Your daily USVI activities may leave you needing to feel pampered, and that’s exactly what you can expect from our boutique hotel, located in Cruz Bay, St. John. Marketplace Suites can accommodate up to six guests in one of our family suites. Book your stay today and enjoy being able to spread out in our luxurious suites!