The America Hill Estate House is an excellent example of late nineteenth century Virgin Island architecture. Much attention was obviously given to an aesthetically pleasing design as well as to functionality, the limitations of the building site, and the availability of materials and labor.
In the early 1900s, America Hill served as a guesthouse where travelers could rent rooms. One of the last tenants was rumored to be Rafael Leónides Trujillo, former dictator of the Dominican Republic.
Some older St. Johnians say that the estate house was also used as a headquarters for rum-runners during the prohibition days.
St. John’s Hindes buries field at Virgin Gorda Half Marathon
By Dean Greenaway (Special to the Daily News)
Published: May 19, 2014
VIRGIN GORDA – St. John’s Timothy “TJ” Hindes did his research, relied on his 8 Tuff Miles racing and course training, then executed his strategy to perfection en route to burying the field and winning Saturday’s third Virgin Gorda Half Marathon…. read more
Scattered showers, mainly before noon. Mostly sunny, with a high near 79. Southeast wind 11 to 16 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.
Fredriksdal was named for Frederick Von Moth who lived on St. Thomas. He purchased the property from Reimert Sødtmann, magistrate of St. John in the early 1730s. (Sødtmann and his stepdaughter were among the first victims of the slave rebellion in 1733.) Von Moth was commander of the civil guard on St. Thomas and later became governor of St. Croix.
The grand entrance and stairway of the Fredriksdal Ruins are the remains of the estate house, which served as living quarters for the owners of Annaberg Plantation and are visible from the road. There are extensive ruins extending back into the bush. They include the remains of an oven, a well, a horsemill and other old structures and walls.
The area is covered with sweet lime and other thorny vegetation, so wear appropriate clothing to explore.
Old Stone Bridge Across the road from the Fredriksdal Ruins there is a seldom-used trail that was once part of the Old Danish Road. It leads to a fairly well preserved stone bridge that is almost hidden in the thick bush.
St. John and Virgin Islands News
Campbell Skis for Territory, Finishes 56th in Giant Slalom By Source Staff — February 18, 2014
Jasmine Campbell, the U.S. Virgin Islands’ one-woman Winter Olympics team, finally got a chance to compete Tuesday, racing down the hill in the giant slalom over a messy course made slushy by warmer-than-usual temperatures and light rain, and though she didn’t finish in upper echelons of the giant slalom, she said she had a great time.
Campbell was born on St. John but moved with her family to Idaho when she was 9 years old. It was in the Pacific Northwest that she took up skiing, eventually competing on the international stage and now representing the territory of her birth in the games in Sochi.
She arrived in the Russian resort city Feb. 6 for the opening ceremony and has been waiting ever since for her two events.
Mother Nature didn’t help. According to a report on ESPN.com, the race took place in a light rain that turned the course into slush.
“I don’t believe I’ve ever skied in such awful conditions,” Campbell told the Source in an email interview. “It was raining so hard I had to wipe my goggles mid run so that I could see where I was going.”
Campbell completed her two runs in a combined time of 3:05:05, 28.18 seconds behind gold medal winner Tina Maze of Slovenia, who successfully defended her 2010 giant slalom gold medal. … read more
Conference, lawsuit focus on citizenship rights for residents of U.S. territories By ALDETH LEWIN (Daily News Staff)
Published: February 18, 2014
ST. THOMAS – The rights of residents in the U.S. territories are being questioned by top legal minds pushing for equal citizenship rights for all Americans.
With a Harvard University conference on the topic scheduled for this week and a lawsuit pending in federal court, the subject is getting national attention.
The lawsuit is Tuaua v. United States, and it is about American Samoa’s citizenship rights. While the situation in American Samoa is different that in the U.S. Virgin Islands, the outcome of the litigation could radically change citizenship for residents in all the territories.
Neil Weare, lead counsel in Tuaua and president of We the People Project, an organization that works to achieve equal rights for residents of U.S. territories and the District of Columbia, said those born in American Samoa are not full citizens. They are considered “non-citizen nationals,” and if they moved to one of the 50 states, they would have to go through the naturalization process to gain the full rights of citizenship.
In the Virgin Islands, people born in the territory are full U.S. citizens. While living in the Virgin Islands, residents have limited rights – such as not being able to vote for the president and not having a voting representative in Congress. However, when a Virgin Islander moves to one of the 50 states, all those rights are immediately restored. “If you’re born in the Virgin Islands you’re a U.S. citizen based on federal statute,” Weare said.
Rather than citizenship for the territories being a constitutional right, a century old legal precedent called the Insular Cases makes citizenship legislated by Congress.
“The idea of them was for certain parts of the constitution, Congress can turn constitutional rights on and off like a light switch,” Weare said.
The United States took ownership of the Virgin Islands in 1917, and citizenship was granted through an act of Congress in 1927.
Because citizenship for native-born Virgin Islanders was granted by Congress, it could be taken away by Congress as well, Weare said.
“If we win, people born on U.S. soil in U.S. territories will have a recognized, constitutional right to citizenship that Congress has no power to turn on or off,” Weare said…. read more
St. John Events
St. John Arts Festival
South American Sambacombo Band
There will be a select exhibition of hand-made island crafts in both the Dept. of Tourism’s little park and the main park.
A show of children’s art will be on the 2nd floor of the Market Place, as in past years.
Hike With the Super
The Friends of the Virgin islands National Park sponsored a “Hike with the Super” yesterday. Park superintendent, Brion FitzGerald led the hike beginning at Annaberg, following the Leinster Bay Trail to the beach at Waterlemon Bay. Here the group was led through the ruins of the old Leinster Bay Plantation and the Leinster Bay Valley and then on to the Johnny Horn Trail with stops at the guardhouse and the James Murphy Estate House.
St. John Virgin Islands News
U.S. senator asks FBI to look into lack of progress in St. John murder investigation By JENNY KANE (Daily News Staff)
ST. THOMAS – The family of a New Jersey man stabbed on St. John last month said they are upset by the V.I. Police Department’s lack of communication about the unsolved murder, and they have turned to a U.S. senator for assistance.
In response to the family’s complaints, Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., sent a letter critical of the V.I. Police Department to the director of the FBI requesting the agency’s assistance in the case.
James Malfetti III, 41, was found dead in his Chocolate Hole apartment Jan. 19, according to police reports.
Police initially classified the incident as a suspicious death, then two days later reclassified it as a murder after further inspecting the body and saying Malfetti suffered several puncture wounds to the neck….
…The victim’s parents, who live in New Jersey, call the police on St. Thomas – specifically Detective Diana Martinez, leader of the investigation into their son’s death – every day, Rosemary Malfetti said. Martinez has only responded to their calls once or twice, they said.
“If you decide to take what the family says, then that’s up to you. I beg to differ with what they are saying,” Martinez said Tuesday evening when reached by phone.
Martinez declined to answer how often she has been speaking with the Malfetti family, deferring all further questions to V.I. Police Commissioner Rodney Querrard Sr.
Querrard could not be reached Tuesday….
…”The rudeness, and the dryness. It’s really hurtful to the parents of a son that’s just been murdered, their only son,” Jim Malfetti said.
In their frustration, the Malfettis turned to Menendez, who wrote a letter to FBI Director James Comey, pleading that the FBI take over what Menendez called a botched local investigation….
…In the letter to the FBI, Menendez wrote:
“In investigating the murder, Jim’s parents state that the police discarded forensic evidence, failed to collect potentially crucial evidence, incorrectly stated the date of death on the death certificate, misstated facts to the parents, and failed to check for fingerprints.
“My constituents also repeatedly called the local police for updates into the investigation, but were rebuffed and told that if they continue to call their case will be moved to the ‘bottom of the pile,'” the letter said. “Even after over two weeks, the police have told the parents that they have not begun to trace the stolen cell phone.”… read entire article
US Virgin Islands defends handling of New Jersey man’s killing Wednesday February 12, 2014, 6:57 PM
BY DAVID MCFADDEN
KINGSTON, Jamaica — Police in the U.S. Virgin Islands on Wednesday defended their handling of an unsolved slaying of a New Jersey native who was fatally stabbed more than three weeks ago during an apparent burglary….
…Malfetti’s parents have enlisted the help of New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez, telling him that the U.S. Virgin Islands police force have handled the murder investigation amateurishly from the start, failing to collect evidence and even discarding valuable forensic clues. Police initially labelled the case as a suspicious death, but a couple of days later reclassified it as a homicide. There have been no arrests.
Virgin Islands Police Commissioner Rodney Querrard insisted in a Wednesday statement that police have “taken all necessary steps since the day the victim was found” to process evidence and follow leads.
“This case is an active investigation and we will continue the process of investigating the unfortunate death of James Malfetti until we can file a criminal complaint,” Querrard said.
His statement comes two days after Menendez, a Democrat, wrote a letter to FBI Director James Comey requesting assistance from the agency, saying that “the family deserves a competent investigation.” Menendez said the grieving parents had experienced a “hostile and uninterested law enforcement response.””’
Querrard’s statement said he expressed his condolences to the family, but Malfetti’s parents said they hadn’t heard a word from him. They said police even failed to notify them when their son’s body was found….
…Querrard said local FBI agents are assisting with the probe but did not disclose more details. He said police would update Malfetti’s parents and “address their issues to the best of our ability without compromising the case.”… read entire article
Virgin Puree Launches Fruit Export Program By Susan Ellis — February 12, 2014
Dale Browne, of Sejah Farm, Agriculture Commissioner Louis Petersen and Anthony Weeks of St. Croix Economic Development Initiative introduce Virgin Puree at a press conference Wednesday.
Virgin Puree, a program to harvest, preserve and sell locally grown fruit – including produce collected from residents’ backyards – was introduced by the stakeholders at a press conference Wednesday at Sejah Farm.
Sponsors envision Virgin Puree will add millions of dollars to the local economy and provide a local food source at the same time. Fruit grown and sold by farmers and residents to Virgin Puree will be preserved as juice, dried or frozen. The goal of the program is to sell fruit products locally and to supermarkets and restaurants on the mainland.
“Everybody has a fruit tree in the yard,” said Dale Browne, owner of Sejah Farm. “Most of it goes to waste,” he said, adding that Virgin Puree will try to find the “hidden orchards.”
The Virgin Puree program will begin this weekend at Agrifest 2014.
Volunteers located near the Sejah Farm booth and produce stand will collect surveys from residents to determine the number of backyard fruit trees and the community’s interest in the agriculture industry.
The next step, according to Anthony Weeks, director of the St. Croix Economic Development Initiative, is research and development to determine the best products. The next step will be having focus groups test the products. Participants suggested mangos should be tested first, he said.
The Lind Point Trail is a favorite hike for people coming to St. John by ferry or for those who don’t have a vehicle. That’s because the trail is within easy walking distance of downtown Cruz Bay and offers not only a great trail experience such as the great views from the Lind Point Battery Overlook, but also access to the beautiful beaches and snorkeling at Salomon and Honeymoon Bays.
But day-trippers are not the only ones who choose to experience the Lind Point Trail and most of these hikers arrive by vehicle. This presents a problem. Finding a place to park near the trail can be difficult, to say the least.
Now the Virgin Islands National Park offers a solution, of sorts. Hikers bound for the Lind Point Trail can go to the National Park Visitors Center located just across the street from the trailhead and obtain a parking permit that allows them to park in spaces reserved for the park employees. You’ll need to show the attendant at the center your drivers license, which they will hold until you get back. They will then issue you a sign for you to place on your windshield. Be aware that empty employee’s parking spaces are limited and are often unavailable, and that parking anywhere else on the street will put you in danger of being ticketed by enforcement rangers.
Park back wheels to the curb, windshield facing out towards the street and enjoy your hike.
St. John and Virgin Islands News
List of the Friendliest Islands in the Caribbean from the Huffington Post
St. John came in number six, with the annotation: “What’s even nicer than “soft sand beaches” and “water that’s clear like glass”? The “warm, kind locals,” according to our readers—they’re ‘”friendly and welcoming, without pestering you.”‘
St. John was topped by the British Virgin Islands, which came in number five.
Vieques was number nine, and the number one spot went to the island of Saba…. read article
In another list compiled by the Nassau Guardian the Virgin Islands came in fourth:
Report Ranks V.I. Homicide Rate Fourth in Caribbean
By John Baur — January 16, 2014
The U.S. Virgin Islands rated fourth in the Caribbean in 2013 in the number of homicides per 100,000 residents, according to a study by the Nassau Guardian in the Bahamas.
Bordeaux Farmers Rastafari Fair This Weekend By Molly Morris — January 16, 2014
It’s time again to gather up family and friends and head out to the rolling green hills of Bordeaux for the 17th annual Bordeaux Farmers Rastafari Agricultural and Cultural Food Fair on Saturday and Sunday. You’ll have no trouble finding it; just head west on St. Thomas and follow your nose. The heady aromas of fresh food will lead you.
The fair bursts with fresh produce, herbs, vegetables, cook pots filled with pumpkin soup, kallaloo, homemade vegan and raw food, pumpkin fritters – it goes on as it has for years, the annual celebration of all that is right with the world. It runs from 10 a.m. to midnight or thereabouts each day.
The fair is the proud product of the Bordeaux Farmers Collective We Grow Food Inc., illustrating the group’s belief: “To lose agriculture is to lose our culture, integrity, self-worth and pride. Without these characteristics, we as a people fail to exist.”… read more
Now that the remainder of the Big Maho Bay land has been turned over to the Virgin Islands National Park, rangers are already working with Friends of the National Park in clearing the property’s Maria Hope Trail and improving parking at the beach.
The Maria Hope Trail follows an old Danish road that runs between the Josie Gut Estate on the Reef Bay Trail and Maho Bay on the north shore.
History of the Maria Hope Road
Until early in the nineteenth century, people couldn’t travel all the way from east to west on what was then called Konge Vey (King’s Road) and which is now known as Centerline Rd or Route 10. The road was divided in two by a gorge located at the saddle of the Maho Bay Valley on the north and the Reef Bay Valley on the south. This gorge was known as the defile and was impassable by donkey cart or horseback.
When travelers on horseback or wagon going between the Coral Bay side of St. John and the Cruz Bay side came to the defile, they had two options:
Option 1: There were corrals for horses on both sides of the defile. They could leave their horses in the corral on one side, cross the defile on foot and arrange to take another horse to continue east.
Option 2: They could take the Maria Hope Road down the Maho Bay Valley to the north and continue east on the north shore.
Around the year 1780, the defile was filled in by the owner of the Old Works Estate, Peter Wood, and the two sides of the island were connected by one road for the first time.
When Centerline Road was constructed along the mountain ridge, hundreds of tons of fill were brought in to make the road passable by motor vehicle. In the process, the Old Works Estate and the uppermost section of the Maria Hope Road were completely covered over with the exception of the horsemill wall the horsemill wall, which can be seen as soon as you descend the stairs to the Reef Bay Trail.
The ruins of Maria Hope Estate lie just about 200 feet from Centerline Road at the trail entrance to the Maria Hope Trail. Access to the ruins is provided by a trail going east and up just as you enter the Maria Hope Trailhead…. Read more
A Major Addition to Virgin Islands Park By ASHLEY WINCHESTER
Virgin Islands National Park – which already encompasses 60 percent of the tiny Caribbean island of St. John — just got a little bigger.
The beach at Maho Bay and its surrounding hillside recently was sold to the National Park Service in a $2.5 million deal, the Trust for Public Land announced. It’s the park’s largest addition since 1956, when the philanthropist Laurance Rockefeller, hoping to preserve the island paradise he fell in love with, donated more than 5,000 acres toward its creation…. read more
Organizers Seek Input on Plan to Control Invasive Lionfish
By Susan Ellis — January 8, 2014
During the three years after their first sighting in the territory in 2008, about 800 lionfish were taken from the waters around St. Croix. In 2012, the number had grown to between 7,000 and 10,000 fish, but according to research the infestation may be leveling off.
At the end of 2012, members of dive and fishing groups on St. Croix estimated they had removed 7,000 lionfish that year, according to Anthony Mastroianni of Lionfish Safari, a private non-profit group. Jenn Travis, project coordinator and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration coral fellow, said local fishermen could account for another 3,000 fish.
On Wednesday, the Friends of the East End Marine Park, a non-profit organization, hosted a public meeting, attended by a handful of stakeholders, at You Are Here Bar and Grille to review and update the Lionfish Response Plan, written by The Nature Conservancy in 2009.
The updated comprehensive plan, with input from public forums and a written survey, outlines goals to address control and removal of the fish, education and outreach, research and monitoring as well as marketing and communications.
“If we lose the reefs – the coral – we lose the sea grass beds, we lose the sea turtles,” Travis said….
… The Pacific Lionfish was first discovered in the Atlantic off the coast of Florida in 1992. Its spines are venomous but when removed, the fish is edible. Since 1992, the marine predator has migrated to South America and has infested some areas, like the Bahamas, with unmanageable numbers.
The lionfish endangers reef ecology and the fish industry by eating juvenile fish, octopus, squid, shrimp and lobster. They are prolific and adaptable. Mature females can lay 30,000 eggs every four days and they can live up to 15 years.
Lionfish have been spotted at a various depths – from a dozen inches of water to more than 1,000 feet.
As the waters become infested with lionfish, there are fewer fish to feed residents. Tourism suffers because fewer people visit the territory to dive and snorkel. The victim species negatively affect the oceans’ ecology and impacts recreation and commercial interests…. read more
St. John Virgin Islands Live Music Schedule
Steel Pan by Lemuel Samuels
6:00 – 9:00
This afternoon will be a great time to experience the spectacular view from Ram Head Point at Sunset. The sun will set in the west at 6:38 and the moon will rise shortly afterward at 6:43 PM. The moon should give plenty of light for the hike back, but nonetheless, be sure and bring a flashlight to safely negotiate tricky parts of the hike.
Another option for early birds would be the sunrise Ram Head hike. The moon will set in the west at 5:34 AM and the sun will rise at 5:55 AM tomorrow morning
St. John Weather
Partly cloudy with rain showers
High of 84 degrees F
Winds from the ENE at 10 to 15 mph
Chance of rain 30%
Water temperature (Charlotte Amalie Harbor, St. Thomas): 86 degrees F
Sunset: 6:38 PM AST Full Moon Rise: 6:43 PM AST
Virgin Islands News
Multiple Shootings Stop St. Thomas J’ouvert
By James Gardner and Bill Kossler — April 25, 2013
At least three people were shot during J’ouvert, shortly before 9 a.m. Thursday, as the procession moved by the ferry mooring on the Charlotte Amalie waterfront. The parade was halted at 9:05 a.m., the V.I. Police Department has confirmed.
No fatalities have been reported at present. The investigation is in its preliminary stages and little more can be confirmed at this time, according to police officials.
“Police are pursuing all leads in this case and it is an active investigation,” V.I. Police Department Public Information Officer Melody Rames said at 9:45 a.m…. read more
Governor: Violence Could Curtail Carnival
By Source staff — April 24, 2013
Continued outbreaks of violence could impact and even curtail Carnival last lap events, Gov. John deJongh Jr. and Police Commissioner-designate Rodney F. Querrard warned Wednesday.
Querrard briefed deJongh on a number of shootings and other incidents that have been reported on St. Thomas within the last several days, including the shooting early Tuesday morning of a 16-year-old who had been celebrating Carnival and was shot in the thigh near the entrance to Fort Christian east of Emancipation Garden.
St. John Live Music Schedule
Steel Pan by Lemuel Samuels
6:00 – 9:00
There is more to the story behind the closure of this area than is being told by the Park Service. The people behind getting this area declared OFF LIMITS are none other than the dynamic duo of Eleanor Gibney and Gary Ray. Eleanor Gibney has a long history on St. John of trying to keep her special places hidden from the rest of us. One comment of hers that I have always liked is ”There are places where people should not go” except her and her friends of course. It seems that Gibney and Ray have been able to secure the White Cliffs as their own private place. Now that they have one place secured, I will bet that there will be others.
The Park Service did note in passing that an effort will be made to get Eugenia Earhartii listed on the federal endangered species list. What they should have told us is that Eugenia Earhartii is not on any endangered species list except the one in the minds of Gibney and Ray. Perhaps the plant should be renamed Eugenia Eleanorii which in English would be Eleanor’s Stopper. That sounds appropriate to me. Gary Ray has other ideas about how to claim more areas to protect without actually having to go there. This would help with Ms. Gibney’s idea of “places where people should not go.”
Gary says: “Drones could be particularly useful in tropical forests where much of the vegetation and wildlife is hidden from view or hard to survey due to the geography. A drone can fly over large areas of forest, hover over interesting bits, spot wildlife movement, or observe illegal deforestation in real-time to alert authorities. The environmental uses of drones is limited only by the imagination and field needs of the researcher. In the Virgin Islands, endangered species surveys are underway to identify species like Eugenia earhartii, an endemic plant only found on steep, rocky and treacherous slopes. Remote drones could be employed to easily access habitats where the plant might exist thus saving research time and surveyor energy to locate and map the rare species”
Here are a couple of photos of Eugenia earhartii from the illustrious Doctor Gary Ray
Perhaps he has something like the Predator in mind so that the various areas could be watched and any intruders could be eliminated. When the US finally gets itself out of the mess in Afghanistan, these aircraft could be made available to the ever expanding enforcement arm of the VINP.
Another thing that was mentioned by Gerald is that the trail along the White Cliffs is not new. It was used by workers in the 1800s to get back and forth between Europa Bay and Reef Bay. It is a historic trail and not, as the NPS claims a new, illegal trail.
This recently closed area and much of the dry forest area along the south shore of St. John is the home to herds of feral goats. Goats will eat anything and when food supplies get low, they eat everything. Closing this area to a few hikers who want to hike along this beautiful trail will do nothing to save any plant or prevent damage to the soil. The goats are the real culprits. Goats typically move into areas where people don’t go. Perhaps the signs should read “Please stay on the trail to protect rare plants”. This park was created to save the area for the enjoyment of all the people and future generations. It was not created for the sole enjoyment of the team of Gibney, Ray and company.
It is your park. Help fight to keep it open to all.
The Great Seiban provides a shorter route than taking the L’Esperance Road for those hikers wishing to visit the Seiban Estate or the Baobob Tree.
There are impressive views of Fish Bay and the Fish Bay Valley along the trail.
Getting There: Heading east on the Fish Bay Road, take the first left after crossing the bridge over the Fish Bay Gut, which is Cocoloba Trail, at the first intersection bear right, staying on the Cocoloba Trail Road. Take the first left and head up the hill to the first switchback. The trail begins there marked by white paint on the utility pole.
Distance: 0.5 mile
The Great seiban has a moderate incline with an elevation of about 360 feet at the Fish Bay trailhead and about 580 feet at the intersection of the L’Esperance Road, a gain of 220 feet over the half mile of trail.
About the Trail An old Danish Road, the Great Sieban, connects the L’Esperance Road at Estate Seiban to Fish Bay. The trail descends from the Sieban Ruins near the baobob tree, following the contour of the Fish Bay Valley and leads to a residential area of Fish Bay.
The hand-built road constructed in colonial times has weathered the centuries well, as can be seen by the good condition of much of the stone retaining walls supporting the lower side of the road.
The Great Sieban passes through shady moist forest with stands of guavaberry, West Indian Birch, genip and turpentine trees underneath which are bromeliads, anthuriums and love leaf.
Trail Condition January 17, 2013: The trail leading up to the Seiban ruins from Fish Bay is in very good condition, until you reach the upper elevations where guinea grass has overgrown the trail somewhat. The spur trail between the Seiban ruins and the L’Esperance Road is in poor condition. The Seiban ruins are in fair condition. The Grand Stairway is totally overgrown and the view into Fish Bay from the boulders behind the baobob tree is completely obscured by vegetation.
St. John Weather Mostly cloudy with rain showers
High of 82 degrees F.
Breezy: Winds from the North at 10 to 20 mph.
Chance of rain 20%
Water Temperature (Charlotte Amalie Harbor): 82 degrees F Sunrise: 6:54 AM AST – Sunset: 6:05 PM AST
St. John Live Music Schedule January 18, 2013
5:30 – 8:30
Barefoot Cowboy Lounge
7:00 – 9:00
Sol Driven Train
Mikey P 8:00
Dance Party 11:00
Eddie Bruce Drum Circle
6:30 – 8:00
Bo & Lauren
6:30 – 9:00
Fatty Crab Brian Campbell Trio
Inn at Tamarind Court
6:00 – 9:00
6:00 – 9:30
6:30 – 9:00
7:00 – 10:00
5:00 – 8:00
Chris Carsel & Company
6:30 – 9:30
A visitor to the blog sent me an email regarding a hike that I had not known of before. It’s out on the East End and runs along the cliffs of Red Point and then up to the hilltop. Someone has named it “Lagoon Way.”
This is not a National Park Trail. It goes through private property, although there are apparently no attempts to restrict public access at the present time.
The trail down to the pond is steep and rocky, so be careful not to slip on loose rocks or to attempt this trail on wet rainy days.
Parts of the trail are extremely narrow and will take you right on the edge rocky cliffs, so if you suffer from acrophobia,forget about it. Otherwise, be especially careful, a slip here could result in severe injury or worse.
Wear good shoes as there are suckers and other cacti along much of the trail.
How to get there:
Take the East End road the the end of East End. Turn left onto the dirt road past Sloop Jones and then take the low road on the right to the end where you’ll see a bench with a painted sign saying “Gary’s Seat.
Just to the right of the bench is a steep trail that heads down to the salt pond below. There is a knotted line placed there to aid you down the steep beginning of the trail.
Walk down to the bottom of the trail which will take you to the salt pond behind the beach at Pond Bay.
“Right before you get to the beach, you should stay left, and not walk through the gate to Scott and Sabrina’s house. And after this left turn, look for a right just before you get to the flat. That will take you out to the beach. If you keep straight you’ll find the saltpond which is interesting in its own way.” Added by Ed Gibney 1/15
Once you reach the pond make your way to the rocky beach and walk along the shore to your left.
At the east end of the beach you’ll come to a trail going up towards the rocky headland marked with a sign post reading “Lagoon Way.”
This trail will take you to the edge of the cliffs along Red Point. The trail is narrow, rocky and extremely close to the cliff edge. Be careful!
The views from here are (what adjective to use here?) – impressive, dramatic – most definitely.
Walk along the cliff-side trail until it turns to head up the hillside. Watch out not to step on suckers or other cacti. The trail leads through a cactus scrub environment uphill until you come to another signpost with options to head for an overlook or to continue on to the top of the hill where an old turpentine tree stands.
You can continue hiking at the Turpentine Tree and the trail will loop back to the one you came up on.
St. John Weather
Overcast with rain showers in the morning, then partly cloudy
High of 81 degrees F
Breezy: Winds from the ENE at 10 to 20 mph
Chance of rain 20%
Water Temperature (Charlotte Amalie Harbor) 82 degrees F
Sunrise: 6:54 AM AST – Sunset: 6:02 PM AST