St. John Trails Update: White Cliffs Revisited

St. John Trails: White Cliffs
View of White Cliffs from the trail
St. John Trail Map: White Cliffs
White Cliffs Trail

Yesterday I hiked one of my all time favorite trails, the White Cliffs. As this is an unofficial trail within the National Park, it is not maintained by park personnel. This is a beautiful trail with outstanding views and provides an interesting alternative route to Reef Bay as well as really cool and challenging loop using the Lameshur Bay Trail for your return to the trailhead .

I wanted to see the condition of the trail after last summer’s collection of severe weather events. The trail was still in fairly good condition and in most parts easily followed. Of course a Trail Bandit map or even better a Trail Bandit map loaded GPS will always be a good friend.

It looks like as log as some hikers continue to use the trail on a somewhat regular basis, it will remain open, even better if you were to bring along a small clippers to cut back the unfriendly catch and keep, which appears from time to time along the trail.

The Route
The White Cliffs Trail begins at the Lameshur Bay Trail. Walk along the flats past the big old tamarind tree that looks like it was split in half by lightning some many years ago. You’ll pass the entrance to the Europa Point Trail, which to my pleasant surprise is now marked by a trail sign. Shortly after the Lameshur Bay Trail begins to rise, you’ll come to the Europa Bay Trail, which you’ll follow past a beautiful salt pond and on to the Europa Bay Beach.

Walk along the beach almost to the point at the end where you’ll find a narrow trail leading into the bush. This steep trail will take you to the ridge top from where there are some excellent views down into the Europa Bay Salt Pond, the Europa Bay Beach and onward to the east and south.

From the ridge, you can also walk out to the eastern point for views of the southern coastline of St. John out to Ram Head Point.

The trail leads through the forest on the ridge top eventually taking you through a guinea grass covered passage through some large rocks. After passing this the trail runs right along the edge of ridge with constant dramatic views of the coastline below.

The trail descends into the eastern portion of the rocky beach at Reef Bay.

To get to the Lameshur Bay Trail from here, walk west on the beach for as far as you can. At some point you’ll need to either get wet or head into the lowlands and make your way through the mangroves either back to the beach from where you can easily access the short trail to the Reef bay Sugar Factory ruins or inland to the Horsemill area of the ruins,

Then its a 1.1 mile easy going hike up the relatively flat section of the Reef Bay Trail to the more difficult 1.8 mile Lameshur Bay Trail, with it initial hill climb back to the starting point.

Challenging, but lots of fun. Let’s keep this trail open…

Update me when site is updated

6 thoughts on “St. John Trails Update: White Cliffs Revisited”

  1. Hiking is one of my favorite things to do on STJ…that and hanging out at the Beach Bar. It’s just a great way to see the natural beauty of the island. The trails and the nature are what make STJ so different from the other islands.

    Cheers!

  2. Okay I hiked this on xmas from Fish/Reef to Europa back via Lameshur. Then again on Jan 1 from Reef to Lameshur back via White Cliff trails. Both times the area as you reach the ridge overlooking Europa Bay was not clear and very overgrown. The trail from Europa Beach, along the salt pond as you climb back up seemed like alot of catch and keep and low lying trails for a bit. It is my new fav five hour loop, but next time I’m taking a machette. Unless you cleared it some…

  3. It is a bit overgrown, but still passable. I clipped back some of the catch and keep, but it I would have liked to do more. Also there a a few places where the trail is difficult to follow, In particular, the ares where you pass through the Guinea grass over the large rock just before you get to the best part of the trail that goes right along the cliff side. The other area that’s not so easy to find is the path down to Reef Bay Beach.

    I’d love to see this trail stay open and it will depend on hikers continuing to use it and, hopefully, doing a little clipping and/or trail marking. It’s really an incredible hike!

  4. We tried to find this in early December, and after a little mishap trying to find the trail up from Europa Bay, we had to abandon the hike. (The mishap resulted in a tree branch impaling my arm so we scurried out of there and went to the hospital where I received 12 stitches.) I’d love to try it again when we’re on STJ next time, but certainly hope that we have better luck finding the trail. I want to see the views from the top of the cliffs.

  5. We did this last month, but as part of a loop that started at the Lameshur trail and down the remains of the Reef Bay trail, then returning by the White Cliffs trail to take us back to Lameshur. It was pretty hard to find the Reef Bay end of the White Cliff trail, but we had some clippers with us and tried to “do our part.” I just wish we had some tape to mark the trail we blazed. We added a detour through the Reef Bay Estate House and the Par Force ruins and then, just because it had rained recently, we also swung by the Petroglyph trail. The entire trip took us 6 hours! It was wonderful, plus we earned our dinner and cocktails that night!

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