Tag Archives: francis bay trail

St. John Trails: Francis Bay Trail

St. John Trails: Francis Bay TrailMayan Sun Circle on the Francis Bay Trail
Volunteers working for the Friends of the Virgin Islands National Park have extended the handicap access boardwalk that runs along the Francis Bay Pond, parallel to the beach, all the way from the road to the point on the trail by the big tamarind tree where the trail turns and leads up the hill to another viewing area and the remains of an old residence. At the end of the boardwalk, shaded by the old tamarind trees, there is now a really cool Mayan Sun Circle apparently made out of leftover lumber from the project.

Earthquake Felt on St. John
A relatively weak earthquake felt at 6:54 am with a 3.4 magnitude was close enough to St. John (the epicenter was only 23 miles away from the island) that you could feel the shake, which lasted just a few moments.

St. John Weather
The sky is still dusty due to the presence of dust from the Sahara Desert in Africa and volcanic ash from Montserrat in the Lesser Antilles
High Temperature: 85 degrees
Water temperature: 82 degrees
Sunset: 6:32 pm

St. John Live Music Schedule Wednesday March 28

Aqua Bistro – Rascio on Steel Pan – 5:30 – 8:30 – 776-5336
Castaways – Kenny Floyd – 8:00 – 777-3316
Coconut Coast Studios – St. John Flutes – 776-6944
Cruz Bay Prime – Samba Combo – 7:00 – 10:00 – 693 -8000
Driftwood Dave’s – Paradise People – 7:00 – 10:00 – 777-4015
High Tide – Chris Carsel – 6:00 – 9:00 – 714-6169
Sun Dog Cafe – Wednesday Night Jam – 7:30-10:00 – 244-9713

See Weekly Schedule

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St. John Fauna: Francis Bay Pond

St. John Birds: duck

Francis Bay Trail, St. John USVI

The Francis Bay Trail accesses two excellent viewing stations where you can relax and comfortably observe the life on and around a typical St. John salt pond.

The handicap accessible boardwalk, which leads around the western side of the pond, takes you to a short pier extending out onto the pond. The pier ends in a fenced deck from which these photos were taken.

The best time to observe the activity on the salt pond is during the early morning or late afternoon. As these are the times that often brings out the resident bug population, arriving armed with some insect repellent might make good sense, just in case.

Another excellent view of the salt pond can be found from the benches located on the upper part of the trail.

St, John Birds: Black-Necked Stilt
Black-Necked Stilt

St. John Virgin islands Birds: Duck and Black-necked stilt
Black-Necked Stilt & Duck


Ready to Fly

White Ibis

St. John Fauna: Deer
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St. John Trails Update

sunrise over chocolate hole
Sunday Morning Sunrise

Chocolate Hole, St. John US Virgin Islands (USVI)
Notwithstanding the Flash Flood Warning and the high probability of rain, my weather forecast system of looking out at the sky served me well and yesterday’s hike was rain free.

Last night however, it rained like crazy with thunder and lightning and high winds. So far this morning so good, but it sure looks like rain. Unless it looks better later on today, I’ll probably cancel my planned visit to Jost Van Dyke.

Being that I’m in the process of another book reprint for St. John Off The Beaten Track, I’ve been revisiting the island’s trails to check for changes since the last printing. I’ve also been concerned about trail conditions after the winds of Hurricane Earl and the flooding from Hurricane Otto. Following are reports from last week’s St. John trail hikes.

Francis Bay Trail
The Francis Bay Trail remains in good condition with the exception that part of the new boardwalk constructed for handicap access is now under water. This is undoubtedly due to the unusual amount of rain we’ve experienced lately and will correct itself in the coming months.

Maria Hope Road
The Maria Hope Trail is still in good condition even though there been no improvements or maintenance done on the trail by National Park contractors. The one good overlook has filled in with vegetation and although still providing views they’re not quite as outstanding as before.

Guinea Grass on the Tektite Trail
Guinea Grass (photo by Yelena Rogers)

Tektite Trail
Like the Maria Hope Road, the Tektite Trail remains in good condition despite lack of maintenance. The sections of trail passing trough fields of guinea grass are beginning to become overgrown and may be difficult to follow in the future if the trail does not continue to be well used by hikers.

L'Esperance Estate

L’Esperance Road
The L’Esperance Trail is also in good condition as are the L’Esperance and Seiban ruins cleared by volunteers last year. These estates, however are beginning to show signs of being reclaimed by bush if a campaign of maintenance by either contractors or volunteers is not initiated.

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St. John Virgin Islands Trails: New Cinnamon Bay Trail Overlook

St. John Trails: Cinnamon Bay Trail Overlook
View from new overlook on the Cinnamon Bay Trail
New Cinnamon Bay Overlook
view to the east

There’s something new to view for hikers on the Cinnamon Bay Trail.

Jeff Chabot group leader and volunteers working with the Appalachian Mountain Club in a cooperative venture with the Virgin Islands National Park and Friends of the Virgin Islands National Park have cleared an overlook along the trail, with views extending from Jost Van Dyke to St. Thomas and the northwestern cays.

Some years ago there was an overlook higher up on the trail near the top, which has long since overgrown.

The trail crew did an excellent job creating this new overlook. The view is spectacular!

Other overlooks that have now been cleared are the Lind Point Battery Overlook,  at the bench almost to the top of Caneel Hill on the Caneel Hill Trail, one on the Bordeaux Mountain Trail and another on the Lameshur Bay Trail.

We’ll be posting photos of these overlooks shortly…

Soon come… one on the Reef Bay Trail, the Francis Bay Salt Pond and two on the Johnny Horn Trail….

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