Tag Archives: lind point trail

St. John Beaches: Salomon Bay

Salomon Bay
Map-9Why Salomon?
Although Salomon is every bit as beautiful as any of St. John’s incomparable north shore beaches, this unconventional access, keeps the number of visitors down and insures a more intimate beach experience. Additionally, if you’ve come by ferry from St. Thomas for the day or are staying in Cruz Bay, you won’t need to rent a car or hire a taxi to get to the beach.

 How to Get There

 Hike from Town
Take the Lind Point Trail, which begins at the National Park Visitors Center in Cruz Bay.

Parking
For those who arrive at the trailhead by car, 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.

If you opt for permitted parking, make sure that you return before the Visitors Center closes to get your license back. (The Visitor Center is open daily from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.)

Park back wheels to the curb, windshield facing out towards the street and enjoy your hike.

The Trail
From the trailhead, it will be a little less than one mile to the beach at Salomon Bay. When you get to the fork in the trail, you can go either way.

The lower trail is slightly shorter and less hilly. On the other hand, the upper trail is often better maintained and more scenic, passing by the beautiful Lind Point Overlook.

From either the upper or lower trails, take the spur trail to Salomon Bay, which will be on your left and leads downhill.

Combining a Drive and a Walk
For a shorter walk (a little over a half mile, but with a descent of 250 feet and the consequential ascent later on) to Salomon Beach, you can use the Caneel Hill Spur Trail.

Ttake Route 20 (the North Shore Road) past Mongoose Junction and up the hill. Turn left at the top of the hill where there is a blue Virgin Islands National Park sign.

Parking
Immediately on the right hand side, is a parking area for approximately four vehicles. Park here if you drove.

The Caneel Hill Spur Trail intersects Route 20 and is clearly marked with a sign. Take this trail north and downhill to the Lind Point Trail and turn left. Then take the first spur trail to the right, which goes down the hill to Salomon Beach.

The Name

Salomon Bay was named after the brothers Jannis and Isack Salomon, The Salomon brothers, were Dutchmen from a prestigious family, who came to the Danish West Indies from Statia in the early 18th century. They dedicated the Salomon Bay property to the production of cotton.

salomon bay kids
Salomon Beach is now more family friendly
Salomon Bay anti Nudity laws
Lacking federal anti-nudity laws the Park enforces Territorial Law

Old Reputation
At one time Salomon had the reputation of being a clothing optional beach. In 1997, a federal court decision allowed the Park, a federal entity, to enforce Virgin Islands territorial laws prohibiting public nudity. With continued enforcement, nudity was discouraged and today only old time residents remember the days when Salomon was “clothing optional.”

Snorkeling
Some of the finest snorkeling on the north shore can be found on the reef between Salomon and Honeymoon Bays. This easily accessible, shallow water snorkel can be thoroughly enjoyed by snorkelers of all experience levels.

Salomon and Honeymoon Bays can be reached via the Lind Point Trail or from the Caneel Bay Resort.

Visitors arriving from the Caneel Bay Resort will be subject to a $20.00 parking fee that will be waived for those spending money at the resort’s facilities.

Snorkeling equipment, as well as single and double kayaks, standup paddleboards and beach chairs can be rented at the Honeymoon Beach Hut. Cold drinks ice cream and snacks are also available for purchase. Other facilities available at Honeymoon Bay include rest rooms and lockers.

Most of the reef lies in calm shallow water with some sections even rising above the surface at times of extreme low tides, thus snorkelers should make an extra effort to avoid situations where the water is too shallow for them.

The coral reef here is in relatively good condition and the reef community is colorful and diverse. Snorkelers will encounter intricate coral formations and lots of fish with different varieties arriving at different times of the day.

Snorkeling in the center of the bays can also be a worthwhile experience. Stay in areas protected by swim buoys to minimize danger from dinghy traffic in the area. Here, the environment is sand and coral rubble. You will have to look more carefully to find interesting activity, but there really is a great deal of life here. The hills and holes on the sea floor are formed by eels, worms, shrimp, clams and crabs that make their homes on this underwater beach.

Snorkeling just off the beach is also a good way for beginners to get practice before attempting to snorkel over the reef where there is a possibility of danger to both the snorkeler and to the reef from accidental contact.

The reef on the east end of Honeymoon around the point between Honeymoon and Caneel Bays is also a good snorkeling area. It’s closer to the beach and smaller than the more extensive reef on the other side of the bay. There are always a lot of fish here as well as some excellent examples of colorful elkhorn coral.

(Excerpted from St. John Off The Beaten Track)

St. John and Virgin Islands News

New ferries are one inspection away from starting service
By ALDETH LEWIN (Daily News Staff)
Published: March 8, 2014

ST. THOMAS – The two new passenger ferries still are awaiting a final Coast Guard inspection before they begin to take passengers to and from Red Hook and St. John.

The vessels, named Red Hook I and Cruz Bay I, were delivered to the territory in November and were supposed to be in operation by the end of 2013.

At first, a problem with insurance policies delayed the start of operations, but now the only thing holding up the boats is the final coast guard inspection, Public Works Commissioner Darryl Smalls said….

…The ferries are 85-foot aluminum catamarans, each of which can carry about 250 passengers and are loaded with state-of-the-art features. The current ferries in operation belong to Varlack Ventures and Transportation Services, the companies franchised to run the St. Thomas to St. John ferry route.

However, the two new boats will belong to the V.I. government and be operated by the franchisees. At the end of January, Smalls said he expected the new vessels would be operational for the public by the end of February.

On Friday, Smalls told The Daily News the last piece to be put in place is the final Coast Guard inspection and certification of the franchised operators.

Coast Guard spokesman Ricardo Castrodad said Friday that the inspections done in Louisiana, where they were built, were for sea-worthiness.

“These two ferries have already been inspected and received documents of inspection good for five years,” Castrodad said.

However, when the boats came to the U.S. Virgin Islands, they passed out of one port zone and into another. That requires another set of inspections, these more specifically geared to the operator.

“They will go over some drills on the proficiency of handling the vessel,” Castrodad said.

The drills will include an “abandon ship” exercise, a “man overboard” rescue and other safety and security drills, according to Castrodad.

The only obstacle is scheduling a time for the inspections with the Coast Guard and the two ferry operators…. read entire article

Vice President Joe Biden and wife visit St. Croix
By JOY BLACKBURN (Daily News Staff)
Published: March 8, 2014

ST. CROIX – U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, again are visiting St. Croix.

Information from the White House Office of the Vice President indicates that the Bidens are visiting the territory Friday through Sunday, with no public events scheduled.

It is their second visit to the St. Croix in just more than two months. The Bidens last visited the island for a holiday vacation from Dec. 27 through Jan. 1.

They have quietly visited the territory around holiday time more than once in recent years, initially on Water Island and, more recently, on St. Croix.

Suspect Arrested in Women’s Murder
By Source staff — March 8, 2014

A 24-year-old woman from St. Thomas was found dead at about 10:15 p.m. Friday in a car in Tutu Valley, according to the V.I. Police Department, and one man was later arrested and charged in the crime.

Adisa Bertrand, a 34-year-old resident of Chocolate Hole, St. John, was charged with first-degree murder and other charges….

IMG_0544St. John Weather

Isolated showers. Mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 75. East southeast wind around 9 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

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Parking for the Lind Point Trail

sunset from lind point battery overlook
Yesterday’s sunset seen from the Lind Point Battery Overlook

Virgin Islands National Park SignThe 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.

… the island nation of St. Kitts & Nevis had the highest homicide rate in the region…. Jamaica’s homicide rate was second highest in the region…. and the Bahamas ranked third

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

St. John Live Music Schedule

Aqua Bistro
Stephan Sloan
5:30 – 8:30
776-5336

Beach Bar
Get Right Band
9:00
777-4220

Castaway’s
Mikey P
9:00
Dance Party
11:00
777-3316

High Tide
Mikey P
7:00 ish
714-6169

Island Blues
Brother Nature
8:00
776-6800

Morgan’s Mango
Lauren
6:30 – 9:30
693-8141

Ocean Grill
Rascio on Steel Pan
6:30 – 9:30
693-3304

Shipwreck Landing
Tropical Sounds
6:30 – 9:30
693-5640

Skinny Legs
Chris Carsel
Plus Comedian Tim Hofmann!
6:00 – 9:00
779-4982

Spyglass
James Milne
5:00 – 8:00
776-1100

See Weekly Schedule

St. John Weather

Scattered showers, mainly before noon. Mostly sunny, with a high near 79. East wind around 18 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.

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St. John Trails: Lind Point Battery Overlook

Here’s another in the series of newly cleared overlooks, the product of the hard work done by Jeff Chabot and his trail clearing volunteers. This one is the popular Lind Point Battery Overlook on the Lind Point Trail.

Lind Point Battery Overlook

St. John Trails: Lind Point Battery Overlook
view to the north from the bench on the Lind Point Battery Overlook
St. John Trails: Lind Point Battery Overlook
view into cruz bay
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St. John Virgin Islands: Lind Point Trail

I took a look at my book inventory and, lo and behold, it’s time for a reprinting of our most popular book, “St. John Off the Beaten Track.” It’s in pretty good shape now and not a whole lot has changed in the last few years on the beaches and trails, but nonetheless, there’s always room for improvement, so it looks like a rewrite.

My method of forced discipline for these tasks has always been to begin with a web presentation of the various chapters. That gets it written, allows for changes, organizes images and more importantly, makes the process seem less huge. Readers of the blog will get a preview of the new book and can avail themselves of the information. They can even follow me around the island checking out the beautiful trails and beaches one by one.

I’ll be starting from Cruz Bay and going around the north shore, so our first entry will be the Lind Point Trail.

Lind Point Trail

Special Features
As the trail begins just a short walk from the ferry dock in downtown Cruz Bay, this is THE trail to take for day trippers to St. John, who would like to either take a hike on one of the national Park Trails or enjoy one of St. John’s world famous north shore beaches without the necessity of renting a car or hiring a taxi.

Difficulty: Moderate

Distances
From the National Park Service Visitors Center to Honeymoon Bay (1.1 miles)
From the National Park Service Visitors Center to Salomon Bay (0.75 mile)
From the National Park Service Visitors Center to the Lind Point Overlook (0.4 mile)

Hiking Time: About 45 minutes (Cruz Bay to Honeymoon Bay- taking it slow)

Elevation
Sea level at Cruz Bay, Salomon and Honeymoon trail heads and 140 feet at the Lind Point Battery Overlook

Environment
The Lind Point Trail passes through the inland environments of cactus scrub between Cruz Bay and Lind Point and dry forest on the wooded slopes of Caneel Hill east of Lind Point.

The Route
The Lind Point Trail runs between the parking area behind the National Park Visitors Center and the beaches at Salomon and Honeymoon Bays passing by the Lind Point Battery Overlook from where the hiker can enjoy unobstructed views of downtown Cruz Bay, the main harbor, the Battery, the Creek and many of the islands and cays of Pillsbury Sound.

Cruz Bay to Lind Point
From the Cruz Bay trail head to Lind Point the trail passes through an area once known as Estate Lindholm, which in colonial days was dedicated to the cultivation of cotton.

After crossing a dirt road, the trail rises gradually in elevation and follows the eastern shoreline of Cruz Bay. Here the track is lined by tangles of night blooming cerius, a cactus-like plant that once a year produces a magnificent white flower that opens at night and closes before sunrise the next morning. The flower is followed by the production of a delicious red fruit that tastes something like a kiwi.

About a quarter mile from the trailhead, the path splits into upper and lower branches. The upper trail will be to your right while the lower trail continues straight ahead. Both trails access the Salomon and Honeymoon Bays, but only the upper trail passes by the Lind Point Battery Overlook.

Lower Trail
The lower trail is slightly shorter and less hilly, than the upper trail and would be the preferred route for those who are not interested in the Lind Point Battery Overlook and are using the trail solely as a means of getting to the Salomon or Honeymoon beaches.

Upper Trail
The upper trail gains elevation through a series of switchbacks and then continues north toward Lind Point, the headland that defines the northern extremity of Cruz Bay and the northwestern corner of the island.

Lind Point
When you get to Lind Point, a loop trail on your left leads to the Lind Point Battery Overlook.

Lind Point Battery Overlook
During the era of the Napoleonic wars, England, along with most of Europe, had united against Napoleon and his revolutionary government in France. Fearing for the security of her West Indian colonies, Britain turned her attention to the Danish West Indian islands of St. Thomas and St. John. If the French took control of these islands, they would undoubtedly use the strategic harbors of Charlotte Amalie in St. Thomas and Coral Bay on St. John to set up bases from which Tortola and the rest of the British West Indian colonies could be attacked.

It was a likely scenario. Denmark never had a strong military presence in the Caribbean and St. Thomas and St. John could easily have fallen prey to the French. The British decided to make the first move. They sent a fleet of warships to St. Thomas, whereupon the Danes surrendered before a single shot was fired. British troops occupied the Danish West Indies on two separate occasions, once in 1801, for almost a year, and then again in 1807, this time remaining until 1815. In order to secure Cruz Bay harbor, the British built a battery (fortification) on Lind Point. The “English Fort” as it was called by the inhabitants of St. John at the time, was no more than a semicircular terrace supported by a stone retaining wall upon which cannons were placed to defend the harbor. The cannons are no longer there, but the retaining wall remains. In place of the weaponry, there is now a wooden bench where you can sit and enjoy a view of busy Cruz Bay Harbor backdropped by unspoiled tropical scenery.

From Lind Point to Salomon and Honeymoon Bays
From Lind Point, the trail turns right, or east, and follows the northwestern coastline though a dry forest environment. Many of the rock formations along the hillsides are covered by epiphytes (air plants), such as bromeliads and anthuriums. Other rocks bear intricate designs created by lichen growing on the surface of the stones.

 Salomon Bay Spur

The Salomon Bay Spur Trail intersects both the upper and lower Lind Point trails about a quarter mile from Lind Point. For those going to Salomon Bay, take this trail down to the western end of Salomon Beach. The trail runs alongside the beach to eastern end of Salomon Bay and then leads up to meet the lower Lind Point Trail.

On to Honeymoon Bay
For those not going to Salomon Bay, both the lower and upper Lind Point Trails continue on towards Honeymoon Bay near a large tamarind tree. Cross over the dirt road to get to the beach. This road heads east towards the Caneel Bay Resort.

(East of the Salomon Bay Spur Trail, the Upper Lind Point Trail intersects the Caneel Hill Spur Trail just before its intersection with the lower trail.)

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