According to Gerald Singer, author of the St. John Beach Guide, the Reef Bay hike is one of the 10 best in the Caribbean.
If you want to go on the hike, there's been a change. You now sign up with the island's Friends of the Park, not the National Park Service. You go to the Friends of the Park's store on the first floor at Mongoose Shopping Center and make your reservation. You pay $30. The fee is for transportation from Cruz Bay, by taxi, out to the start of the hike's trail, and the boat ride back along the south shore of the island.
"The problem was that there were a large number of no-shows for the hike," said Joe Kessler, president of the Friends. "There were generally many empty places, depriving folks who wanted top go." Furthermore, charging up front for transportation makes no-shows less likely, he said. "Since the Park was not charging for the tyrip and didn't want the hassle of colecting the money, they asked us tp help. In the end we might make a few bucks in the process."
During the winter, the hike, led by a National Park Ranger, is offered Mondays, Tuesday, Thursdays and Fridays, with the taxi leaving Cruz Bay at 9:30 a.m..
The Reef Bay Hike is a 2.2 mile downhill walk through a shady and moist forest and past four sugar plantations. It is best known for the petropglyphs (rock engravings) carved by Taino Indians. For decades, it has been one of the most popular activities in the Virgin Islands National Park.
Previously reservations for the hike were handled by Park personnel.