Need Info on Hiking Reef Bay Trail

Old Sep 13th, 2002, 09:49 AM
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Need Info on Hiking Reef Bay Trail

Will be in St. John the end of October and would like info on the National Park guided hike down Reef Bay Trail.
Is the hike difficult? (we are walkers, but not official "hikers")
Do you need hiking boots, or are good sneakers sufficient?
What days of the week is the guided hike offered?
How long does it take?
Any info greatly appreciated!!!!
Old Sep 13th, 2002, 09:56 AM
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Here is the URL to the National Park website.
You'll find lots of info on the different hikes and programs on the calender section.
Good sneakers are sufficient. Bring as much water as you can carry and be in reasonably good physical condition. The hike is about 3 miles and mostly downhill but there are some short but VERY steep uphill sections.
Through most of the year the hike is on Mondays and Thursdays and you need to make a reservation.
It's a great hike, enjoy!!
Old Sep 13th, 2002, 12:54 PM
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Thanks for the info!!
Old Sep 19th, 2002, 08:37 AM
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Hi. I, too, am interested in this hike. I've heard you don't need to do it "guided." Is this true - the only thursday we'll be in St. John is Thanksgiving -- so if the tour isn't run that day (I still need to check this!) we were thinking of doing it on our own. If we do, where do you recommend we leave our car? Should we take a cab to the trail head? IS there a boat that takes us back or something?

THanks for any info.

Old Sep 19th, 2002, 08:52 AM
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You can do the hike on your own. There are a couple of spots where you can park off the road at the trail head or you can take a taxi and arrange for the taxi to meet you back at the trail head at certain time. You also could take the Vitran bus to the trail head and back.
You will need to hike back up the trail as the boat is only available on the Park Service guided hike. Be aware that it is uphill and steep coming back virtually the whole way.
The hike is also done on Mondays by the Park Service, not just Thursdays BTW.
Old Sep 20th, 2002, 05:27 PM
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My wife and I went to St. John last year and decided to hike the Reef Bay Trail one morning. We are both in our late thirties and NOT regular hikers, but in generally good health.
We got to the head of the trail at 8:00 a.m. and hiked down in about an hour. We had our packed lunch at the Bay, took a swim and then hiked back up. We saw absolutely no one until about halfway back up we ran into the guided National Park group going down. It was great fun, but the petroglyphs were disppointing.
You need sturdy shoes - the trail is rocky - but good tennis shoes should be okay. We saw one woman in the tour group wearing beach runners - not a good choice. Also bring lots of water - we got back to the top about noon and it was very hot (this was mid March). But we felt so virtuous afterward that we allowed ourselves to just sit in our villa all afternoon and drink rum. Best day on the island!
Old Sep 29th, 2002, 09:56 AM
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Am not a hiker but signed up for this hike before I left home. It was great-need decent shoes (don't need expensive hiking boots). I took the hike by myself as no one else wanted to go-everyone was friendly and the guide very informative. The beach and swim at the end was really nice and the boat trip back.
Old Sep 29th, 2002, 10:51 AM
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We did the guided hike of Reef Bay Trail. I think it's probably doable on your own *if* you're in good shape and don't mind walking uphill the whole way back. Bring plenty of water. You could probably manage this trail with a good and sturdy pair of sneakers, but if you're going to do any other hiking in St. John (you should!) it might be worth the investment to buy an inexpensive pair of hiking shoes. You can find some that are specifically designed for hiking in hot weather.

By the way, we also did the Ram Head trail while we were in St. John and loved it even more than the Reef Bay hike. Ram's Head has absolutely fabulous views! Do it early in the morning or on an overcast day, as there isn't a lot of shade though. The Ram's Head trail is rockier and I think hiking shoes are more necessary than on the Reef Bay walk. Very worth it though!
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