St. John: Reef Bay Hike, Bugs, etc.

Oct 15th, 2003, 07:48 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Apr 2003
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St. John: Reef Bay Hike, Bugs, etc.

Hello everyone,
We'll be going to St. John in November--can't wait! I have a few questions: Has anyone taken the Reef Bay Hike through the Natl Park Service? I understand a boat picks you up at Reef Bay. Is there time to swim and snorkle--is the snorkling any good there? Has anyone found anything that keeps the sand fleas (no-see-ums) from eating you alive? Off doesn't seem to work. Also, when is Trunk Bay the least crowded? Thanks!
Avery is offline  
Oct 16th, 2003, 04:53 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
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There was a recent trip report post on this hike on USVI on-line. Lots of expert advise there. Also recent posts on keeping the bugs away. Heading to St. John on the 26th.

http://www.usvi-on-line.com/usviforum.html
RobertoB is offline  
Oct 20th, 2003, 11:27 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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We have taken the Reef Bay Hike on our own. I do not think I personally would enjoy the hike with the Natl. Park Service b/c we like to do our own thing, stop when we want and pick up the pace if we want. However, we did the hike down and back up and it is quite a hike on the return. By going with the Nat'l. Park Service, a boat picks you up so you really only do half the hike, but that is your choice. It certainly is much easier doing the down hike than the return trip.

The snorkeling was just okay for us; there was much better and much better beaches as well, but the petroglyphs and ruins were nice to see. Although I am incredibly bothered by the mosquitoes and no seeums, I don't recall them being especially aggressive on this hike. I know we sprayed (Deet products are what work best), but I find the little buggers much more annoying at dusk and dawn than during the day.

Try Trunk early in the a.m. and try to avoid days that cruise ships are in STT, if possible.
klqkauai is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2003, 06:21 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I don't know if you read my report(s) yet but I wrote a very lengthy report on my trip from St. John/Caneel Bay. We did use OFF with DEET for the bugs but my husband and I still get bit. Try not to use and lotion, or scented deoderant. This will deter some of the bugs. I put on some jergens lotion (scented a litte) and then put on the OFF and still got bit. We went to Trunk Bay one day and got there a little before 9am and it was nice and quiet. We noticed that people start arriving in droves around 10:00/10:30. The best bet is to go early to Trunk Bay, before 10 or later on like around 3 or 4pm. You'll really enjoy it. ITs truely paradise! - Susan
SSypniewski is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2003, 10:40 AM
  #5  
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Thanks for the replies! We were in St. John a couple of years ago but never made it to the Reef Bay hike. We're a little lazy and would prefer the boat ride back rather than hiking uphill in the heat. The last time we were there I used industrial strength OFF (also did not use perfume or lotion) but still got bitten so badly from the no-see-ums I had a rash on both legs. I don't know if it was from the bugs or the deet in OFF. I was hoping someone had success with an alternative. Also good to know about Trunk Bay--it was mobbed the last time we were there, but the beach is so pretty.
Avery is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2003, 03:59 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2003
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We took our family on the hike last year. The "children" were in their late teens and early twenties. While we found the hike very informative not only about the flora and fauna of the Island, but also informantion on local culture, customs and history, they felt restricted by the large group, about thirty, and would have liked to move a bit quicker. They do allow for some swimming and exploring especially if you finish your lunch quickly at the petroglyphs and scoot down to the bay. I don't think the snorkeling is that good, but there is a nice beach. The water is a few degrees warmer there on the Carribean side. Hope this is helpful. We didn't notice any bugs during the day but it was the dry season, last March and April.
WillR is offline  
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