Hassel Island, which is approximately 135 acres of land, forms the western portion of the larger St. Thomas’s harbor. Originally the island was a peninsula before the Danish Government separating it from the mainland St. Thomas in the 1860s. To preserve its rich history 95% of the island was acquired by the National Park Service in 1978. The Island is an offshore downtown, which creates a whole new world outside the bustling shore of St. Thomas. It is only on the Island that culture and history match the stunning scenery of the Virgin Islands.
A visit to the island means exploration through kayaking, snorkeling or hiking tour, all this combined with an eco-adventure and a history lesson to complete the package. Although the island is governed as a national park, a number of private estates stand in the remaining 5% of the remaining land. Among its rich history is that from 1917 to 1932 it used to be a U.S. naval station before a family purchased it. However, in 1978, it was sold to the Virgin Islands National Park, which has preserved it to date for its visitors.