St. John is known for its many hiking trails, and Reef Bay Trail is one of the most popular on the island. It runs for 2.2 miles through rainforests filled with exotic birds and lizards, past the ruins of four sugar mills, and ends at a beautiful beach – perfect for relaxing after you’re tired at the end of the trail. One of the things that makes the Reef Bay Trail especially popular are the pre-Columbian Taino petroglyphs, ancient signs dating back over 1,000 carved into a rock face. Nobody knows for sure what they mean, which adds to the mystery and intrigue of the carvings. You’ll find them surrounding a small pool at the base of a 40-foot tall waterfall.
The Reef Bay Trail makes for a great family hike, immersing you in the history (both pre-Columbian and colonial) of St. John. There are a few different difficulty levels available. The most difficult hike entails going through the entire trail and then back, which covers around five miles. The medium difficulty level involves going one way and then using boats at Sadie Sea to get back to your starting point. The easiest simply involves hiking for 20-30 minutes, and you get to the path by boat (you’ll need a private charter for this one).