The majority of St. John is covered by the Virgin Islands National Park, a stretch of preserved wilderness all the more remarkable when you consider how much of the island was once cleared for sugar plantations.
Get the most out of this natural wonder on hiking trails which crisscross the island. None takes more than two hours to complete, but they cover a surprising range of topography and vegetation as well as historic sites such as the eerie plantation ruins of Annaberg. And there’s no better way to end your walk than a swim at one of St. John’s superb beaches, such as beautiful Trunk Bay in the island’s northwest.
The park also protects the island’s reef, with public access allowed at the mangrove bay of Hurricane Hole, east of Coral Bay. Snorkeling is a popular activity all along the coastline.
Head for the park’s visitors’ center in Cruz Bay, the point of arrival for ferries from St. Thomas, to pick up maps and tips for further exploration. The park covers about two-thirds of the island as well as significant off-shore areas.