“a breathtaking American paradise”
Virgin Islands National Park’s hills, valleys and beaches are breath-taking. However, within its 7,000 plus acres on the island of St. John is the complex history of civilizations - both free and enslaved - dating back more than a thousand years, all who utilized the land and the sea for survival. Virgin Islands National Park encompasses over half the island of St. John and almost all of Hassel Island preserving stories of the prehistoric past and over a hundred historic sites that together complete one the most undisturbed and comprehensive Caribbean landscapes. One of the Virgin Islands National Park's most famous attractions is Trunk Bay, which sports a white sand beach and an underwater snorkeling trail.The park includes the sugar-plantation-ruins-littered Cinnamon Bay Nature Trail and the Bordeaux Mountain Trail that leads to the highest point on the island at 1,277 feet (389 m) above sea level, and whose view is best described as "what you must see from heaven". The most popular hike, however, is the Reef Bay Trail. This route paves the way to witnessing the beauty of the surrounding forestlands, remnants of sugar mills, historical Taíno petroglyph rock carvings, a spring-fed waterfall and reflection pool, and a chance for rest and relaxation or snorkeling excitement at Genti Bay. Each year, about 500,000 people visit the park. Virgin Islands National Park is spread out on 14,737 acres (5,964 ha) of land. It became the 29th U.S. national park in 1956, when Laurance Rockefeller visited the area and thought the land was incredibly beautiful. The park is free to enter and the only fee is to enter Trunk Beach, which is $4 for adults. The park covers almost 60 percent of Saint John Island and almost all of Hassel Island as well. The main features of the Virgin Islands National Park are the coral reefs and oceans. They almost completely surround the park. As new coral species replace older ones, the coral reefs are experiencing rapid change. For example, in 2006, the Elkhorn and Slaghorn coral were introduced to the Virgin Islands. Another important feature of the Virgin Islands are the tropical forests. The tropical forests hold most of the park's plants and wildlife. The plants and wildlife are what the Virgin Islands Park is famous for. Bats are the only mammal native to the island. Wild donkeys and crabs are also common species.
Trunk bay excellent for first time snorkellers. An easy path is well laid out and there is plenty to sea and do. An excellent out of the way beach.
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Virgin Islands National Park
- Sun - Sat: 12:00 am - 11:59 pm
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