The Reef Bay Trail begins on Centerline Road at mile marker 5 with a beautiful stone stairway which leads you into a tropical forest. The trail is about 800-900 ft. in elevation. You should allow yourself several hours to complete the hike. The earlier you start your day the better as the sun can take its toll the later it gets. The unspoiled views you see during the hike make every step worth it. Informational Plaques are located along the way for you to learn about native plant species such as the locust, sandbox, kapok, mammee apple, mango, and bay rum trees. You may see wildlife such as lots of deer, hermit crabs, mongoose, birds and more.
Many find the trail quite strenuous so take your time and have water saved for the hour long hike back up to Centerline Road. Hiking boots or closed toed shoes are necessary as the path can be slippery. Guided hikes are available.
Near the bottom of the Reef Bay Trail on the left side of the path you can explore the well-preserved Sugar Mill Ruins as your imagination runs wild of what life must have been like when the Mill was in operation. This Mill was the longest operating sugar factory on Saint John in the 20th Century and utilized the newest technology.
Further along, there is the Petroglyph Spur Trail, a .22 mile trail on the right leading to the Petroglyphs, one of Saint John’s most valued historical treasures and used as an icon for jewelry and artistry alike. The carvings are located near a small Waterfall, and depending upon the time of year and the amount of rain the island has received, the Waterfall could be running or dry.
After you’ve had a taste of some Saint John history, you can head to the beach. Pack a blanket, lunch, and snorkeling gear and your set. There is nothing like jumping in the water after a hike down the trail, floating and cooling off in your own little piece of tranquil paradise. If there’s a boat charter waiting for you, even better!
Check out saintjohnboatcharters.com for a boat day your way!
LENGTH: 2.2 miles
TIME: 2 Hours