The trip is usually a lengthy island drive for most Visitors, although after you spend the day there, you’ll know why you made the trip. Salt Pond Beach is very popular and one of the most inviting of all with a short hike down the hill to get to the beach located in a protected cove adored by Visitors and Boat Charters alike.
The parking lot is located directly off of Route 107 past Coral Bay on the South Shore. If you get there early around 9:30 AM, you’ll usually find a spot. But if you are looking to show up around noon, you may just be out of luck. Be forewarned you can make this 1/4 mile walk to the beach in flip flops, but it is not easy because of the rocky crevices. Please support the local people on the side of the road near the parking lot selling drinks, souvenirs, and offering beach rentals as there are no amenities at the beach except a bathroom, trash receptacles and a couple of picnic tables. Salt Pond Beach does not offer much shade, so please bring an umbrella if possible.
And if you came to Saint John to have a world class snorkeling experience, you found it. Swim out to the rock outcropping in the center of the bay where you can observe sea turtles and sting rays and some of the best reef fish on Saint John hands down. The coral thrives in the Bay especially on the left side, and the underwater sea life delivers memories of a lifetime.
This beach provides access to Salt Pond, as well as several hiking trails including Ram Head Trail, Salt Pond Bay Trail, and Drunk Bay Trail. Salt Pond is accessed via a trail located at the very end of the east end of the beach on the left side. Yes, incredible natural sea salt can be harvested and used in cooking, sprinkling a little Saint John magic on your food long after you’ve left the island, or if you’re lucky enough to live here, you get to enjoy free sea salt for not much effort. The back of the pond is a great place for harvesting. Sometimes Salt Pond appears pink. There are techniques for processing the salt. Most rinse the salt to diminish the earthy smell and then let the salt dry completely in the sun. There may be a large percentage of the sea salt lost to rinsing, although getting rid of the smell is worth it.
If you want to head over to the iconic Drunk Bay, the Drunk Bay Trail is approximately 1/4 mile and travels along Salt Pond and is a hot destination to experience the man-made sculptures created by Visitors and Locals from the rocks, coral, coconut husks, seaweed, driftwood and more found on the beach in Drunk Bay. Feel free to create your own sculpture and leave your legacy. This Bay is not safe for swimming and is very rocky.
The Ram Head Trail is probably the most famous of all hiking trails on Saint John and is accessed by Salt Pond Beach on the left side of the Bay and is approximately 1 mile. As you hike to the top of this peak of the cliffs, you will experience mesmerizing plant life and a tropical ecosystem. The many cactus are so unique, and the wildflowers are a burst of tropical paradise. Once you arrive at the top, the natural beauty of the Caribbean will make you want to stay a while and soak up as many island vibes as possible. Early morning hikes begin around 7:00 AM and are best to avoid the crowds. The hiking trail is mostly in the sun. Please wear closed toe shoes, hats, sunglasses, reef-safe sunscreen, and bring plenty of water. Remember your camera.
FOR YOUR SAFETY FROM THE VI NATIONAL PARK:
- Do not stand on or touch coral or rocks.
- Do not feed the fish or wildlife.
- Do not bring pets to the beach.
- Remove all trash when you leave.
- Nudity is prohibited.
- Large waves can be dangerous.
- Body surfing is not advised.
- Do not leave valuables unattended.
- Do not snorkel alone.
- Report any damage or activity that may lead to damage. Call (340) 776-6201 Ext. 246.