The author Andrew Bloem posing for a photo with the information board of Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge, on one of the best St. Croix hikes

St. Croix Hiking Guide (7 Best Hikes & Trails in 2023)

Hiking in St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands is a great way to glimpse into the deep history and natural beauty of the Caribbean. 

The hiking trails in St. Croix lead to sugar plantation ruins and old lighthouses, descend to glistening tide pools and white sand beaches, or climb to green hilltops and cliffside paths for scenic ocean views.

You’ll find a hiking trail suitable for everyone on St. Croix, and since you’re here, I highly recommend trekking as many hikes as you possibly can! That’s what I did, at least, while visiting the island from my home in nearby St. Thomas

I hope my experiences on all these trails end up being helpful for you to better explore the beauty of St. Croix!

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7 Best Hikes on St. Croix, USVI

Jack and Isaac’s Bay Preserve Trail

A winding path amidst pastured hillsides descends to three pristine beaches on the East End of St. Croix.

The author admiring the view of Isaac Bay during sunrise
Overlooking Isaac Bay at sunrise

🥾 Moderate | 3.6 miles, 5.8 km | Google Maps | The Nature Conservancy | 24 minutes from Christiansted | Cost: free

Jack and Isaac’s Bay Preserve was established in 1999 by The Nature Conservancy encompassing almost the entirety of St. Croix’s East End. The 300-acre preserve consists of green rolling hills, white sand beaches, hundreds of flora and fauna species, and expansive underwater reef systems.

The hiking trail cutting through the preserve is my favorite on St. Croix after starting the day with the sunrise at Point Udall. The trail descends to three beaches overlooking East End Bay, Isaac Bay, and Jack A. Bay – all of which seem to be hyperactive for sea turtle nesting.

The beaches are fun to explore, and some of the best beaches in St. Croix. The bays are snorkel worthy given the right conditions. The trail itself has virtually no shade and very little elevation as it weaves through green pastures beside the gentle hills to the north.

📚 Visiting St. John? Start planning your itinerary to hike all of the USVI with our handy guide to hiking on St. John!

Goat Hill

Heart-pumping trek with panoramic views of St. Croix, Buck Island, and the Caribbean Sea.

The author pointing somewhere at the Goat Hill scenic spot
Views of St. Croix to the west

🥾 Difficult | 3.5 miles, 5.6 km | Google Maps | 20 minutes from Christiansted | Cost: free

The Goat Hill Trail is a great option as an extension to the Jack and Isaac’s Bay Trail. Although, it’s still a great standalone hike if you’re simply looking for incredible views.

The trailhead is a parking lot near Cramer Park Beach. Follow the road towards the telescope before beginning your ascent along the coinciding service road. The hike is almost all uphill with very little shade making early morning or sunset the ideal time to go.

👉 PRO TIP: I climbed Goat Hill after hiking Jack and Isaac’s Preserve Bay Trail. Afterward, I descended north to visit a few beaches before taking the road back to the initial trailhead to complete a closed loop.

Annaly Bay Tide Pools / Trumbull Trail

Splash in the crystal clear tide pools on St. Croix’s north end.

The author soaking at the Annaly Bay Tide Pools
Bathing in the calm tide pools after an early morning hike!

🥾 Strenuous | 3.9 miles, 6.3 km | Google Maps | 31 minutes from Christiansted | Cost: free

One of our top places to visit in the US Virgin Islands, the Annaly Bay Tide Pools is a treat for anyone willing to embark on the journey there. This is not an easy hike, and precautions should be made to stay safe during your trek, but trust me, it’s worth it in the end.

The trail starts near the entrance of the Carambola Beach Resort before passing through a tropical rainforest and descending to pebbled beaches and rocky outcroppings. After scampering along the rocks, you’ll discover the wide open, pristine, and clear blue waters of the tide pools!

As far as precautions, you’ll want to go at low tide and with favorable sea conditions. Northerly winds cause swell to crash into the tide pools, making your scamper across the rocks incredibly dangerous. Other than that, don’t forget to pack plenty of water, bug spray, and sunscreen!

🥾 Guided Hikes on St. Croix: If you’re a beginner or novice hiker, the trek to Annaly Bay Tide Pools is one trail I’d recommend hiring a local guide for. CHANT (Crucian Heritage and Nature Tourism) is a local group providing cultural tours on St. Croix including the hike to the tide pools and the highest mountain on the island.

Sandy Point Beach Hike

Walk the longest and most beautiful beach in the Virgin Islands.

The author walking at the shoreline of Sandy Point Beach
Sandy Point Beach is my favorite shoreline on St. Croix

🥾 Easy | Up to 4 miles | Google Maps | Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge | 34 minutes from Christiansted | Cost: free

Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge is a 383-acre preserve on the west end of St. Croix focused on the protection of vital sea turtle nesting habitats. With 2-miles of uninterrupted sandy shoreline, the beach is one of the busiest nesting sites for leatherback, hawksbill, and green sea turtles in the world.

Because of its ecological importance, the refuge closes to tourists entirely between April and August. Even then, starting in September, the preserve is only open on the weekends – so when it is open, I highly recommend taking full advantage of visiting. 

This ‘hike’ is more of a stroll along one of my favorite beaches in the US Virgin Islands. Within the refuge, you’ll find the prettiest stretch of sand along the North Beach. Once you park, walk for as long as your heart desires carefully stepping around nests and sea turtle hatchlings!

Buck Island – Diedrichs Trail

A relatively short hike through a subtropical forest leading to an observation deck.

Tree branch at the shoreline of Buck Island
The shores of Buck Island near St. Croix

🥾 Moderate | ~ 2 miles | Google Maps | NPS Buck Island Reef National Monument | 👉 Book a Private Charter to Buck Island | Cost: price for a boat trip to Buck Island

Buck Island Reef National Monument is a 19,000-acre marine protected area located 1.5 miles north of St. Croix. It’s only accessible via boat with many tours departing Christiansted for half-day or full-day tours. 

You’ll only have enough time to complete Diedrichs Trail if you book a full-day tour of Buck Island. Pack sturdy shoes along with your flip-flops so you can ascend through the subtropical forest to the newly constructed observation deck overlooking St. Croix and the Caribbean Sea.

🏞️ Nearby National Parks: Along with Buck Island, the US National Park Service manages six national parks in the Caribbean including Virgin Islands National Park on St. John and San Juan National Historic Site in Puerto Rico!

Whale Point Trail

Short hike to two quiet beaches or a small peninsula with views of the Caribbean Sea.

A quote painted on a wooden board in Whale Point Trail
So true, isn’t it?

🥾 Easy | Less than 1 mile | Google Maps | 22 minutes from Christiansted | Cost: free

Let me be clear, spotting whales from shore on St. Croix is extremely rare and may only occur in the months of February and March. With that said, it is still possible to spot them with a good vantage point – particularly on the island’s East End. Point Udall is best, but hiking out to Whale Point gives you a chance, as well.

Whale sightings aside, the trailhead at Whale Point is also a great place to explore two different shelling beaches. The unnamed beach to the east is a wonderful spot to sift through the sand to find sea glass, small shells, and even Chaney (porcelain shards from old European merchant ships). 

Hams Bluff Lighthouse Trail

Short hike with a steep incline to an early 20th-century lighthouse.

View of the rusted Hams Bluff Lighthouse in St. Croix
Hams Bluff Lighthouse on St. Croix

🥾 Easy – Moderate | .8 miles, 1.3 km | Google Maps | 47 minutes from Christiansted | Cost: free

Most hikers who make their way to Hams Bluff Lighthouse likely agree that the pothole-laden road to the trailhead is far more brutal than the trail’s terrain. So, that’s my first recommendation: head to Hams Bluff Lighthouse in a solid vehicle with 4WD.

Once you’ve made it to the parking area, you’ll have a very short, yet uphill hike to the lighthouse located on Hams Bluff. The lighthouse was constructed in 1915 by the Danish and (somehow) still stands to this day. If you choose to climb it, take extreme caution, as you’ll notice how rusted out and rickety it actually is.

👉 Read Next: St. Croix Itinerary (7 Days Perfectly Planned Day-by-Day)

FAQs St. Croix Hiking Trails in the US Virgin Islands

Is there Hiking on St. Croix?

St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands has wonderful hiking trails including the treks to the Annaly Bay Tide Pools, Goat Hill, and Jack & Isaac’s Bay Beaches.

Does St. Croix have Waterfalls?

St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands does not have naturally flowing rivers or waterfalls.

Is There Hiking in the US Virgin Islands?

There is hiking in the US Virgin Islands with many trails on St. Croix and St. John and a few more on St. Thomas.

Which US Virgin Island is Best for Hiking?

St. John is the best US Virgin Island for hiking, although St. Croix features wonderful hiking trails, as well.


That’s it for this guide to St. Croix hiking.

Be sure to comment below with any questions you might have about hiking in St. Croix! In the meantime, learn how to visit the USVI on a budget!

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