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Escape to Cinnamon Bay Loop Trail - the perfect St. John hike for beginners

Published on May 25, 2019 by Peter Langer

According to our favorite book about St John activities, St. John Off The Beaten Track, “If you only have enough time to hike one trail, then the Cinnamon Bay Self-Guiding Trail is the trail for you. Also, because the trail is relatively short, flat and shady, it’s a perfect choice for those who would like to experience a taste of the St. John interior, but who might be put off by the prospect of a long hike on the often hilly and rugged terrain characteristic of the St. John forest.”

Here's a video we made of what it's like to visit this magical and mysterious place. Meander through the ruins of the historic Cinnamon Bay Sugar Plantation. Smell the scent of the leaves from the bay rum trees, which were once used to make the famous St John Bay Rum Cologne. The boardwalk and nature loop are located across the road from the entrance to the Cinnamon Bay Campground. The nature loop is an easy 0.5 mile hike.

Represented on the Trail are three important stages of the economy and life on St. John in days gone by, the sugar industry, the emergence of bay rum and the subsistence economy that existed from the end of slavery to the beginning of the present day tourism economy.

St John USVI Cinnamon Bay

The old sugar works are in good condition and you can see the remains of the horsemill where the sugar cane was ground up and juiced and the factory where the juice was boiled down and evaporated to produce the crude sugar and molasses that were stored in the building that once existed where the stone columns are alongside the road.

Cinnamon Bay St John USVI

You can pick up the half-mile trail that leads through the forest crosses the gut and heads back to the ruins. Here you’ll pass through a stand of bay rum trees planted in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and walk by an old Danish cemetery.

St John USVI Cinnamon Bay
Meet The Author
We live in Wilmington, NC, but absolutely love our 2nd home purchased in 2008 on St. John. We have been traveling to St. John every year since 2001 and are excited every time we get to go back to our St. John escape. We couldn't find a better location on St. John that would give us both spectacular views and the convenience of being so close to town. Being able to walk everywhere means a lot to us. We don't always feel like we need to rent a jeep which is a plus. It is also nice not to have to worry about driving if you happen to have maybe one too many Painkillers:) Having a reserved parking space in the covered garage is a great benefit. No more parking hassles driving into Cruz Bay.We love that we have a view of the water from every living area. We have sweeping views that we never tire of from the terrace. The terrace is furnished for outdoor dining and it is the perfect spot for sipping morning coffee and checking out all that is going on in the harbor. Cocktails while watching the unbelievable St. John sunsets are always a highlight of the day. We can't get over how easy it is to do everything we want on St. John starting right from our condo. It is so easy to get to all the shops, restaurants and bars. There are also hikes into the National Park we can take starting right from our place.
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