The section of Virgin Island National Park which is located on the south shore of St. John is quite beautiful but more difficult to reach than the more well-known areas on the north shore.
Coral Bay The major city on the south shore is Coral Bay, pictured below from the Centerline Road, one of the two major roads on the island and a remnant of an old Danish road through the interior. This is an extremely small village at present but is very old; it was originally settled in 1716. In fact, it was once was the residence of half the population of the island and remained the island's primary village until the 1950's when this role passed to Cruz Bay.
Additional views of the south side of the island are shown below Minna Hill (989 feet) is in the background of the picture on the left.
Below are a couple of pictures of the mountains in the interior of the island. The view on the left looks south toward the southern coast, on the right looks northwest from near the center, both from the Centerline Road.
Saltpond Bay East of Lameshure and West of Coral Bay is Saltpond Bay. The beach at this bay is shown below.
Some more pictures of the bay are shown below. On the right is a view looking southwest across Kiddel Point.
Great Lameshur Bay This beautiful bay is reached only by foot or over a steep, rutted road passable only via for-wheel drive vehicles. The beach is not sand but smooth cobblestone-like gravel. The composition of beaches on St. John depends on a numnber of factors--the topography of the offshore bottom, reef conditions, wave height, the angle of the waves' approach, tidal currents, and the frequency of storms in the area. This view of the bay looks toward the southwest with Yawzi Point in the background.
This is another view of the bay from Yawzi Point back into the bay.
Little Lameshur Bay Directly west of Great Lameshur Bay is Little Lameshur Bay. This bay has a beautful, broad beach with fine white sand. Because there are relatively few people who make the difficult journey to the bay it is an ideal place for swimming and snorkeling.The view below looks into the bay from Yawzi Point. Bordeux Mountain, the island's highest point at 1,277 feet, can be seen in the background.
The beach is shown The rocks at the end of the bay can be seen in the view on the right. Despite its isolation, Little Lameshur Bay was until recently site of an underwater research facility--the Virgin Islands Environmental Research Station.
There is a bluff above the bay covered with grass and which contain the ruins of an old stone house. A view from this bluff is shown below.
A view of rocks along the side of the bay are shown in the picture below.
The peninsula which divides Great and Little Lameshur Bays leads to Yawzi Point. This is truly one of the most beautiful places in the park. There is a trail which leads through frequently overgrown vegetation along the peninsula out to the point. Several of pictures of both bays shown in the above sections were taken from this trail, as is the trail below.
The south section of the island, including the area around Yawzi Point, is much drier than the north section of the island. Here can be found a variety of cactus and other succulents, somewhat surprising to many on a subtropical island. Some of these plants along the trail can be seen below.
The Yawzi Point Trail can be somewhat overgrown in some places and dry in others. The view on the left below is of the trail itself and on the right a view from the trail of the blue waters and white sand beach of Little Lameshur Bay.
This small peninsula of land has an interesting and somewhat tragic history. It was the site of the Yawzi Quarantine Camp. Slaves suffering from Yawzi, a disease similar to leprosy, were brought to this isolated spot and left to largely fend for themselves until they died.
Another view of the trail itself at the end of the peninsula, looking inland across Great Lameshur Bay, is shown below. That's Minna Hill, one of the higher mountains on the island at 989 feet, in the background.
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- All photographs © Pat Holleran, Shannon Image Technologies, 1995-6
- Commercial use of the images contained in this document without express written consent is strictly prohibited.