The island of St. John is approximately 9 miles long and 5 miles wide. The east end of the island of St. John is a long arm of land which juts into the ocean south of the Sir Francis Drake Channel. The far eastern section is not part of the national park itself and is not as frequently visited as the western end of the island. The eastern section of the island is typically not protected by the offshore reefs which are characteristic of the shore area on other parts of St. John.
Mennebeck Bay This small inlet lies on the narrow stretch of land which connects the main portion of the island to the East End. In the view of the bay below the island of Tortola, part of the British Virgin Islands, can be seen across the Sir Francis Drake Channel.
Southeast of Mennebeck Bay is the beautiful Haulover Bay, heavy with reefs. The hill in the background is on the "East End" section of the island which is not within the confines of the national park. The east end of the island is reached by driving east on Centerline Road, although it is known as East End Road on this part of the island.
South of Mennebeck Bay, on the south shore of the narrow stetch of land, is Round Bay. Two pictures of this bay can be seen below.
The most frequently visited section of St. John is the west end of the isalnd. This is because it is the site of the of national park visitor's center, the location of the main city on the island, Cruz Bay, and contains the dock where most visitors disembark from ferries from St. Thomas.
The park itself extends to west to Lind Point, north of Cruz Bay, seen in the picture below. This shot of sunset looks west across the Pillsbury Sound toward St. Thomas.
Lind Point Trail follows the coast above the ocean and leads from the visitor's center in Cruz Bay around Lind Point all the way to Caneel Bay. The views of the Pillsbury Sound and St. Thomas four miles to the west are quite pleasing. A picture of the trail itself can be seen below.
Below is a shot taken from the summit of Caneel Hill, the highest promontory on the west side of the island.
Some additional pictures from the point can be seen below. On the left is another view from the summit of Caneel Hill. Until recently there was a large wooden lookout tower on the hill which provided spectacular views, but the structre was flattened by a hurricane and the view now is impeded by the vegetation below the summit.
The small island lying beyond the mouth of Cruz Bay is Stephen Cay. The ferry between Charlotte Amalie or Red Hook on St. Thomas and Cruz Bay plies these waters.
Below is a view looking back toward the east and Caneel Hill itself. The 719 foot summit can be clearly seen in th elight of evening. Most of the hill is covered with dense vegetation. A fairly steep trail leads to the top of the mountain, although vegetation grows so quickly in this environment that it can become overgrown very quickly. It's not unusual to come across several of the island's many wild donkies as one hikes toward the summit of the hill.
The western sections of the park provide some of the most beautiful views of the sunset.
The park's main visitor center is located in Cruz Bay at the harbor. The picture below shows the visitor center (the building in the background), and some of the NPS boats can be seet tied to the park's dock.
A close-up view of one of the park's vessels can be seen on the left below.On the right is a view of the outer reaches of Cruz Bay harbor where sa number of sailing vessels are moored.
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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.