Hiking in the BVI

Are you heading to the British Virgin Islands? Did you remember to pack sunglasses, sunscreen and… sneakers? The sea is irresistible but you don’t want to miss the island-hopping experiences, which are filled of adventure, including great hiking. When you explore the mostly uninhabited islands, you’ll feel like Colombus in a new world of natural, almost untouched beauty.

Start with hitting a high point at Sage Mountain – the elevation in the Virgin Islands. At 1,710 feet, Sage Mountain is a protected park on Tortola with plenty of sheltered forest. There are two trails to follow, one with a mossy stone path shouldered by lush and plentiful flora. You’ll be able to learn about the trees you see with small signs dotted along the way.

At Gorda Peak National Park, enjoy a bird’s eye view that stretches as far as Anegada. Drive up the winding road to the start of the two trails. One takes about 30 minutes, the other closer to an hour and both are suitable for the entire family. Bring snacks and relax at the picnic site and lookout platform when you reach the summit. Admire the fuzzy green islands like sleeping crocodiles bobbing in the bright blue ocean circling Virgin Gorda.

Also on Virgin Gorda you can hike to Devil’s Bay from The Baths. The Baths is a brilliant attraction of boulders and lagoons, but if you can pull yourself in another direction, the 15-minute hike to Devil’s Bay will get you away from the crowds. Don’t let the name fool you either; it’s a peaceful spot with heavenly swimming.

Prickly Pear National Park in North Sound is aptly named: the hills are alive with thorny cacti. There are also unique salt ponds and the island is a hotspot for many bird species including ducks, teals and coots. You’ll see little lizards and hermit crabs on most trails, but this is the best one for resident and migratory feathered friends. Even better, the trail runs from Sand Box Bar down to North Beach –  a white sand paradise where you can relax after your trek. Head back to the start for a post-hike rum!

Jost Van Dyke has nice trails with steep inclines thanks to an uplifting landscape. It’ll make your heart pound, but immersing in the green hillside is calming and tranquil. You’ll befriend native goats along the way and enjoy a good view of sailboats rocking on their moorings below.

Don’t forget to follow up your day’s hike with an evening of freshly cooked Spiny lobster, BVI style!

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