The Virgin Island National Park is located on the island of St. John, the smallest island of the three U.S. Virgin Islands. Almost two-thirds of the island is part of the national park which was purchased in 1956 by Laurance Rockefeller. Rockefeller fell in love with the island in the 1920’s and turned the land into a national park to preserve the beauty of the island. There are 22 preserved nature trails, many beautiful beaches, a bounty of wildlife, birds and marine life, and the park provides a safe nesting place for a variety of turtle species.
The park also includes 5,650 acres of submerged land to preserve the coral gardens and seascapes.
Most areas of the park remain open 24 hours a day year-round. The Cruz Bay Visitor Center is open daily 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. and is a short walk from the public ferry dock. The Cruz Bay Visitor Center telephone number is 340-776-6201, ext. 238. Park areas include three beaches and a campground with picnic areas which are wheelchair accessible.
There is no entrance fee to enter the Virgin Islands National Park. However there is a same-day user fee collected at Trunk Bay.
Trunk Bay is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The area is known for its 225-yard-long Underwater Trail of reef. The facilities at Trunk Bay include a bathhouse, snack bar, souvenir shop and snorkel gear rentals.
Cinnamon Bay has a water sports center that rents snorkel gear and windsurfing equipment. You can arrange day sailing and scuba divinglessons. You will also find a campground with bare tent sites, prepared sites and cottages adjacent to the beach. There is also a camp store. Call 340-776-6330 or 800-539-9998 for camping reservations.
Hawksnest Beach has changing rooms, picnic tables, grills and restrooms. It is the closest beach from Cruz Bay.