Hike A Head

“There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.”

Beverly Sills

Even sea legs need stretching sometimes, and the USVI has no shortage of areas to explore during your sailing journey. There are plenty of stores and restaurants easily accessible on the Islands. If that is not your thing, or you have had your fill, then hiking the trails of Virgin Islands National Park, St. John, is an excellent alternative. In particular, the path to Ram Head is a memorable sightseeing experience that could be one of the highlights of your entire trip. 

Ram Head is Headland at the southern point of the park. At the top, you’ll be standing at about 96 meters. You will catch a scenic, all-around view of Coral Bay and the rest of the island. Be sure to wave to Sea Sea if you can glimpse her in the bay. All of the distance beauties shouldn’t detract you from Ram Head itself. The bluff has an abundance of exotic plants, wildlife, and natural formations to peak your curiosity.

As reachable and moderately difficult as the trail is, there are a few things highly cautioned before setting out so that you may have your best experience possible. First, apply plenty of sun blockers (reef safe, please). The trees on the hike up will offer a bit of coverage, but nothing will be protecting your skin when you reach the bluff. If you want to avoid the more intense heat or sun rays, it is best to start your hike as early as possible. It is an excellent way to prevent a crowded trail, too. Appropriate footwear is also essential. Hardly any accommodations have been made for foot traffic on the path. That means plenty of rocks, branches, and other obstacles will meet you on your way up and won’t take kindly to sandaled or bare feet. Finally, and most importantly, have plenty of water with you. As essential as it has been on the rest of the experience, it can indeed be a saving grace through your exerting and rewarding effort to reach Ram Head. 

The trail starts at the Salt Pond Trail (another fascinating area to see if you have the time) and curves around a rocky beach until you reach the foot of the primary path. The climb up is reasonably steep at points, so take every opportunity you need to rest. There are plenty of viewpoints on the way up to enjoy while doing so. Watch your step as you ascend, but don’t neglect the opportunity to admire your surroundings. Your eye may catch some endemic wildlife amongst the green, lush wilderness along the way. 

The gusts of wind at the top will aid you in your endeavor. Once you’ve finally reached the top, the award is one of the rarest views you expect from an island-hopping journey. Take in the many views both near and far, enjoy some time taking photos, or linger about investigating the features of the bluff itself. 

Since it is such a crowd-pleaser, visitors often take multiple trips to Ram Head when visiting St. John. And that is not the least bit surprising, considering the multitude of experiences one could have on the bluff in varying conditions. If you choose to make Ram Head a part of your trip, you will not soon forget it afterward.

– Eric    

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