Hit the trails at St. Croix’s newest outdoor adventure! The Windsor Farm Trail Network at the East Scenic Road Trailhead is a new public trail on the island that features a 2.6-mile loop complete with educational signage, rest areas, lookout points and groomed walking surfaces all under the shade of the rain forest canopy. Thanks to the local nonprofit Virgin Islands Trail Alliance (VITAL), this project was started as part of the organization’s vision to create, design and build multi-modal pathways with residents, government and community leaders across the territory for people of all ages and abilities. VITAL President and co-founder Aaron Hutchins shared the importance of the trail and others that will follow in the territory. “The natural resources of the Virgin Islands are far more than pretty beaches and sunsets,” said Hutchins. “Our terrestrial resources are increasing and offer more opportunities for getting people out in nature responsibly while enabling better public use and participation in our wonderful green spaces on St. Croix.”
Hiking the trail takes a little more than an hour but visitors should allow more time to take in the various educational signage found along the path at fourteen locations and seven rest areas. In addition to learning about the environmental setting, guests will uncover historical aspects of the trees, the surrounding location and notable Virgin Islanders. Three picnic tables and four benches are dispersed at about every half mile. These handcrafted seating areas were built by the youth participants from My Brother’s Workshop, a nonprofit organization that supports at-risk and high-risk young people in the territory by offering mentoring, counseling, paid job training, education and job placement. At one of the seven rest stops, you will find signage accompanied by a picnic table and a wooden chair that features historical information about how St. Croix emerged from the ocean 80 million years ago and was ultimately formed. Another picnic table rest stop offers a picturesque mountain view and shares historical information about St. Croix’s two highest peaks: Mount Eagle and Blue Mountain, which can be seen at the stop.
The project was made possible, in part, by the following:
- 2021 AARP Community Challenge Grant
- Funding from the National Parks Trust – 2021 Community Cost Share Program
- Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture, which has granted public use of the public lands around Windsor Farm for trails and outdoor recreation
To get to the trail, head west on East Scenic Road from Salt River Road (also known as Sidney Lee Road). Park in the dirt parking lot on the left of the first bend in the road to find the marked trailhead. Look for the sign and the map that indicates the trail along with the locations of the handcrafted picnic tables and benches along the route. For more information about VITAL and the trail, visit www.vitrails.org.
Written by Anquanette Gaspard (email@example.com)