Picturesque beach, smooth white sand and turquoise waters as far as the eye can see are a handful of rewards one receives when deciding to hike to Jack & Isaac Bays. Located on the southside of the extreme eastern edge of St. Croix, the once hard-to-get-to bays have been made accessible thanks to a variety of local and federal environmental groups that came together to officially establish The Jack and Isaac Bay Preserve. Covering 301 acres, the Preserve protects the entire eastern tip of the island and its surrounding reefs and marine ecosystems.
Hiking the series of low impact trails to arrive at Jack and Isaac Bays is a must for those wanting to explore the captivating outdoors of St. Croix. These easy-to-find trails are located right before you arrive at the Point Udall Millennium Monument that identifies the easternmost point of the United States. A small parking area is located at the start of the trails. Get there early to beat the heat of the afternoon sun and score a parking spot. To the right of the parking area is where the adventure of the trails begins.
The pathway is easy to navigate with nice, cool breezes to keep sweating to a minimum. With the hills to your left and the crashing surf to your right, you will happen upon East End Bay first. This bay’s rocky shoreline and rough surf is why you’ll best appreciate it from afar and continue along the path to Isaac Bay. Look for informational signs along the way pointing you in the right direction. Continue west along the trail until you find a stairway to heaven of sorts. A quick descent will lead you to the soft, sandy shoreline of Isaac Bay. Spend some time here splashing in the clear waters or if you’ve brought snorkeling gear, explore the sea life under the surface. Head to west end of Isaac Bay and take the connecting trail heading west again. After a few minutes, turn left on a side trail to the beach where another directional sign will lead you to Jack Bay. Here you can enjoy more fun in the sun as there is little to no shade on the beach or along the trail. Before the height of the island heat rolls in, head back to the parking area to the car and settle in for the ride back home. Plan to spend about 2-3 hours enjoying your time at Jack and Isaac Bay Preserve.
For your safety, we offer the following tips for this and any other hike you venture off to:
- Do not hike alone 4 Bring sunscreen, sunglasses, hat, insect repellant, first aid kit and a camera
- Proceed only if physically fit enough to complete a hike safely
- Leave car doors unlocked and windows slightly turned down to deter theft 4 Avoid hiking during the hottest part of the day
- Do not leave any valuables in your car 4 Wear appropriate footwear 4 Take any trash with you
- Bring sufficient water and a light lunch
- Have fun and be safe
Written by Anquanette Gaspard firstname.lastname@example.org