Posted on July 4 2018, by Els Kraakman.
BVI Hiking. There is a lot more to the Virgin Islands than sun, sailing, snorkeling and sand (and sundowners). The BVI’s have over 60 islands, and seven of them have great hiking trails to explore. Many of the trails are easy to follow and others are a bit more off the beaten track and a bit more challenging.
You can find 26 hikes described in the book Trails and Tales: The British Virgin Islands Hiking Guide, written by Ron Beard and sold by Amazon. If you like hiking, we can recommend purchasing this book as it is packed with useful information about the trails and the nature you will see on your path! See insert below.
Whether you decide to buy Beard’s book before your next trip to the BVI’s, take the time to drag yourself away from perfect sailing conditions long enough to take a beautiful hike. The best time to enjoy a hike is early morning or at sunset when the temperature is cool. Wear good shoes, a hat and dont’ forget to use sunscreen and bring water plus a cell phone.
Here are some hiking ideas:
Sage Mountain trails, Tortola
This is the oldest national park in the BVI and the highest point of Tortola, with a tropical forest climate. From the carpark you walk an unpaved road to the main gate where you can decide to turn left (not through the gate) and up the mountain to the view point through a mahogany forest. The path is steep, and the roots can make it more difficult to walk.
An easier walk is through the gate, almost one mile to the giant fig tree at the end of the trail. There are side trails to add a bit of variety. The hike is easy, but the south side has rocky and slippery sections.
Bat Cave, Brewers Bay
This hike is not very known, but definitely worth the trip! In Brewers Bay from the large parking lot of the playgrounds, walk up the road to the East until you find a dirt road to your left. Take this road and halfway you will find a small parking lot (private) to your left and green stairs to your right up the hill. Take the stairs and you will get to a crossroad.
To the left there is a little walk downhill and more green stairs to the Bat Cave. Be careful; take your time. As you decline, you start noticing the Bat Cave emerging on your left.This is a large hollow boulder with a fantastic view. To the right, after 500m, there is a Shark Bay outlook post, where you can get some shade and nice views of the bay below.
Long Bay/Smugglers Cove, Tortola
Smuggler’s Cove is a beautiful secluded beach on Tortola, but is easily accessible by road from Long Bay. Start your hike in Longbay where the road leaves the beach to go up a small hill. Turn right and walk the almost flat road through the woods to the Smuggler Cove Beach. This Road goes further all the way to Soper’s Hole
The road starts behind the Pirates restaurant (now under construction) and will lead you up the hill to the Helicopter pad. Halfway there is a split to the right which goes to Pirate’s Bight Warehouse and dock, so stay left and keep going straight up the hill.
At the helicopter pad you will have a fabulous view of the Bight and the other islands around Norman. From here you can take a small path that walks around the Bight and over the hill to Money Bay.
The British Virgin Islands Hiking Guide is a weather-proof, travel-sized guidebook with maps, local flora and fauna, hiking trails and hidden gems throughout 80% of the islands that make up Nature’s Little Secrets – laying focus on the increasingly popular, economic and Eco-friendly trends in tourism. The book contains 26 different trails, (one for every fortnight of the year) and represent 80% of the islands of the BVI.Ron’s colourfully instructive prose are bound within a pocket-sized, rugged yet refined indexed booklet which uses artificial paper that is both waterproof and tear resistant-maps of the areas and full colour graphic safety charts and photography of flora and fauna.
Buy this Hiking Guide at Amazon for $30
The Bath’s, Virgin Gorda
The Baths are BVI’s most popular attraction with beautiful large boulder formations. Once on the beach walk to the right where a sign points to the entrance of the trail. You will go through a small entrance to the inner beach, photographed by many and the path will lead you over the big boulders and through shallow waters with help of ropes, stairs and bridges to Devil’s Bay, a gorgeous white beach. Then walk to the end of the beach where the trail continues to Stoney Beach and then up past more interesting rock formations (Skull Rock) and eventually to “The Top of The Baths.” Here you can have a refreshing drink or lunch and browse some interesting shops. A short walk directly down a path will take you back to your starting place.
Gorda Peak, Virgin Gorda
This hike is up to the highest point on the island, the summit of Gorda Peak (1370 ft) with a great lookout platform at the top. The hike takes about 50 minutes through beautiful forest on a steep and small path.
The observation platform at the summit provides a 360 degree view of the island and surrounding waters. There are a few Picnic tables on the trail which allows for breaks and refreshments.
Anegada is flat, so much easier to walk around than on the steep hills of the other islands. From the Anchorage there is a nice small walk on the beach to Neptune’s Treasure and from there you may continue the beach hike of about 4 miles to Cow Wreck Beach’s restaurant. From Cow Wreck, you can take the same route back, walk back on the paved road or take a taxi back. Another way to explore the endless beaches of Anegada is to start from Loblolly Bay and go either left or right. Within minutes you are all alone and have the entire beach to yourself. Almost anywhere along your walk you can stop for a dip in the sea.