Jack and Isaac Bays are two of the most pristine beaches you’ll find on St. Croix. The area, once slated for development, but now protected by the government, consists of 300+ acres of upland forests and beaches, bordered to the south by turquoise waters and barrier reef. A trail cuts along the hillside from Point Udall.
The beaches have the largest nesting populations of hawksbill and green sea turtles on St. Croix. Turtle activities are monitored and protected by The Nature Conservancy. On a hike during peak sea turtle nesting season, you may come across tracks of these at-risk and endangered species.
Bring a snorkel and mask in your backpack to explore the coral reefs in the bays. This marine habitat is home to more than 400 species of fish, including parrot fish, blue tangs, four-eyed butterfly fish and sergeant majors. Elkhorn, staghorn and brain corals, starfish, and conch may also be spotted in the corals and sea grass.
To get to Jack and Isaac Bays, drive up to Point Udall. The trail head is located at the parking landing just before you reach the monument. Don’t leave anything of value in your vehicle. You may even leave your doors unlocked to prevent a break-in.
At a moderate pace, the hike may take approximately 45 minutes to Jack’s Bay. There are no amenities at the beach, so bring anything you may need, such as:
- Plenty of water
- A snack or picnic
- Snorkel and mask
- Water shoes or fins
- Sunglasses and/or a hat
You’ll surely work up an appetite during your hike and there are plenty of food options out east. Depending on the time of day and what you’re in the mood for, check out one of these (listed in the order you’ll reach them from Point Udall):
- TLC Kitchen (closed during summer) — fresh baked breads and pastries, breakfast, sandwiches, salads
- Duggan’s Reef — dinner and Sunday brunch
- Blue Water Terrace — lunch, dinner and weekend brunch
- Ziggy’s Island Market — convenience store, plus a full kitchen serving breakfast, lunch and some dinners, and Sunday brunch
- Castaways — pub fare for lunch and dinner
- Cultured Pelican (closing during summer) — Italian fare for dinner only
- Cheeseburgers in America’s Paradise — bar fare for lunch and dinner
- and many more as you near Christiansted!