Into the Mystic at the Will’s Bay Tide Pools
Magic. Impossibly blue, crystal clear, immaculately secluded … magic.
The tidal pools at Will’s Bay stir a peculiar dynamic tension within most who trek to them – to tell or not to tell?
Pretty much the same thing happens at other uncommonly beautiful spots across our fair isle. St. Croix’s 82 square miles are speckled with vistas so beautiful it almost hurts. And, as you take it all in with a deep, soulful breath, you realize – I am completely alone.
There is no petulant, impatient guy in a too-small t-shirt behind me fruitlessly laying on his horn to speed his passage through the entrance gate. There are no park fees. No exhaust fumes. No lines. No-thing. Just me and this extraordinary sampling of Mother Nature’s best work.
So, it’s no surprise that St. Croix residents and visitors feel like shouting out to the world what they have seen, but then reconsider. Perhaps I will keep this little waypoint a secret, one thinks conspiratorially, so when we return we will re-live this same exclusive, private moment.
Then they post all of the photos on Facebook and that conspiratorial moment passes in a blaze of Facebook friend vacation envy. The Will’s Bay tide pools are too incredible not to share. As you can see from the photo, not telling your friends they have to go their would be like finding a 1911 Ty Cobb baseball card in mint condition and saying, “Meh, I’ll just keep this to myself.”
So, you clicked the image for directions and (somewhat reluctantly 🙂 ) here they are. Hiking attire with a swimsuit and sturdy hiking sandals are recommended.
1. Set your GPS to the Marriott Renaissance Carambola Beach Resort on St. Croix’s North Shore, park above the guard gate.
2. With plenty of water, sunscreen and a light snack, walk up the hill until you see an overgrown road veering toward the right.
3. About 50 yards ahead on the right, you will see a trailhead leading into the bush. Follow that path – it’s gorgeous, too – for about 15 minutes, until you come to a fork in the path. Keep left and head up the hill.
4. Pause at the top to take in the view, be thankful that life has put you in this particular spot today, and continue forward on the path until you reach even more magnificent North Shore views from a knoll top of tall guinea grass.
5. Take copious photos.
6. Carry on the path, veering toward the left and generally heading downhill. You will reach a clearing and a small, dirt road.
7. Turn right on the dirt road and follow that to the Caribbean sea.
8. Turn left on the pebble-encrusted beach until you reach the rocks.
9. Make a careful, but light scramble over the rock and voila! Note: the safest bet is to choose a day when the sea is calm. Always remember, waves can wash over the outer wall of the tide pools. If you choose to climb on them, keep an eye on the incoming swells.
10. You have arrived at your destination. Submerge yourself in the soothing waters and soak up the sensory treats!
If you prefer to skip the hike, contact your local adventure tour guide, Tan Tan Tours, and they will drive you down that mildly harrowing dirt road to the same destination. If you want to experience the tide pools majestically alone with your travel companions, you might want to check the tour schedule anyway to make sure you miss their small group trip, if they have one planned.
Either way, prepare yourself for a life moment. Leave early enough to soak in the tide pools and hike back before dark. And, know that Centerline Car Rentals is pleased to have helped get you there!
Contact us if you need a ride!