Hiking up to the Guard House at Leinster Bay a year after Hurricane Irma
Last Sunday was a grey, rainy day and this type of day makes for perfect conditions to hike and explore. This past year has been so crazy busy in many different ways that I’m ashamed to say we have not made the time to hike out to Leinster Bay since BEFORE Irma. I know that sounds crazy, and it is, so we finally went for the hike and I have to say it looks a lot different. Not bad but different. The shore line out to the trailhead is all rock and coral, but the trail is completely clear now that the majority of the wrecked boats have been removed and it’s such a beautiful and easy hike. We saw baby black tip sharks in the shallows, and TONS of fish and marine activity along the way. The trees are all green and the flowers are budding, including native ground orchids and native palm trees.
For those of you that haven’t done this particular hike, it’s a flat shoreline walk starting at the parking lot below the Annaberg ruins and ending at an old Danish Guard House; you can extend the hike and go up to the Murphy Great House, or even continue all the way into Coral Bay, but we had our dog with us and we went for the easy version. This is also the easiest access to Waterlemon Cay from land, but we prefer to reach Waterlemon by boat.
The rocky shoreline at Leinster Bay!
This flat easy hike is about a mile long and begins at the parking lot for the Annaberg Ruins and previously ended at a nice but very small beach, which was the easiest access point to snorkeling Waterlemon Cay from land. Now that beach is gone and it is a rocky beach instead, and this leads directly to the trailhead for the Johnny Horn Hike.
Since the hike is along the shoreline, there is always a lot of Marine activity that can be seen from above. We spotted multiple baby black tip sharks, lots of juvenile fish, anemones, and more, all really good signs of the coral reef rejuvenating itself after the storms last year.
Once you reach the trailhead, it’s a short hike up to the Guard House which is an old danish ruin but a really beautiful spot that overlooks Waterlemon Cay. This ruin is not recommended to climb in or around because it is unstable and has not been reinforced, so exercise caution here.
The old Danish Guard House!
Built in the last years of slavery on Saint John, this danish ruin was used as a guarding point to prevent slaves from escaping to free Tortola. With it’s violent past behind it, It’s now in disrepair, so we urge caution when visiting but it is a beautiful spot to look out over Waterlemon Cay on a calm clear day.