Hike to the Tide Po...
 

Hike to the Tide Pools - STX  

 

kateraid
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December 11, 2009 1:42 am  

Today I made the trek out to the tide pools and it was worth every second on the trail. I actually wrote out directions based on a post someone made here and it went really well. I did want to mention one thing though- I was told by the guard at the gate at Carambola that only hotel guests were allowed to park beyond the gate. I told her the directions I had started at the tennis court, but she again said only guests could start the trail there. (She was completely nice about it.) So we had to park outside the guard gate and start the trail from farther away. I am terrible at estimating distances, but I would say it added an extra quarter to half mile on rough terrain, mostly uphill. Just an extra element of the trek I wasn't expecting that I thought others might want to know about.
Other things:
The trail was much more narrow than I thought it would be.
It was sort of muddy - maybe avoid after heavy rains?
There were a ton of hermit crabs on the trail
Scaling the wall to the tide pool was much harder


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aschultz
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December 11, 2009 5:59 am  

Just tell them at the gate you are going to the bar and they will let you park all the way down. If you say the beach then you get to park higher up. If you say what you did then you get to park out side.


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chefnoah
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December 11, 2009 11:24 am  

Get use to lying to gate guards. I always say we're here for lunch. Legally, they can't stop you from going to the beach, but they will try to charge you for parking if you say you're going to the beach. I felt bad a few times, but not anymore!

I've only done the hike starting from where you did. I think it would be easier to start by the tennis courts, and I may try that next time.

It seems like it's always muddy, no matter how rainy. The hermit crabs are hilarious. Crawling for days uphill only to misstep and tumble ALL the way down! So tragic!

I went with my girlfriend and another couple a few weeks ago and my buddy's girlfriend got stung on the forehead by a bee. There is quite a large cluster on one particular tree that we try to rush by. I've never had a problem with them in the past, must have been her unlucky day.

My folks are visiting in January and I plan on taking them on this hike. It's so beautiful at the rocky beach and then there's a sense of danger when you have to crawl on the rocks to the tide pools.

Noah
Signature user since right now


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JE
 JE
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December 11, 2009 12:06 pm  

Where exactly are the tide pools? I have hiked to Annaly Bay before but did not see the tide pools. I thought they might be on the other side of the wall on the west side of the rocky beach but it very rough that day and I did not see an easy way around or over.


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chefnoah
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December 11, 2009 12:30 pm  

That's right. If you walk west along the rocky beach it will eventually require you to climb. There's one spot where there is a good sized gap that you have to step down onto a large rock that sticks out of the water. If the water is really high and choppy, it could be impassable. But, I think you just have to time it right and I never found the rocks to be really slippery. I always wear decent shoes though. I also found the rocks easy to grab and scale. It only looks scary 🙂

Noah
Signature user since right now


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bathiel
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December 11, 2009 1:28 pm  

Also watch out for the fire ants on the stretch across the grassy ridge before you head down to the beach. My wife and I stopped one time to admire the view and take some shots and within seconds, our Keens were swarming with the little creeps. Quite painful.

Bernie


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kateraid
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December 11, 2009 8:27 pm  

Oops, looks like my post got cut off a bit. Scaling the wall would've been much easier with water shoes or a second pair (so you don't have to hike back in soggy shoes). It was completely worth the climb in though.

Noah- I was wondering about the bees! There are so many of those dried hives along the trail but I didn't see any flying around. I would definitely try to start at the tennis courts too because it helps break up the hike a bit.

And from now on, I guess I'll have to learn to lie 🙂


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thwolf24
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December 11, 2009 9:06 pm  

we just hiked the trail also this week and it was definitely worth it. We started at the beginning of trumball trail (i think that is what it was called) which is up the hill before the gate and it says 2.7 miles. I want to find out how to get to the second tide pool. We have heard that you have to scale the rocks a while and then there is an old trail somewhere. Does anyone know?


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AllMashUp
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December 11, 2009 9:50 pm  

Noah- I was wondering about the bees! There are so many of those dried hives along the trail but I didn't see any flying around. I would definitely try to start at the tennis courts too because it helps break up the hike a bit.

And from now on, I guess I'll have to learn to lie 🙂

The "dried" hives are actually termite nests, not bees. The bees nest is located in a hollow of a "tourist" tree (red peeling skin) about half-way through the hike on the downslope side at about 5ft height off the ground. If you're with a group everyone should stop and pass one by one with 30sec interval so you don't disturb them too much.


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roadrunner
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December 12, 2009 12:06 am  

Annaly Bay is my favorite place on STX. I hiked from Carambola for the first time in September, and maybe it was because it was the off season, but the guards didn't care where we parked. Before that, I always hiked down from the very top... can't remember if that's Scenic Drive or another road, but it's only partially paved, and it's where the Jeep tours start. I have gotten some strange looks and some offers of a ride in one of the Jeeps as I make my way back up, but I really enjoy that route as much as the Carambola route. Sure, it's steep, but my parents did it with me, and they're in their 60s. There's also a sugar mill to explore on that route.

I have heard that there are other tide pools farther to the west, and I've explored pretty far out that way, but apparently not far enough! I like watching the fish in the tide pool by Annaly Bay so much that I usually spend too much time just standing around in there. It's like being inside an aquarium. I also love the sound of the rocks as the waves move them around... makes the bay a nice place to sit and eat lunch.

It's nice to see that so many other people enjoy and respect this place. (tu)


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Neil
 Neil
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December 12, 2009 8:28 pm  

Kateraid....Please post your directions. I'm sure others would appreciate having them.

As others have mentioned, at the wrong time of tide, the rocks at the end can be tricky.
There's a "longer" trail which can be a bit more of a hike for novices that they bargained for.

One bit of advice: On a hot day remember to bring extra water!. Once met a couple who only had one small water bottle between them on a 90 degree day, which they had polished off on the way there. They were sure glad we had some to spare for their trip back!


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kateraid
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December 12, 2009 11:33 pm  

Neil- I started to type out directions but quickly realized they pale in comparison to the directions I used. (I would cut & paste but I am typing this on a phone.) A quick search of "annaly tide pools" will bring up a great, detailed set of directions from EngRMP dated Oct. 24, 2009. These are much better than I could describe - thanks EngRMP! The only difference is the beginning. Park outside the guard booth at Carambola and start walking up hill. You'll find a little trail that looks like a road but is overgrown with grass. Walk (uphill!) and keep your eye out for a trail sign on the right hand side- it will be tucked away from the trail. The sign will say Trumball Trail 2.7 miles. This part of the trail is on a slight incline, so just be aware of that.
And, at the end of EngRMP's directions, the tide pools are to the left. Just walk until you can't walk on the beach anymore. At that point you'll climb over the rocks and into the tide pools.
Hope this helps and that people decide to make the trek!!!


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EngRMP
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December 18, 2009 3:21 pm  

Hi folks,

I'm still confused about "going over the rocks to the tide pool" at the very end.

Some people are saying to wade out in the water, which seems reasonable if people have successfully accomplished this. When you're at the furthest point from help and you're staring into 2 ft swell waves smashing into the mountain's jagged point, and you can't see what's underwater, it's a bit tough to muster the courage to just start walking out in the water. Can someone shed more light on this?

Some people are saying to just climb over the rocks. I'm having a hard time picturing this. Do you mean climb 3-5 ft up, at water's edge, and then around the point? Or, climb 50 ft up, 100 yards back from the water's edge, and walk essentially straight up and over? I climbed 10 ft up the rocks, at the water's edge, and tried to climb around the point at that height. The rock edge was VERY steep, had only 2" ledges of loose rock and would have shred clothes and legs if I had slipped. I very quickly abandoned this approach. Can someone shed more light on this also?

Hey kateraid, sorry about the confusion about starting point. I got third hand info about starting at the guard gate... I probably misunderstood what they said/wrote. We were staying at Carambola, so we were starting from the tennis courts.

About the bees. The grounds keeper at Carambola gave us directions and some description about the hike. He told us that the bees will not bother you, so don't freak out. Personally, I never saw them. I saw plenty of very large termite nests up in the trunks of trees. My wife said she saw the bees on the hike to the tide pools. I asked her to point them out on the way back, but we couldn't find them (our first hike there; everything is new; time and distance get easily exaggerated). As a general point though, I agree that if you hike in a group, you might be more likely to trouble their security forces, so good advice to spread out a bit.


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aquaponics
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December 18, 2009 5:45 pm  

richard, once you hit Annaly Bay and you walk to the west side as far as you can, you only need to scale the rocks 3-5 ft up. Bring a second pair of shoes as someone suggested. Literally a few steps more and you have found the "POOLS". If you were there on a really rough day, you probably would not be able to make that climb over easily.

Also, another point to stress is that even if you find the pools, you need to be very carefully climbing around the rocks there as they are very sharp. be especially carefull if you are climbing on the outer rocks on the North side of the pools. Occassionally a rouge wave will come in and make a marvelous waterfall into the pools, but if you are up on those rocks at that time you will get washed over and probably limp home with cuts and bruises. I've seen more than my share of blood in that area. It's amazing to see, but mother nature can come quick and throw you as she wishes....


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chefnoah
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December 18, 2009 6:00 pm  

The way I go, it's possible to make it without even getting your feet wet.

I walk down the beach and then you have to climb over some larger rocks. Then it turns into a rock wall that you climb up on. There are foot holds and places to grab. I always survey my next few steps before taking them. You scale that wall towards the water (looks scarier than it is) and then it stops. There will be a 4-5' gap where water crashes in. Time it right, and when the water pulls out, step down on the rock that will be exposed. Then climb to the next part, up and over to the tide pools.

If you take your time it's not too bad. Also, wear good shoes and use your judgement.

Noah
Signature user since right now


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EngRMP
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December 18, 2009 7:19 pm  

Are the wet rocks slick with mold/moss/algae?


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Jim Dandy
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December 19, 2009 12:03 am  

No, but they are wet and they are sharp. To fall is to bleed.

Jim


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Matt
 Matt
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December 20, 2009 2:57 am  

You can look on Google earth to see the pools. I also found that you can go to Mapquest, get directions in any city, when the map comes up click on "Satalite" on the upper right of the map and zoom out then drag the map/satalite till you can get to StCroix and zoom back in to see the island. That is a really cool place! I prefer to go there by Jeep! It will test your off-roading skills if you are not used to driving offroad. The second pool, right next to the first has a "drain hole" where the water that flowed into the pool drains back out to the ocean. It looks like it could suck you right in! be careful!
Good luck!
It's worth the trip!

Matt.

Matt


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