santa maria beach?
A few years ago I went to Santa Maria beach on West End STT. I loved it. I must have forgot how to get there. I googled directions and found
"go on highway 30 and drive past the university. go up the road and stay on the left. go up the hill for around 1.5-2.5 miles. on your RIGHT look for an old iron gate with a keep out sign (on the left side will be a view of the ocean right beforeyou get to the gate). right next to it will be a path to walk down to the beach. the path turns into a dirtroad after a while, but the gate i always locked. no one is ever on this beach, at most, maybe 10 locals/university students or maybe a few fishermen. on a good day you can hear the waves break after a short walk down the trail."
I found the gate with the no tresspassing sign, there was no path. There was a hole in the fence, but it didn't look like anyone had entered in quite some time. The bush was crazy.
Has anyone been to this beach? Is it only accessible by sea? I thought all beaches were public, how can someone fence it off?
For a photo of this beach - http://www.flickr.com/photos/reubeninstt/3367671746/
All VI beaches are public up to the water line, but access is only public from the water.
all beaches accessible (free) by water
Most are free by land, condos and hotels must provide access even if they are gated and guarded at no charge
Public beaches (some) or the Federal Park are at a fee. lol is that not typical
Some beaches are un-accessible by land, special political cases
It does not have to be a special political case to have a beach surrounded by private property - there has been no law passed in the VI that requires a land owner to provide access across private property - places like California and Hawaii have laws that require this and have even used eminent domain rulings to force it.
Some beaches that are surrounded by private property have access at the edge of the property via road or right-of-way. Shoy's, for example, on STX, has a parking lot and a path that leads to the beach. No private property owner has to allow you to troop through their back yard - access at some point is all that is necessary.
Edited to add that this is a touchy subject and opinions and interpretations of the laws vary.
Piperamber to answer your question I was told it is public my wife and I went there last year on a tip by the peoplewe stayed with. We parked on the side of the road by the gate and slipped through the hole in the fence. We felt like we were tresspassing but continued down the long dirt path anyway. We were happy we did because it was a private beautiful beach surrounded by palms the water was rough but worth the trip. At first sight we couldn't find the hole in the fence but after alittle looking around it was found. I would bring a pair of walking shoes because the path has some pitch and my wife was attacked by fire ants. Definatley worth the trek good luck. Justin
May I please add a caution? Unless you know the area, i would be very hesitant to climb through a fence, walk down a long road and then wind up alone on an isolated beach. And that applies to any area unfamiliar to me.
The fence is the property line - the long walk is over private property - if you felt like you were trespassing it is because you were - it is not a public access beach [by land] and is not required to provide access.
No question it is a beautiful beach but beyond the vegetation line it is private property.