Magen’s Bay beach is special in part because it is so big, beautiful, and calm, and in part because it has escaped the fate of all the other superb St. Thomas beaches: resort development. The park attracts a diverse crowd of tourists and locals, and it can be a place for quiet relaxation or high-spirited fun.
The beach itself is about one mile long and slightly heart-shaped. It is wide, gently sloping, and almost always calm. Even on days when there are a lot of people here, you can be sure to find a quiet corner of shade (or sun, if you prefer). This is a popular place for an early morning jog or walk. A small enterprise at the eastern end of the park rents water sports gear and kayaks, but most people are content lolling around in the crystal, calm water.
Magen’s Bay is owned by the territorial government and administered as a public park; visitors must pay $4 per adult, $1 per child, and $2 per car to get in. The fee collection booth is open about 7:30 a.m.–6 p.m. daily. Funds go to maintain public restrooms, picnic tables, and shelters, and to collect garbage. There is a small bar and snack shop near the entrance. Off the beach, Magen’s Bay offers an expansive area of shade, equipped with picnic tables, pavilions, and parking.
Magen’s Bay Trail
You can explore Magen’s Bay away from the beach along the 1.5-mile Magen’s Bay Nature Trail, a facility operated by the Nature Conservancy. The trail passes through the moist lowlands before heading uphill through a dry tropical forest.
The lower trailhead is tucked among the coconut palms about midway along the bay. To find it, turn left after passing the guard gate and then look for small white signs directing you to the trail. The upper trailhead is found along Route 35, the road to Magen’s Bay. To find it, look very carefully for a low stone pillar and yellow sign marking the entrance to the hike. There is a small parking area at the upper trailhead.
© Susanna Henighan Potter from Moon Virgin Islands, 4th edition