Francis Bay Trail

St John, U.S. Virgin Islands

PicnickingPhotography OpportunitiesFishingRestrooms Available

When to Visit:
January - Most ProductiveFebruary - Most ProductiveMarch - Most ProductiveApril - Most ProductiveMay - Most ProductiveJune - Most ProductiveJuly - Most ProductiveAugust - Most ProductiveSeptember - Most ProductiveOctober - Most ProductiveNovember - Most ProductiveDecember - Most Productive

Francis Bay Trail provides some of the best birding on the island of St. John. The trail is rough towards the top but there is a wonderful boardwalk through the mangroves farther along the trail with a couple of platforms overlooking a small pond.

Specialty Species:

White-cheeked Pintail - This species can be found on the pond that the main trail circles around.

Caribbean Coot - This is a very tough species to find and you must be careful to separate it from the more common American Coots in the area.

Mangrove Cuckoo - This species is easy to find all along the trail and tends to be quite cooperative.

Green-throated Carib - This species can be found all along the trail.

Antillean Crested Hummingbird - This species can be found all along the trail.

Caribbean Elaenia - Be sure to know the song and calls of this bird if you hope to find it!

Puerto Rican Flycatcher - This is a very difficult species to find on St John but this area is the best place to look.

Black-faced Grassquit - This species can be found anywhere along the trail but is not common.

Lesser Antillean Bullfinch - Like the previous species, it is around but not common.

Where to Bird:

The main trail at Francis Bay begins at a small parking area along the road. The tail down the hill is rugged but offers some great birding. At the bottom of the hill, you will come to an opening that overlooks the ocean. We have been told that at times you can see Manta Rays from this area and that the snorkling is great here.

Continuing on the path, you will come to an extremely nice boardwalk through the mangroves. Along the boardwalk there are 2 platforms that look out over a large pond. This is the best area for ducks and shorebirds. The boardwalk ends at another road that leads to a parking area, restroom, and the beach. You can return to your vehicle by either hiking up the road or by going back up the main trail.


Open at all times




If you park down by the beach, the boardwalk is accessible. The trail from the main parking is very rugged and not accessible.


There is one main trail through the area but it connects to trails that would allow for significantly more hiking.

Non-birding Equipment Needed:

Length of Visit:

This location takes about a half day to fully bird.




To get directions from Cruz Bay, click here.


None Available

Nearby Birding:

Annaberg Sugar Mill
Reef Bay Trail
Johnny Horn Trail
East End of 10
Salt Pond
Lind Point Trail
Cruz Bay