Another must do while on St. John is the Ram’s Head Trail. It is a beautiful hike which starts at the very remote East End of St. John at Salt Pond Beach. There is always a nice breeze so it is also good on hot summer days.
The climate in St. Johns East End is it is much hotter and drier so the flora and fauna is very different, you will pass beautiful fields of Turks Head Cactus (pictured above). The Turks Head Cactus is an unusual and bizarre shaped succulent plant, characterized by its large, spherical green stem from which a red cylindrical cap, the cephaliun develops.
Since the red, wool-coated cephalium of the plant is similar to the Fez hat of the Turkish male citizens during late Ottoman Empire, one name for the plant is Turk’s cap cactus.
The trail is 1 mile long and leads to a beautiful crest that is 200 feet high and has an absolutely stunning view. One mile does not sound hard, but bear in mind it is hot and the trail is quite steep. Still, with proper shoes it can easily be done, also for kids and fit seniors. It takes about an hour. Don’t forget water and sunscreen.
Ram’s Head History
In September of 1733, after a summer of drought, an insect plague, two hurricanes, and the adoption of a severe and inhumane slave code, the slaves on St. John rebelled and took control of the island for six months until French troops arrived from Martinique to put down the rebellion. Rather than being captured, which would have meant death by torture, many of the rebels committed suicide at Ram’s Head. According to legend, 300 slaves jumped to their deaths from the cliffs.
How to get to Ram’s Head Trail
Drive towards Coral Bay and make a right into town at all the signs, follow the road all the way to Salt Pond. Park your car at Salt Pond Parking Lot and walk along the beach, keep to the right along the coast line. A downloadable trail map is here.
If you still have energy afterwards you can also do the Drunk Bay Trail, or just chill at the salt pond beach (there usually is a guy selling cold soda’s by the parking lot)