Activities For Dogs In Virgin Islands National Park

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Introduction

Located in the tropics of the Caribbean, the Virgin Islands are a beautiful set of islands that have collectively become a very popular tourist destination over the years. Travelers with pets will be able to engage in a number of activities with their dogs at the Virgin Islands National Park - chief among them being walking along as many of the Virgin Islands' hiking trails as you can. Pets are allowed on all of the trails at the Virgin Islands National Park, so long as they're kept on a leash that's no longer than 6 feet long. As the Virgin Islands are located near the Equator, you'll want to bring plenty of sunscreen and water if you plan on visiting.

Ram Head Trail

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Sunny Day
Cheap
Easy
5 - 20 min
Items needed
Leash
Water
waste bags
Activity description
Of all the officially designated trails, this one is the shortest and easiest to traverse. The Ram Head trail starts at the Salt Pond Bay and will take travelers all the way the east end of the St. John island. The terrain of this trail is fairly even, only changing ever so slightly as you get closer to its end. You won't need to spend much money on supplies to conquer this trail - a few dollars spent on a good leash and a water bottle for yourself and your dog will get you everything you need to embark on the Ram Head trail. It's best to attempt this activity with your dog during sunny weather; no one wants to get caught in a Caribbean downpour!.
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Easy walker
Being such a short trail, you and your dog can complete the Ram Head trail in less than 20 minutes if you move at a fairly brisk pace. You can also pump the brakes and take your time completing this trail as there are no predatory animals that live near it. Moving at a slower pace, you and your dog might complete this trail in about 40 minutes or so. We feel there's nothing wrong with taking it easy as this trail has a lot of beautiful sights to see.
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King and Queen of the world
A peninsula of smooth rocks and verdant plants await you and your pet at the end of the Ram Head trail. To commemorate your collective achievement, you and your dog can get close to the water and reenact everyone's favorite scene from the 1997 film Titanic. Even if you don't have that much of a flair for the dramatic, you and your dog ought to spend some time admiring the views that wait at the end of this trail. Be sure to hydrate your pup and pick up any waste that may be generated before heading back.
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Lind Point Trail

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Any Day
Cheap
Normal
20 - 40 min
Items needed
Leash
Water
Walking Stick
waste bags
Activity description
The Lind Point trail is a winding and rugged pathway that fluctuates in elevation at various points. It isn't the hardest trail that one can embark on while visiting the Virgin Islands National Park, but it's no cakewalk either. Your dog will adapt to the terrain of this particular trail fairly quickly, so you won't have to worry about them too much while trying to get through it. If you get your hands on a hands-free leash, then you'll have even less to worry about during the trip. You can try out this trail during any sort of weather as it's open all throughout the year.
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Hands-free handling
Hands-free leashes can take some getting used to for both yourself and your dog, so it's probably best to spend some time getting acclimated to the one you've recently purchased long before you and your pet set one foot and paw on the Lind Point Trail. Whereas traditional leashes allow pet parents to influence their dog's movements with subtle wrist movements, hands-free leashes require a more active touch. Spend enough time practicing with it though, and you'll get the hang of it.
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Into the woods
The Lind Point Trail has a lot of trees and greenery that will shade you and your dog from the sun. The caveat is that those same trees may also be home to a number of bugs and woodland creatures whose bites can make you and your pet sick for a few days. These creatures won't attack you and your pet en mass, but they may lash out if provoked. So before you lean on a tree or let your dog go for a twinkle on its stump, be mindful of which creatures may be inhabiting this particular area.
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A journey's end
The Lind Point trail ends at an elevation that's pretty close to the ocean. Take a few pictures with your dog near the shore to immortalize the moment in which the two of you conquered the Lind Point trail through perseverance and teamwork. You may see a few marine creatures that you won't normally see in the mainland, so take a few pictures of them if you can.
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Francis Bay Trail

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Sunny Day
Moderate
Hard
30 - 90 min
Items needed
Backpack
First Aid Kit
Hands-Free Leash
Food and Water
Waste Bags
Activity description
Without question, the Francis Bay Trail is the most challenging path a hiker and their dog could attempt while visiting the Virgin Islands National Park. This one has it all; changes in elevation levels throughout the trail, desert-like terrain, and about an average travel time of 60 minutes. This trail begins at the Francis Bay Sugar Factory - an old landmark that's comprised of the numerous stony remnants of a once large factory. After that, it's a long and arduous hike through the toughest trail the Virgin Islands have to offer. You'll want to set aside about $50 to $100 to pay for the supplies you'll need for this hike. You and your dog are best off trying this one out during sunnier times of the year, where the terrain won't be wet from rain.
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A sweet start
The ruins of the sugar factory that lay at the beginning of this trail are definitely worth exploring if you're big on history. Not much information is readily available about the factory, so you'll have to glean what you can about this place's past by examining it in person with your pet. Even if you aren't a big history buff, the factory is still a cool place to explore with your dog.
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Up to the heights
The highest point of elevation on the Francis Bay Trail is about 108 feet high in the sky. It's a gradual climb to that point, so you and your dog won't have to worry about trying to crawl up any steep slopes or anything like that, but the both of you will definitely feel the difference between walking around an area with a normal elevation and walking at the zenith of this trail. Pace yourself, keep calm, and take as much time as you and your dog need to get through this part.
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For the birds
One way to know that you and your dog are close to reaching the end of the Francis Bay trail is to do as follows; listen out for the sound of birds chirping throughout the trail. Once that sound becomes much louder and more pronounced, try to see if there are any distinguishing features between the call of one bird versus the call of another. There's something of a natural bird sanctuary near the end of the Francis Bay trail, so the sound of disparate bird types is a clue that your hike is almost over.
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More Fun Ideas...

Take a Picture

It will last longer after all. This activity can be added on to any of the others mentioned in this guide; while walking on a particular trail, consider taking some pictures with your dog to immortalize the moment. We think it would be really cool if you take photos of yourself and your dog at the beginning, middle, and end of a specific trail in such a way that tells a story.

Francis Bay Bird Watching

Once you make to the end of the Francis Bay Trail, you'll likely notice a menagerie of birds populating the area that effectively makes up the finish line. You and your dog are encouraged to make use the benches and tables found at the end of the Francis Bay Trail to catch your breath and engage in some quality bird watching.

Conclusion

While most of the activities that we've discussed are things you and your dog can do at the Virgin Islands National Park, there are plenty more dog-friendly activities to try out with your dog in the U.S. Virgin Islands. After you've finished exploring the National Park, you can visit a number of restaurants and beaches that welcome dogs with open arms. The British and Spanish Virgin Islands also have their fair share of dog-friendly activities as well, but their customs are different than the U.S. Virgin Islands. Have no fear; learn the laws of the land and try to visit as much of the Virgin Islands as you can after you and your dog have finished up at the National Park.