September is National Wilderness Month!

Did you know that St. John is two-thirds a national park? The wilderness and wonders that surround the island is what inspires us. Which is why Vibe Jewelry strives to take part in protecting it!

National Wilderness Month was proclaimed in 2013 and Vibe Jewelry is continuing the celebration! Throughout September, we will celebrate the 58th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, and the wilderness we love so dearly in St. John.

What Is National Wilderness Month?

This month is designated to raise awareness of the beauty, fragility, and power of wild landscapes.

Maho Beach, St. John

On September 3, 1964 the Wilderness Act was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson. This act created the legal definition of wilderness in the United States and protected 9.1 million acres of federal land. This reaffirms the dedicated commitment to protect America’s wilderness areas. 

In 2013, President Obama proclaimed September as the month to celebrate the anniversary of The Wilderness Act. This act ultimately changed America’s public land conservation laws to allow for more national and state parks to arise throughout the United States. 

As President Obama mentioned in his proclamation, North America has been filled with wilderness since the earliest days and even today people continue to use this land for fun and adventure. Protecting these spaces is imperative to present and future generations.

“During National Wilderness Month, we affirm that our Nation’s public lands and waters must be accessible to all Americans, we recognize that our lands and waters can revitalize the soul and solidify our respect for the natural wonders that surround us and the earth we share…”

― The American Presidency Project, Proclamation 10248—National Wilderness Month, 2021

What better way to celebrate wilderness month than exploring the island of St. John? An island greatly known for the history and wilderness that is preserved there.

Did you know that St. John is two-thirds national park?

The Virgin Islands National Park encompasses over two-thirds of St. John, making it a wilderness wonder to admire and preserve!

Explore the island to see all the National parks!

You will notice that St. John is tranquil and has a lot less “hustle and bustle” than the sister island, St. Thomas. There aren’t even any traffic lights! This is because more than 60% of the 20 square mile island is a national park. This includes beaches, vistas, underwater coral gardens and peaceful hiking trails that are unspoiled. 

There are prehistoric sites present on almost every beach you will visit on the island and in every bay within the park. These archeological sites date back to as early as 840 BC to the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1493. There are a lot of burial grounds on island that give us great information of the region's prehistory, along with religious and social development skills developed by the Taino people. 

The agriculture on St. John provides great habitats for many animals and plants. Most of the species that are protected within the parks are endangered or threatened. The U.S. Virgin Islands have been inhabited for 3,000 years. Research is still continuing to provide information on the history of the people who lived here in the past. If you visit the Virgin Islands National Park and Friends of the Park, you can see the studies they have going on in surrounding areas and gather more information. Here are some current research projects that are taking place: Seagrass monitoring, sea turtle nest monitoring, fish counts, marine habitat studies, coral disease and archaeological studies. 

Top ten wilderness places to visit on St. John

The national park holds and preserves so much history in the wilderness.

Explore these top ten places in St. John!

For the outdoor enthusiasts, there is no better place to explore a tropical wilderness than St. John! The island may be small but its bays, hills and reefs hold an infinite array of sights to see. Everywhere you turn there is an adventure waiting for you. Be sure to pack some reef safe sunscreen and water when visiting Vibe’s top ten wilderness places on the island!

1. Reef Bay Trail

Some of the Petroglyphs on Reef Bay Trail

This trail holds lots of history and education of agriculture. Visiting the much loved petroglyph site along the Reef Bay trail is a must. The ancient carvings in the stone depict symbols of spiritual significance to prehistoric people who lived on St. John. Before the shoreline, explore the remains of the Reef Bay Sugar Mill, a well-preserved large mill building, and after, take a dip in the ocean.

2. Maho Beach

Maho Beach, Virgin Islands

Grab your fins and mask and dive into this next adventure! Maho Beach offers visitors some of the best snorkeling around the island due to being greeted by some underwater friends. The waters are home to three species of turtle; the Loggerhead, Leatherback and endangered Green Turtle. Maho beach also offers water activities you can rent such as paddle boarding and kayaking. 

3. Rams Head Hike

Rams Head Trail via Enriching Pursuits

The Rams Head trail takes you to the most southeastern tip of St. John. This trail is a 1.2 mile hike one-way from the Salt Pond Bay. See the Turk’s head cactus on the hillside of this trail and watch the waves crash on rocks 200 feet below.

4. Trunk Bay Beach

Trunk Bay Beach

Trunk Bay is St. John’s most magnificent and most popular beach. It is a quarter mile long of white sand and turquoise water! There are underwater trails to explore while snorkeling, along with concessions and chair and umbrella rentals!

5. Salt Pond and Salt Pond Beach

Salt pond in Salt Pond Bay via News Of St. John

On your way to a beautiful beach you can also explore the Salt Pond. Due to its location on the arid and windswept part of the island, the Salt Pond is the place to find 100% natural St. John sea salt. There is no fat, no carbs, no cholesterol, no preservatives! We recommend not swimming in the swampy water but rather harvesting the salt. This is also a great place to bird watch on the island!

6. Annaberg Sugar Mill Ruins

Annaberg Sugar Mill Ruins via Virgin Islands Eco Tour

These ruins are the best place to learn about colonial era life of the people in St. John. This site includes ruins of windmill, a sugar factory, rum still and more. There is sometimes a Friends of Virgin Islands National Park volunteer on hand to answer questions about the rich history. You can drive right to these ruins and park and explore around the mill.

7. Johnny Horn Trail

Johnny Horn Trail via National Park Service

The Johnny Horn Trail is a strenuous hike that leads to the remains of some beautiful stone historic sites and incredible views. The adventure lasts about 2-4 hours and is breathtaking all year long.

8. WIndmill bar at neptunes lookout

Windmill Bar at Neptunes Lookout via Windmill Bar

If you want the best sunset view on St. John, visit Windmill Bar. Not only will you get to learn about Neptune's Lookout but you can enjoy a delicious cocktail (or two!) and have the best view on the island!

9. Cinnamon Beach

Snorkel the plane wreckage via See St. John

If you are looking to be one with nature, check out the Cinnamon beach campground! They have nice eco tents for glamping, tent rentals and open spots to rent. Just off the coast of Little Cinnamon Beach is the wreckage of a plane you can snorkel to and explore.

10. Lime Out tacos

Lime Out Taco Bar via Lime Out

Enjoy some delicious tacos while floating in the beautiful Caribbean. Lime Out is a very popular tourist attraction in Coral Bay on St. John. Reaching Lime Out can only be done by boat, stand-up paddleboard or kayak. Swimming across the harbor channels to reach Lime Out is not allowed.

Take a journey through the island and see the beauty it has to offer. Swim with sea turtles, explore ancient jungle ruins, relax on the white sand beaches and soak in the island beauty. Mingle with the friendly St. Johnians who affectionately refer to their island as Love City St. John. During your visit, you will see how Vibe gets inspired with our handcrafted jewelry. Stop in store after and see the last wonder of the island and #gethooked on St. John!

How to celebrate National Wilderness Month where you live

Enjoy the wilderness that you see every day!

Visit your nearest park to celebrate!

You don’t have to live on St. John to celebrate National Wilderness Month and to appreciate what mother nature has to offer. Celebrate the month by getting out and visiting some of the State Parks and National Parks in your area. 

If State and National Parks are too far from you, here are a few local suggestions on how you can actively appreciate and enjoy our beautiful wilderness: 

  • Go camping
  • Go for a walk outside
  • Photograph the wilderness
  • Watch for wildlife
  • Have a picnic in the park 
  • Watch the changing colors of fall 
  • Watch a sunrise or a sunset

The wilderness and outdoors are there for us to enjoy responsibly. There are many unique ways you can have fun outside, even if it means camping in your backyard and making s'mores! Enjoy nature by yourself or with friends and family.

How is Vibe celebrating Wilderness Month?

Vibe Jewelry is proud to partner with Friends of Virgin Islands National Park and Island Green Living in celebrating National Wilderness Month!

Cruz Bay, St. John

Vibe Jewelry strongly believes in preserving and protecting the wilderness and natural resources on St. John and across the United States and the entire world. That’s why we are making it super easy for our customers to join us in supporting this cause! 

For the month of September, Vibe Jewelry will donate a portion of online sales to Friends of Virgin Islands National Park and Island Green Living!

For the month of September, we will donate 10% of every purchase you make on vibecollection.com to Friends of Virgin Islands National Park and Island Green Living. We’ve also made it easy for you to add an additional donation amount with your online order during the checkout process. Just navigate to any product page on the website and you will see the option to add an additional donation amount. For customers who donate an additional amount, we’ll enter you into a giveaway for a chance to win a $250 gift card for a future purchase! 

Friends of the Virgin Islands National Park is the official philanthropic partner of Virgin Islands National Park and the only non-profit on St. John and St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands that is solely focused on the protection of the Park’s natural and cultural resources.

Island Green Living Association is a nonprofit that has been initiating meaningful change on St. John and throughout the U.S. Virgin Islands since its inception in 2004. The organization is dedicated to expanding sustainability and resiliency while inspiring people to “Rethink, Reduce, Recycle.” 

How can you help?

Join us in supporting nature and wildlife by trying one of our suggestions! 

Celebrate National Wilderness Month by simply spending a certain amount of time a day outside, or just taking a moment to appreciate the scenery on your commute to work. Vibe is here to help you figure out where to start your quest to enjoy the great outdoors!

  • September 3, 1964 marks the anniversary of the Wilderness Act.
  • Virgin Islands National Park encompasses over two-thirds of St. John.
  • Visit the top ten wilderness places to visit on St. John!
  • Celebrate the month by enjoying Mother Nature and visiting your favorite park!
  • Vibe is celebrating by teaming up with Friends of Virgin Islands National Park and Island Green Living to give back!
  • You can help give back when you make a purchase with Vibe!

We at Vibe hope this guide was helpful in learning about National Wilderness Month! If you are interested in shopping some of our best selling styles, check them out below. Or better yet, come and visit our stores on St. John during your next stay!