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Charlotte Amalie
Sunday, March 26, 2023
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Hiking in the Virgin Islands, Be Prepared

May 23, 2004 -With the opening of the Virgin Islands latest hiking trail, the 1.5-mile Magens Bay Discovery Trail on St. Thomas May 22, residents and visitors can now enjoy some 62 walking trails throughout the territory while exploring nature and our storied past. St. Croix has some 35 trails while Virgin Islands National Park, in St. John, features approximately 20 trails over a 22-mile area. The Megens Bay addition brings to seven the number of trails on St. Thomas.
So now with such an abundance of choices, the Source asked two local veterans how best to prepare for a hike. Here's what you should know before heading out to the trails, according to Virgin Islands National Park guide Pat Dinisio and St. Croix Hiking Association president Sonia Maynard-John.
— Don't be in such a hurry . . . start slow and gradually increasing your pace.
— If hiking with kids, let the slowest person set the pace.
— Remember, the purpose of any hike is to have fun and to appreciate the great outdoors.
— Take turns leading your group.
— Hike in groups as much as possible, on marked trails.
— Leave your itinerary with a friend who is not joining you.
— As is the case throughout the islands, wear sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat/visor.
— Before the hike, develop an emergency plan and make sure everyone has a role to play in the case of a medical emergency.
— Give kids a whistle with instructions to "stop and blow" if they become lost.
— Bring a first-aid kit tailored to your outing.
— It's always best to maintain a steady pace. Take frequent rests.
— Don't overindulge, but drink water before, during and after your hike.
— If you're planning a long hike, make sure you pack the carbs – carbohydrates – in the form of energy bars, granola, candy, and fruit.
— Wear comfortable sneakers/shoes, and leave your sandals/flipflops at home.
Use common sense.
For more information about the new Megens Bay trail, please contact the The Conservancy, 773-5575, or visit their Web site, hiking. For more on hiking tips or to receive additional information about Virgin Islands National Park, call 776-6201. For more on hiking tips or to receive additional information about the St. Croix Hiking Association, call 778-2076.

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