A new trail is opened to the public at the Windsor Farm Trail Network at the East Scenic Road Trailhead in St. Croix. Friday was the official ribbon cutting for the trail that welcomed hikers, bikers, and anyone in the community that is interested in taking a walk through nature. The project was led by the V.I. Trail Alliance and partners to create new trails, improve existing trails and install seating, picnic tables, and signage on the trails for the better use and enjoyment of the public.
The V.I. Department of Agriculture granted public use of the public lands around Windsor Farm for trails and outdoor recreation. The hike is about an hour long and provides shade thanks to trees that hover over the trail. Along the trail, hikers will see picnic tables and rest areas spread out approximately every half mile, making it appropriate for people of any age group. You will also find signage that provides directions and historical and tree species identification.
The Trail Alliance was formed in 2016, and the trail was initially discovered by bikers. “This is our most recent public opening event that we are doing here,” said President of the V.I. Trail Alliance Aaron Hutchins.
V.I. Trail Alliance member Barbara Walsh said, “With this trail, you can go as far as you want, and you can make it as easy or as difficult as you want.”
“We open this to the public, and that it is a gift to the public. We ask that everyone that comes here be a trail ambassador,” said Walsh.
Just adjacent to the trail surrounds the property of Francis Molloy.
Francis, who was present and thrilled for the opening of the trail, said, “I love nature, and I’m excited to see it.” She said that about 50 years ago, you would see cattle where the trail now exists. “The guy who had the cattle said that he would see guavaberry trees in there, now people who walk these trails say they can see the trees too.”
The first official hike on the trail took place at 8 a.m. on Friday and was taken by Hutchins, other community members, Commissioner of Agriculture Positive Nelson, and led by naturalists and V.I. Trail Alliance board member Olassi Davis.
“The best way to see the island is to walk the island,” said Nelson.
Administrator Sammuel Sanes also stepped in to assist with the abandoned vehicle program under the Bryan/Roach Administration and was able to remove abandoned vehicles and trash in preparation for the ribbon cutting. Sanes said, “It’s all about our heritage, and it is a part of our culture. I was extremely proud that they asked me to come and assist.”
Also donated to the trail were eight benches, a mounting post for the map of the trail, and the installation of directional signs for the trail done by My Brother’s Workshop.
At the ribbon-cutting Director Troy de Chabert-Schuster of the AARP of the Virgin Islands said, “At AARP, we are working diligently for the Virgin Islands a more livable community, that is one of our major campaigns across the country now.”
“Our work here and our funding to enhance this trail is a part of the livable community campaign,” said de Chabert-Schuster.
Other partners included the V.I. National Park Service, representatives of the V.I. government, AARP of the Virgin Islands, volunteers, and other stakeholders. The project was made possible, in part, by the 2021 AARP Community Challenge Grant and the funding from the National Parks Trust-2021 Community Cost Share Program and the V.I. Department of Agriculture.
Directions to get to the trail: Head West on East Scenic Road from Salt River Road. Trail Head is at the first bend in the road. There you will see a dirt parking lot on the left side of the road with a sign marking the trail entrance.