Virgin Islands National Park Facts

Virgin Islands National Park Facts
Virgin Islands National Park is a park located in the U.S Virgin Islands, encompassing 60% of Saint John Island, and most of Hassel Island. The park is 12,909 acres of land and 5,650 acres of water. The first humans to arrive in the Virgin Islands landed sometime between 1000 BC and 200 BC, but it wasn't until the 1500s when the Spanish arrived that the pre-Columbian culture began its demise. In the first half of the 20th century tourism began to grow in the area as more Americans discovered how beautiful the region was. Virgin Islands National Park was established in 1956, and today it is a popular destination for scuba diving, hiking, and vacationing.
Interesting Virgin Islands National Park Facts:
Laurence Spelman Rockefeller, a major conservationist from the famous Rockefeller family, was heavily involved in establishing many national parks in the United States, including Virgin Islands National Park.
The Virgin Islands National Park is famous for many things - but one of the most popular attractions is Trunk Bay - with an underground trail for snorkeling through the coral. The coral is unfortunately becoming damaged from overuse however.
Trunk Bay has a beach that has been voted one of the Ten Best Beaches in the World by a variety of notable travel publications such as Conde Nast Traveler. National Geographic Society ranked the beach as the best in the world.
The coral reefs of Virgin Islands National Park almost encircle the park completely. The reefs change on a regular basis as new species of coral make their way into the area, replacing older species.
The tropical rainforests of Virgin Islands National Park are home to a variety of wildlife species and plant species.
The only mammal species native to Virgin Islands National Park is the bats. Other animals that can be found in the park or surrounding regions include donkeys, sheep, goats, deer, pigs, mongoose, and cats and dogs. These are not native to the Virgin Islands and were brought by settlers and later inhabitants.
The highest spot in Virgin Islands National Park is at 1,277 feet up the Bordeaux Mountain Trail.
The main tourist season for Virgin Islands National Park extends from December to April, but visitors can enjoy the park all year.
There are more than 800 species of plants found in Virgin Islands National Park including coconut palms, seagrape trees, and mangroves.
There are seven sea turtle species found around the world. Of those seven, three are found in Virgin Island National Park.
Turtles are common in park, but they usually are found only in the water - coming ashore to nest at certain times of the year. The hawksbill turtles and green turtles are the most common while the leatherback turtles are rarely seen.
There is a very diverse population of wildlife at Virgin Islands National Park. Visitors can watch for 140 bird species, 302 fish species, 7 amphibian species, 22 mammal species, and roughly 50 species of coral, as well as sponges and gorgonians.
A year after Virgin Islands National Park was established in 1956 there were 11,900 visitors. By 2012 that number had grown to almost half a million.


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