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Getting to know America Hill Ruins

March 30, 2015

photo 1There’s certainly no shortage of ruins on St John, and looking back through the archives of this blog, you’ll see that most of our favorite hikes include a ruin or two. One that I don’t seem to get to as often is America Hill, but the America Hill House ruins are some of my favorites – I’m sure you’ll see why when you see the pictures! Not only are the ruins attractive, the views of the north shore of St John are stunning.

In its hey day, the boarding house was rumored to have been used by rum runners, which totally makes sense when you see the nearly 300-degree view it commanded of the north side of the island.

photo 1 (1)The hike up is steep at first, and fairly exposed, but as you cross the gut it levels out a bit and becomes shadier & cooler. Once you reach the America Hill Spur, which is not very far up Cinnamon Bay Trail, it’s only about five more minutes to the ruins. The walls of the house are mostly intact, and you can see where the remains of the front steps were. This wasn’t a “Great House” like the ruins at Windy Point on Johnny Horn Trail, but rather a smaller Estate House which was eventually used as a guesthouse in the early 1900’s. One of the last guests was said to be Trujillo, former dictator of the Dominican Republic, just adding to the site’s illustrious history.

For more information on America Hill Estate House & the Cinnamon Bay Trail, I recommend visiting SeeStJohn.com’s page on the hike – they also have some more impressive pictures!

There really isn’t a bad hike on St John, every trail in the VI National Park has something to offer, but the views and ruins on this particular trail are spectacular.

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