The Caribbean island of St. Martin has some of the best hiking trails for visitors who are looking to explore nature on the island. Visitors who would like to enjoy some walking or hiking through the different terrains of the island can pick from a selection of hiking locations on both the French and Dutch sides of the island.
The hiking trails in St. Maarten offer diverse experiences such as panoramic views of Saint Martin and surrounding islands, nature expeditions that can allow hikers to spot some of the island’s wildlife, fun activities along some of the hiking trails, and a historic learning experience at some of the island’s old forts and monuments. Some of the best hiking trails in St. Martin are listed below.
- Cay Bay
- Fleming Property
- Fort Willem
- Pointe Blanche
- West Coast (Kim Sha)
- Pic Paradis Hike
- Pelican Peak
Table of Contents
- 1. Cay Bay
- 2. Fleming Property
- 3. Fort Willem
- 4. Point Blanche
- 5. West Coast (Kim Sha)
- 6. Vineyard
- 7. Pic Paradis Hike
- 8. Pelican Peak
- What is the effect of geography on hiking trails in St. Martin?
- Are there mountains in St Maarten for hiking?
- Is hiking in St. Martin safe?
- How much time do you need to hike in Sint Maarten?
- Is the weather in St. Martin good for hiking?
- What is the best time to hike in St. Martin?
- What are the other things to do while hiking in St. Maarten?
- What species can you see in St. Martin?
1. Cay Bay
The hiking trail to Cay Bay starts from Little Bay in St. Maarten. The distance of the hiking trail is at least 1.0 miles (3.1 km) on a one-way trek which is considered to be moderate in difficulty. The path to Cay Bay is a colorful rocky trail made up of different layers of old seafloor that were elevated by volcanic activity in the past.
Some of the interesting sites that hikers can see along the Cay Bay hiking trail are the panoramic views of neighboring islands, the Little Bay Pond which features an important bird area, and the coastal areas of Little Bay and Cay Bay. The hike to Cay Bay is at least 2 hours one way.
2. Fleming Property
The Fleming Property Trail starts from Cole Bay in St. Martin. The distance of this hiking trail is at least 1.2 miles (2 km) one way, which falls under moderate difficulty. The hiking path on the Fleming Property features high grassy wildflowers and shady tamarind trees, which are often used to make juices that add flavor to some local Caribbean cuisines.
There is also a 17th-century guard-post building for the Dutch and French border, as well as dry-stone walls of various old plantations along the Fleming Property hiking trail. Visitors can spot some beautiful butterflies among the wildflowers as well as birds such as Kestrels, Black-faced Grassquit, the locally named Killi-killi, and the Pearly-eyed Thrasher. The Fleming Property hike takes at least 2 hours to complete a roundtrip.
3. Fort Willem
The Fort Willem trail starts in the residential area of Cay Hill in St. Maarten. The distance of the hiking trail is at least 1.3 miles (2.1 km) on a one-way trip. This hike has a moderate level of difficulty. The trail to Fort Willem features dry forests, rocky terrain, and views of the coastal area of Little Bay.
Visitors can get to see a large cistern and some of the original walls of the fort when they hike up Fort Willem. Hikers can also enjoy the incredible panoramic view of some nearby islands, as well as views of Oyster Bay and Great Bay Harbor. Some of the wildlife that can be sighted during the hike to Fort Willem include breeding brown pelicans which are situated in the Important Bird Area near Little Bay. This hike takes at least 2 hours to complete a roundtrip.
4. Point Blanche
Point Blanche Trail begins in Pointe Blanche. Pointe Blanche is located on the south-eastern side of Dutch Sint Maarten. The one-way distance of this uphill hike is at least 1 mile (1.7 km) which makes the difficulty level of this trip challenging. Visitors can experience some of the history of the island when they spot the low stone piles of ruins that are reminiscent of the 17th-century Old Spanish Fort that once existed on the peak of Point Blanche.
The surrounding environment at the top of Pointe Blanche features shrubs, grasses, hardy trees, as well as a dry and thorny scrub habitat. The top of Point Blanche also offers panoramic views of neighboring islands and the Philipsburg harbor. Some of the wildlife that can be seen along the Pointe Blanche Trail are wandering goats grazing on the grassland. The roundtrip hike on the Point Blanche Trail is at least 3 hours.
5. West Coast (Kim Sha)
The West Coast Trail begins at Kimsha Beach and ends at Mullet Bay in St. Maarten. The length of the hiking trail is at least 2.4 miles (3.9 km) one way and is considered to be an easy hike. The West Coast Kim Sha trail features restaurants, bars, yachts, historic buildings, and hotels, which are visible as hikers journey past Simpson Bay Lagoon over the Simpson Bay drawbridge. The journey also takes hikers past Simpson Bay Beach, the upscale residential area of Beacon Hill, and Maho Beach where many people enjoy watching the plane landings at Princess Juliana International Airport.
Some of the plant life that can be seen along the West Coast Kim Sha hiking trail include coconut palms, beach morning glory, and sea grape trees along the sandy beaches. The wildlife that can be seen along the West Coast Trail from Kim Sha includes shore birds and different kinds of sea turtles such as the leatherback, hawksbill, and green sea turtle. The roundtrip hike along this hiking trail is at least 1 hour and 30 minutes long.
The Vineyard Trail is an urban trail that begins in Philipsburg which is the Dutch capital of St. Maarten. The distance of this trek is at least 0.8 miles (1.3 km) one way at a moderate difficulty level. The path along the Vineyard trail features sights of the Great Salt Pond, as well as panoramic views of Philipsburg. There are a few different historic sites along this trail such as the Vineyard plantation House which was built in 1872. Some of the wildlife that can be sighted along this trail are Vervet and Green monkeys. The Vineyard hiking trail is at least 2 hours long.
7. Pic Paradis Hike
The Pic Paradis hike trail is an out and back trail situated near Colombier on the French side of Saint Martin. The length of this hike is at least 2.8 miles (4.5 km), with an elevation gain of at least 1178 ft (359 m). This hiking trail has plenty of rocky routes stretching out from the main path which can make it easy for hikers to get lost. Hikers can make use of a map that is offered at Loterie Farm for at least $10, to guide them safely on their trek along Pic Paradis.
Some of the interesting sights along the Pic Paradis hiking trail include the scenic Pic Paradis (Paradise Peak) mountain which is the highest point among the hills in St. Martin. There is an abundance of vegetation along the Pic Paradis Hike trail and some of the wildlife that can be seen during the hike include lizards, iguanas, monkeys, and some nesting birds. The duration of the Pic Paradis Hike is at least 2 hours and 30 minutes.
8. Pelican Peak
The Pelican Peak trail is an out-and-back hiking trail near Philipsburg on the Dutch side of Sint Maarten. The length of this hiking trail is at least 2.5 miles (4 km), with an altitude of at least 646 ft (197 m). The hike along Pelican Peak is considered to be relatively easy with a partially paved path. There are viewing decks at the summit of Pelican Peak which offer 360-degree views of the breath-taking Caribbean island of St. Martin and neighboring islands.
There are wildflowers that decorate some of the terrain on Pelican Peak. This hike can be enjoyed by families with children as there are fun activities along the hike such as zip-lining at the top of Pelican Peak. Pelican Peak is also near the St. Maarten cruise port which offers diverse fun activities for all kinds of age groups. This hike takes at least 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete.
What is the effect of geography on hiking trails in St. Martin?
There are some effects on the geography that occur along the hiking trails in St. Martin. The geography of St. Martin is relatively hilly with a combination of rocky, grassy, and sandy terrain. There are muddy hiking trails due to the regular rainfall on the island. These trails often erode and result in the widening and extension of the hiking trail. This erosion has little effect on the hiking experience and does not pose a large threat to the geography of the island. Some of the areas along the hiking paths that are used for recreational activities are known to impact the integrity of the surrounding natural habitat by fire rings, plant and tree damage, and litter that are by-products of these recreational activities.
Are there mountains in St Maarten for hiking?
Yes, there are mountains in St. Maarten that are ideal for hiking. Some of the mountains of St. Martin include the well-known Pic Paradis also known as Paradise Peak. Pic Paradis is the highest peak on the French side of Saint Martin with an altitude of 1392 ft (424 m).
Is hiking in St. Martin safe?
Yes, hiking in St. Martin is safe. The safety and security standards for hikers in St. Maarten are relatively good. Some of the hiking trails on the island are paved and have clear markings to help guide hikers along the trails. There are also maps offered for some of the hiking trails in St. Martin to ensure that visitors can navigate through the hiking trails safely and avoid getting lost.
Some of the isolated hiking trails in St. Maarten can be unsafe for hikers, as car break-ins are known to occur along the trails. There is also a risk of getting lost when hiking through some of the dense vegetation on the island. Hikers can ensure their safety by making sure that they learn enough information on some of the hiking trails before they embark on their journey.
Some of the safety information about Sint Maarten that visitors can find about the hiking trails include the difficulty level and distance of the hike, the type of terrain they will journey on, the location of the hiking trail, and the available provisions for guidance hikes such as maps and tour guides.
What equipment do you need for hiking in St. Martin?
There is some useful equipment that hikers need for hiking in St. Martin. Hikers who are trying to figure out what to wear in Sint Maarten when taking a hike can consider the weather and terrain along the hiking trail. Some of the common equipment and gear that is recommended for hiking in St. Martin are listed below.
- Footwear such as hiking boots or sneakers
- Sun hat or a cap
- Water bottle
- Long pants
How much time do you need to hike in Sint Maarten?
The average time that is needed when hiking in Sint Maarten is between at least 1 hour and 30 minutes to 3 hours for a self-guided hike, and up to at least 4 hours for a hiking tour. There are some hiking tours in St. Maarten that allow visitors to enjoy a hike on the island with an expert guide. Some of the hiking tours in St. Maarten include other activities such as ziplining and water sports, as well as a provision of food and drinks to enjoy on the tour.
Is the weather in St. Martin good for hiking?
Yes, the weather in St. Martin is relatively good for hiking during the warmer and less rainy seasons. The climate of St. Martin is tropical savannah which means that there is a hurricane season on the island each year. The rainy weather can make the hiking trails difficult and unsafe to navigate through. Visitors can enjoy taking hikes during the less rainy months from January to April. These drier months offer the ideal weather conditions for an enjoyable hiking experience.
What is the best time to hike in St. Martin?
The best time to take a hike in St. Martin is in the morning. Tourists looking to hike on their vacations will find it good to get an early start for their hikes in order to enjoy the beautiful views the island of St. Maarten has to offer.
What are the other things to do while hiking in St. Maarten?
There are other things to do while hiking in St. Maarten. Some of the hiking tours in Saint Martin offer a variety of activities to do in St. Martin during a hike. Visitors who do not need a guide can also benefit from a number of these activities. Some of the activities that can be done during a hiking trip are listed below.
- Sightseeing St. Martin and neighboring islands
- Bird watching
- Relaxing at a resting stop along some of the hiking trails
- Learning about some of the historic monuments on some of the hiking trails
What species can you see in St. Martin?
There are diverse species that can be seen by hikers in St. Martin. Most of the wildlife species on the island do not pose a threat to visitors who hike through their natural habitats. The different wildlife and plant species can be found around the salt ponds, in the rocky areas, and along the grasslands on some of the hiking trails in St. Maarten. Some of the plant and animal species that can be seen on the hiking trails in St. Martin are listed below.
- Tamarind trees
- Kestrel birds
- Thorny shrubs
- Brown Pelicans
- Coconut palms
- Sea grape trees