National Parks -- Virgin Gorda

The Baths National Park
Declared in 1990

The most striking feature of The Baths is the numerous giant, granite boulders, some as large at 40 feet in diameter. Their origins are subject to debate, but they are probably the result of weathering of softer rock, leaving pockets of very hard granite exposed. These massive boulders can be found along the southwest coast of Virgin Gorda and at Fallen and Broken Jerusalem.

At The Baths, the boulders form a cave with a sand bottom pool in one area. This is one of the most photographed spots of The Baths.

The Baths is a major attraction for residents and tourists alike. It has been estimated that more than 50 percent of the visitors to the BVI visit the Baths. It is probably the most popular daytime charter boat anchorage in the BVI and provides good snorkeling among the boulders

The Baths is used extensively, as many as 70 yachts and 300 land-based visitors a day visit the Baths at peak season. This high level of usage creates problems of overcrowding, both on the beach with dinghies, and on the trail with visitors.

The NPT held a public consultation with residents of Virgin Gorda in October 1996 on the issues affecting the Baths. Several suggestions were made for correcting some of the problems at The Baths.

One suggestion that was agreed upon by participants at the consultation is for a dinghy shuttle service to be operated between the yachts and the beach to avoid the pile up of dinghies on the beach.

Currently the NPT is constructing improved bathroom and toilet facilities, as well as lockers. Phase two of the improvement work will see the construction of top quality concession shops, a National Parks Trust Virgin Gorda Office, and the implementation of other recommendations from the consultation.

Spring Bay National Park
Declared in 1974

To the East of The Baths is Spring Bay. The natural beauty of this area was recognised a long time ago when it was declared a National Park in 1964.

Large granite boulders are also the hall mark of Spring Bay. The boulder-studded beach provides excellent swimming and snorkel opportunities for novices and professionals alike.

The well-manicured lawn leading to the beach is also a favourite for picnic and recreational games. The NPT has recently put in swings and added picnic benches to further enhance the attractiveness of the park.

Its small coves, which provide safe snorkeling is popular with charter boats guests, who moor their boats in the area. Massive boulders form coves that allow a steady, but calm flow of water back and forth.

Marine life is vibrant at Spring Bay since fishing is not permitted in the park, which adds to its attraction as a site for snorkeling.

A unique enclosure of boulders forms a natural pool called The Crawl. In the past, this was used by Fishermen to hold turtles and fishes alive until they were ready to be used.

One of the major advantages of Spring Bay over the Baths is that there is more beach (sand area), and the boulders are more or less out-of-the way, unless one wants to be adventurous.

The Baths National Park
Spring Bay National Park
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