Hassel Island, Charlotte Amalie

#3 of 6 in Nature in St. Thomas
Island · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
Hike around Hassel Island and uncover historic ruins set against a stunning backdrop. Once a peninsula of St. Thomas, this spit of land became an island in the 1860s, when a channel was dug out to improve water circulation in the area's harbor. The British occupation of the island left behind numerous buildings, including barracks and forts. Take a guided tour or simply follow the signposted trails to soak in the views and spot native wildlife. Don't miss the remains of one of the oldest steam-powered marine railways in the Western Hemisphere, which operated until the 1960s. Some paths can be strenuous, so pack plenty of water, a snack, and sunscreen for your visit. Make Hassel Island part of your personalized Charlotte Amalie itinerary using our Charlotte Amalie day trip planning site.
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  • Hassel Island sits in the Charlotte Amalie harbor, just east of Water Island. It is part of the Virgin Islands National Park and is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. it appears....  more »
  • While we wish the trails had been re-cleared since the Irma & Maria storms, we did venture there on our own, Seaglass and small artifacts found with local family resident. If they can bring this...  more »
  • I get asked the question a lot of whether Hassel Island is worth the time and $$$ to visit if coming off a cruise ship. I'd say if you're a history buff and an active person you'll love it, if you want Beach/relaxation/drinks/food/facilities, visit Water Island instead. Hassel Island is a workout in itself and can be pretty much covered on foot in a few hours. You'll need to bring everything with you like your lunch and water as this is a almost deserted rock (only a few families live here) and keep in mind there is no where to use the restroom. Watch your step around the ruins and places to see are garrison house (from the British occupation), prince freddricks battery, fort Shipley, cromwells battery and the Marine railway. This island was once part of St. Thomas until the Danish blew up the land that connected it to create better water flow in the bay. The best way to get a guided tour is with the St. Thomas historical trust. They run tours on Tuesdays and Thursdays once a day for $80 per person but I'm not sure if they are still in operation now post hurricanes. I know there was a massive community volunteer clean up to get hassel island back in good shape for the cruise ships so if you cant get a tour there are water ferrys that will take you to explore the island on your own for $10. If you're in good shape and want to explore historical ruins from the early 1800s this may be a great adventure for you.
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