Salt River Bay NHP&EP Visitor Contact Station Closed until November 2014
The Visitor Contact Station at Salt River Bay is currently closed until we reopen on November 14, 2014. Based on staff availability we can open by appointment, or reserve for specific function. Call 340-773-1460 for more information
History & Culture
Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve was created in 1992 as part of the National Park System. The National Park Service and the Government of the United States Virgin Islands jointly manage this 1,015-acre park. The area’s blend of sea and land holds some of the largest remaining mangrove forests in the Virgin Islands, as well as coral reefs and a submarine canyon. Salt River Bay’s natural history, its vitally important ecosystem of mangroves, estuary, coral reefs, and submarine canyon, has witnessed thousands of years of human endeavor. Every major period of human habitation in the Virgin Islands is represented: several South American Indian cultures, the 1493 encounter with Columbus, Spanish extermination of the Caribs, attempts at colonization by a succession of European nations, and enslaved West Africans and their descendants. More than a dozen major archeological investigations since 1880, together with historical research, reveal this remarkable story. Few places engage the imagination so completely, drawing visitors into the spirit of the place and its beauty and sanctity.
Did You Know?
Salt River Bay is the most important archeological complex in the U.S. Virgin Islands. It reveals all three South American pottery-making cultures – Igneri, Taino, and Carib – and European colonists starting in 1641.