Salt River Bay NHP&EP Visitor Contact Station Open until June 2014
We are open Tuesdays and Thursdays through the 6th of June 2013! 9:30AM-4:00PM From November 14, 2013 to June 14, 2014. Based on staff availability we 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?
The only Tainan ceremonial ball court or plaza found in the Lesser Antilles is at Salt Bay River. Both ceremonial and recreational, the ball game originated in Mesoamerica. The ball court was excavated by a Danish archaeologist, Gudmund Hatt in 1923.