“In fourteen hundred ninety-three, Columbus sailed the deep blue sea.”
The first, and only, documented Unites States site where members of the Columbus expeditions landed was at Salt River Bay on St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. The date was November 14, 1493. Archaeological records show that the Carib Indians had already settled in the area more than 800 years before Columbus had arrived. Their meeting at Salt River is the first documented encounter between native Americans and Europeans, and the area has been designated “Columbus Landing”.
Salt River National Historic Park consists of more than 900 acres on St. Croix’s north shore. It includes the shorelines, land, and water areas of Salt River, Triton and Sugar Bays to a depth of 300 feet, Columbus Landing Site and Cape of the Arrows.
It is comprised of a significant tropical reef system, and biologically rich submarine canyon, salt pond, freshwater marsh, as well as the largest remaining mangrove forest in the United States Virgin Islands. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service considers it a Nationally Significant Wildlife Habitat.
Salt River’s canyon’s were studied intensively when Hydrolab, a NOAA Underwater Research Centre habitat, was located there in the 1970’s and 80’s.
Salt River Bay Historical Park and Ecological Preserve is an important segment in the essential task of protecting and perpetuating the multi-faceted, diverse heritage of St. Croix.
Plans are to develop the national park with a world class museum, exhibiting the pre-Columbian artifacts discovered here. Let’s go kayaking!
We are located inside Salt River Marina next to Pirates Tavern.