Francis Bay Walking Trail

The Francis Bay Walking Trail was built by the Friends in the years of 2009 and 2012 with the help of many donors and volunteers. The boardwalk trail leads through the mangroves that line Francis Bay following the contours of a salt water pond, offering visitors a unique opportunity to observe the plant and animals that call the wetland habitat their home.

Sadly, the boardwalk trail (and its parts) were heavily damaged in the storms of September 2017. Work to rebuild the boardwalk, which allows people of all abilities to enjoy a strolll through the park, began April 19, 2018.

The restoration of the boardwalk was completed in May 8th, 2018. The work was done in two phases - clean up and salvage of wood and parts from the previous boardwalk, and repair/new construction of the boardwalk. More than 50 volunteers and a service group from the Foundation House worked side by side Friends' staff (including our President Joe Kessler!) to complete the project. Special recognition also goes to Jeff Chabo for his outstanding volunteer service. 



We are extremely grateful for the generous $10,000 matching gift made by the Keeley Family towards this project. This was matched in part by the Virgin Islands Audubon Society with a donation of $6,800 (the proceeds from their annual plant sale!). Additionally, we were honored to accept gifts in memory of Mr. Mark Moroney for this project. Together with gifts from members like you, this project is a true testament of the concept that we are stronger together. So, thank you! 

To see more photos documenting the rebuild of the Francis Bay boardwalk on one of our volunteer days, check out this website by St. John photographer Yelena Rogers.

May You Rest In Peace


Tribute to Mark Moroney

Friends of Virgin Islands National Park is honored to have accepted donations as a tribute to Mr. Mark Moroney’s life for the Francis Bay Walking Trail. 

St John was the place where, in retirement, Mark was happiest.  A family man, a lover of cricket and good wine, with a sharp intellect which, used in his practice of the law, allowed the Chief Minister of the Isle of Man, his main home,  to comment on the difference Mark had made to the life of that Island.  But it was the good friends and fellow hikers in St. John, its wonderful challenging trails and amazing scenery that in the end gave Mark the most joy.  He belonged to a small group of volunteers in the Isle of Man who repaired parts of the mountain paths there and would have been delighted to know that he had a memorial in St. John in the form of the rectification of  National Park 's St. Francis Bay Trail.   Mark had been a Friend of the Park for 20 years.
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