British Virgin Islands-THE BATHS NATIONAL PARK
Written by WinRadio Admin on August 20, 2017
Established in 1990 | Area: 7 acres The centrepiece of this dramatic area on Virgin Gorda’s north shore is The Baths, a geological wonder comprised of awe-inspiring granite boulders, which form sheltered sea pools on the beach’s edge. The protected area also includes Devil’s Bay, which can be reached from The Baths by a series of ladders scaling the boulders. Just north of The Baths, Spring Bay is reached by a separate road and includes a lovely white sand beach. National Parks Trust’s Description: Encompassing the beaches and rocky shoreline at the southwestern tip of Virgin Gorda, The Baths is a collection of massive granite boulders as large as 40 feet in diameter, with white sand beaches and secret rock pools.
The cavernous surroundings are a result of the molten rock seeping up into the existing volcanic rock layers; because the molten rock did not reach the surface it cooled slowly and formed the hard crystalline granite layer. Further shrinkage and cracking formed blocks, which were exposed when the softer volcanic rock above eroded away. Weathering rounded the corners of the boulders to what they are today. These massive boulders are also found at Fallen and Broken Jerusalem. A series of steps and rope handrails guide explorers along a trail through the boulders from the beach at The Baths to the sandy expanse that is Devil’s Bay. This popular daytime anchourage is ideal for swimming and snorkelling. The dinghy dock offshore prevents the beach from becoming overcrowded with dinghies, whilst mooring buoys protect the reef from anchor damage. Swim line markers guide vessels through safe channels when approaching the beaches, but caution should always be used and speeds should not exceed 5mph. Onshore facilities include bathrooms and lockers, creating a safe and enjoyable experience in this unique environment. Strong ocean swells can occur in the winter months, preventing use of the mooring buoys and access to the beach from the sea. Swimming is also discouraged during these periods, due to the strong currents.