People-Powered Profile: Jennifer Russ | Reef2Peak Eco-Tours

People-Powered Profile: Jennifer Russ | Reef2Peak Eco-Tours

Reef2Peak Jennifer and Michael
photo: Steve Simonsen

Hi, my name is Jennifer Russ and I am the owner of Reef2Peak, an eco-tour company that offers kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkeling and hiking on St. John in the US Virgin Islands. I have always loved nature and I enjoy the company of outdoorsy people. My father taught me to appreciate travel and the environment. When I moved to St. John, I worked with various tour companies before deciding to start my own.

I launched Reef2Peak in 2014 with lots of help from my family, friends and my outstanding staff. We select our guides carefully, choosing people who share my passion for the environment and who have made St. John island home. We want our guests to feel they are on a journey of exploration and discovery, guided by someone as enthusiastic about their journey as they are.

Shanna Reef2Peak Guide Kayak

We began by offering tours and rentals on the East End of St. John and expanded to other island locations. Our big break came when Reef2Peak was granted a National Park permit and we could expand our tours to the mangroves and coral reefs in the Hurricane Hole National Monument. The National Monument is one of my favorite places on St. John. I believe revealing its wonders is a great privilege.

Reef2Peak is dedicated to protecting and maintaining the environment and ecology of St. John. We have worked closely with the Friends of the Park and the Virgin Islands National Park. Specifically, we took part in their, “Get Kids In The Park” program and took almost every 4th grader on St. John into The National Monument. We also work with the Friends of the Park summer trail crew each year, lend our equipment and volunteer as safety personnel for National Park’s annual Beach to Beach swim, and we fundraise for the park by donating multiple tours each year to the Friends of the Park seminar series.

photo: Steve Simonsen

Our community and environmental work doesn’t end at the Park, we donate excursions to raise money for the Animal Care Center, Team River Runner (disabled Veterans) and other groups. We have worked with Hollis University to assist in conducting longitudinal studies on reef health and fish populations and with the Ocean Conservancy to remove debris from Haulover Bay.

We love our return customers and are always applying for new permits and developing new tours to share more of the Park and the rest of St. John. In addition to Hurricane Hole, we now hold permits in the Virgin Islands National Park at Waterlemon Cay, Salt Pond Bay, Brown Bay and Haulover Bay.

We want our guests to remember their excursion with us as an experience of wonder and adventure, to feel that they have gained knowledge and insight into the ecology and wildlife of our island, and to consider their guides as friends newly met.

Visit the Reef2Peak business listing to book your eco-tour today!

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