Estate Mount Washington Plantation & Ruins

Written by’s Local Expert


Estate Mount Washington Plantation is an old preserved sugar and cotton plantation, located on the west side of the island of St. Croix, just over five kilometers northwest of downtown Frederiksted. If you’ve ever wanted to visit an actual plantation, this is the one to see. It’s currently on private property, but the owner generously opens up the property for tourists to explore.

Visiting here is not like a “formal” tour. The owner may or may not greet you, along with his two dogs. The owner currently lives in the nine-bedroom great house up on the hill with a gorgeous pool, so the house and pool area are off limits to the public. However, you’re free to wander around the grounds and explore the ruins of the sugar factory and the animal mill. It may seem odd to just wander around someone else’s property, but you likely won’t be alone. Visitors come and go at various times during the day. There’s no admission charge, either.

You’ll be surrounded by thick foliage, so bring your bug spray. There’s also a lot of flowering shrubs, which attract bees to the area, so be aware of that.

Estate Mount Washington Plantation is considered to be the best-preserved plantation on the island, and visitors can truly get an authentic sense of what it was like when it was fully operational back in the 1780s, up to about 1820. Back then, it was the second-largest producer of sugar in the entire West Indies, so you get an idea of the historical significance of the place.


Estate Mount Washington was a cotton plantation operated by slaves from about 1750 to about 1779. From 1779 to 1912, it was a  working sugar plantation, with a rum distillery and two worm stills. The Great House was built in 1779, abandoned over a century later and restored in the late 1980s. In 1986, the owners of the land converted it into a working citrus farm, which it still is to this day.

Getting There

The Frederiksted end of St. Croix has a tropical rainforest climate, and when you travel to the Estate Mount Washington Plantation and Ruins, you’ll be driving straight into the thick of it. This is a classic example of that old adage, “getting there is half the fun.”  There’s a very meandering road that you’ll take to get to the property. At times you’ll wonder what you’ve gotten yourself into. You’ll wonder if you’re on the right road at all. Just keep going, enjoy the view and take your time. The road isn’t paved, it’s full of potholes, and you and your rental car company will be happiest if you just take it slow and easy. You’ll want to use your GPS to help you find the place, but in general, here’s how to get there.

From Frederiksted: Take Highway 63 north out of town until you reach Sprat Hall Beach on your left. Continue on for a few more yards and take the next right. There is a small sign, easy to miss. It will feel like you’re lost, but you aren’t. Just follow the road until you land at the plantation, which will be on your left.

From Christiansted: The trip will take you about 40 minutes over nearly 30 kilometers. Take Melvin H. Evans Highway west, like you’re going to Frederiksted (which you are). Once in Frederiksted, follow the directions above.

On the Property

The property spans 12. 31 acres in total, although you won’t be covering all that ground on foot. The largest structure is the great house, where the current property owner still resides. If you happen to encounter the owner, introduce yourself. Visitors say that he’s incredibly friendly and willing to tell you all about the history of the place. The great house has 3 bedrooms, 3 full baths and 2 half baths and a large swimming pool. There’s a separate, two-bedroom, two bath guest house and two detached guest cottages.

You are free to wander around the orchard but don’t pick the fruit, because it’s a working farm. You can also explore the ruins and the labyrinth. The owner asks that you please respect his privacy and that of any guests staying in the cottages.

You’ll find yourself on a hilltop setting, with views of the treetops as you look down the hill, past a nearby nature preserve and out to the sea.

The labyrinth isn’t the kind you get lost in. It’s a pebbled labyrinth that you follow as you mediate and clear your head. It does feel very peaceful and calm as you walk it.

The ruins are fascinating, and in places dotted around, there is old wooden equipment that was used to transport cotton and sugar cane by hand. Note that there’s a sign saying that the ruins are not stable, so keep the kiddos close.

What’s Included

  • Self-guided Tour
  • Free Admission

Local Tips

  • Be very careful when exploring the ruins - the structures are old and can be unstable.
  • The drive into the Plantation is off the beaten track - drive slowly and carefully!


0/5 (0)
No Reviews

Leave a Review