Last Updated: March 21, 2017
Bermuda Railway Trail
You will love to walk or cycle
What used to be a railway track once, is now converted into a fantastic walking trail in Bermuda. In 1948 the Bermuda government closed down the railways as they thought it was no longer required. And in 1984 they transformed this into a fantastic trail for the walkers and cyclists.
Bermuda Railway trail is probably the most scenic trails I have ever seen and offers a wonderful way of exploring the island from one end to the other. Out of 22 miles of the original railway track, you can now access about 18 miles of the original railway trail.
As you can see in the picture below, Bermuda railway trail starts from St George at the eastern end of the island, goes through the central parishes including the city of Hamilton and all the way up to Somerset at the western end. Many sections of the railway trail run along the north shore of Bermuda.
Bermuda Railway Trail (the red line)
So what happened to Bermuda Railways?
Regular passenger service began on October 31, 1931, operating from 6 a.m. to midnight at one to two-hour intervals, depending on the time of the day. Railways in Bermuda was widely used in the 1930s by commuters, schoolchildren, and shoppers since private automobiles were not allowed in Bermuda until 1946. Tourists in particular enjoyed the spectacularly scenic ride alongside the ocean's edge and through Bermuda's flower-covered hills. Those days, special sightseeing excursions were run by the Bermuda Railways for cruise ship passengers. The railway tracks were laid all along the coast line.
Slowly the maintenance was becoming very expensive. Many parts of the 22 miles long railway tracks were on wooden or metal bridges that crossed various parts of the ocean, and were difficult to maintain. Rot and corrosion was another major problem. So in 1948, the Bermuda government decided to close down the railways for good.
Today the railway track has become a wonderful walking and cycling trail. It's not easy to cover the entire trail in just one day. Tribe Roads in Bermuda connect to the Railway Trail and the coastline at various points. So choose your section and get in at any point. It's a wonderful place to hike, run or cycle. If you are looking for some variations on the way, get off the railway trail and head to a beach for a walk in the sand.
Bermuda Railway Trail Sections From west to east
The following seven sections of the Bermuda Railway Trail pass through the different parishes of Bermuda and will take 1.5 to 3 hours of walk depending on the distance.
NOTE: If you plan for cycling or even walking on the trail, do read the 'Visitors Reviews & Comments' section at the bottom of this page for important tips.
The first section of the trail starts from Somerset bus terminal at the western end of Bermuda. This once used to be the Bermuda railway terminal. It stretches for 2 miles towards east up to the Somerset bridge
. This section of the trail passes through Sandy's Parish
The entry points to the railway trail in this section are:
- Beacon Hill Road,
- Scott Hill Road,
- Sound View Road,
- Scaur Hill Fort Park,
- Lantana Colony Club,
- Wharf Drive (Somerset Bridge)
This section, also in Sandy's Parish
, starts from Somerset bridge and goes up to Overplus lane near Evans pond. You will pass the following areas in this stretch:
The entry points in this section are:
- Wharf Drive (Somerset Bridge)
- George's Bay Road
This stretch, a relatively longer one, goes mainly through Southampton Parish
and some parts through Warwick Parish
. You will need to access it from Overplus lane and it ends near Warwick pond. In this section of the trail, you will pass by the following landmarks:
Evans Pond. You can see Bermuda cedar trees and birds like herons here.
A former railway station at the junction of Whale Bay Road which is turned into a Sunday school now. If you leave the trail and walk along the Whale Bay Road, you will reach our favorite Whale Bay Beach and Park.
Superb views of Great Sound and Black Bay
Riddell's Bay and look for the old Riddell's Bay railway station here
Warwick Ridge Park. This is an woodland area and you will see a lot of allspice trees. This part of the trail goes through the adjacent Warwick Parish.
Pembroke Hamilton Club where cricket and soccer matches are held
The entry points to the trail in this section are:
- Tribe Road #5
- Opposite to Whale Bay Road
- Franks Bay
- Junction of Middle Road and South Road
- Church Road
- Tribe Road #2
- Lighthouse Road
- Camp Hill Road
- Khyber Pass
This section of the Bermuda Railway Trail passes through Paget Parish
. From Paget, you can enter the trail at Trimingham Hill on South Road. There are signs for the trail. Although the trail crosses the main roads a few times, it quickly re-enters the tranquil stretches of farm lands and spice forests.
You will see:
Old houses with typical Bermudian style.
Surinam Cherry Bushes
The entry points to the railway trail in this section are:
- Ord Road
- Cobbs Hiss Road
- Ord Road (South Hill)
- South road (Harmony Road)
- South Road Round About
From Paget when you enter Hamilton City in Pembroke Parish, you will notice that a long section of the railway trail is missing. This part of the original railway track has not been converted into the trail due to Hamilton's population and other city requirements. The next section starts from Devonshire as described below.
Most part of this stretch passes through Devonshire Parish
and some part passes through Smith's Parish
. You get a marvelous view of the north shore from various parts of the trail. You will see the main channel of cruise ships for entering the Great Sound and Hamilton Harbor.
The stretch starts from the Palmetto Park and ends at Flatts Inlet. You will see
Penhurst park which stretches from the North road to the Middle road and the trail goes through it.
Entry points in this section are:
- Palmetto Road
- Barker's Hill
- Store Hill
- North Shore Road (Jennings)
This section of the railway trail passes through Hamilton Parish
. You will see:
Ruins of old chimneys used in making ships
Entry points to the railway trail in this sections are:
- North Shore Road (Aquarium)
- Bermuda Railway Museum
- North Shore Road (Shelly Bay / Old Road)
- Bailey's Road
- Coney Island Road
Update December 2014: A 740-foot long footbridge has been recently built over Bailey's bay which is part of the Railway Trail. This footbridge in Hamilton parish offers wonderful view of the waters and connects Coney Island with Crawl Hill. This walkway bridge is already attracting lot more parish residents and tourists for taking walks.
The stretch goes through St. George parish
. It starts from Ferry Point
or the Ferry Reach Park at the end of Ferry Road. Within the park, the trail goes through lovely woodland areas and then along the coastline at the western end of the park. You will see the oil docks which are still in use and you can't pass through them. You need to return to Ferry Road and take a detour.
This section of the trail ends at Town of St George
near Penno's Wharf. There used to be a railway station here which is now a small shop.
Entry points to the trail in this section are:
- Ferry Road (Ferry Reach Park)
- Ferry Road (Pendle Hill)
- Mullet Bay Road
- Wellington Street
Bermuda Railway Trail Guide
There is a brochure on Bermuda Railway Trail available from Bermuda Department of Tourism. You can get it in the Visitors Service Bureaus
in Bermuda. The guide has divided the trail into seven such similar sections each of which takes 1.5 to 3 hours of walk.
Map of Bermuda Railway Trail
You can see all the sections of the trail clearly in the map below by moving the map and zooming it.
2) Bermuda Tours
: Know about many other great tours & excursions in Bermuda.
3) Bermuda Activities
: Know about all the recreational activities & things to do in Bermuda
Visitors' Reviews & Comments
Brian Roy Rosen (March 2017)
I want to underline the point made in an earlier comment that (at the time of writing) you will need a mountain bike if you want to do the whole railway trail, or long sections of it. The publicity that claims that this is a cycle trail is a bit misleading.
I know this because I have done the entire length, some of it several times, and also walked a lot of it. Although there are quite a few good hard-surface stretches and well-compacted soft surfaces suitable for almost any kind of bicycle, you should be prepared to negotiate the following cycling-unfriendly obstacles and stretches:
1. Barriers about one foot high, often quite close to each other, which force you to dismount and lift your bike over them (intended to stop powered vehicles, but very annoying for cyclists) especially in Warwick and Paget.
2. Valleys and hollows where the railway once crossed on a bridge, long demolished. Only a few of these have been replaced (recently) with footbridges. Otherwise, these 'gaps' now have loosely surfaced stony steep sections, sometimes with timber steps, just occasionally with a narrow steel ramp for wheeling your bicycle up/down. In one place in Somerset, the only way is to use a set of stone steps which turn through a right angle, and being steep and narrow, it is very difficult to carry your bike.
3. Where there were bridges across water, you have to do a workaround usually on to a busy main road, as at Flatts and Ferry Reach where the busy causeway is particularly narrow. (However, notably at Bailey's Bay they have recently built an excellent new footbridge over the water using the old concrete supports.)
4. Apart from the central stretches, there are places where the trail is grassy, sandy, stony, rocky, muddy etc. and sometimes reduced to a narrow footpath.
5. In places there is a lack of signage e.g. around Shelly Bay, and some of St. George's where the trail seems to disappear. Through the capital area (Hamilton), the former line has been replaced by roadway or has been built on.
For bike [and motor-cycle] hire, Oleander Cycles
have basic mountain bikes (Trek), with helmet and lock, all-in. Bring your own lights and mini-pump and any special things you need. Oleander will come out to you with another bike if you get a puncture or other breakdown, but you'll need to get your bike to the nearest road or vehicle access point, and to be able to phone them with your location. It might take them as long as an hour to get to you. You can hire at one of their places and return to another.
NB the current Oleander leaflet lists only four hire places around the island, but there are others which are not listed. The website currently has a problem with the locations page.
Paula Pugliese (January 2017)
From Hamilton, how does one access public transportation to go to an entry point of the rail trail? Do you suggest a certain section? I will be arriving via cruise ship in May. I would like to walk up to 5-6 km on a day docked in Hamilton. Thanks for specific reply.
Raj (bermuda-attractions.com) January 2017
Hi, take bus #10 or 11 from the Hamilton central bus terminal, and ask the driver to drop you near the junction of North Shore Road, Palmetto Road and Barkers Hill Road. It would take about 15 minutes to reach the junction. From here, take Barkers Hill road and you will find entry to the Railway Trail in about 80-90 meters.
If you take bus #10, you can also ask the driver to drop you to the entry point of the trail at Palmetto road before reaching the junction. These entries are in Devonshire Parish. Once you enter the trail, walk east towards Bailey's Bay in Hamilton Parish.
Despina (June 2016)
Hello, Love your site ;-) Just wondering can you walk from Flatts village to Shelly bay beach or vice versa through the railway trail ? Thanks
Raj (bermuda-attractions.com) June 2016
Hi, yes you can. While walking from Shelly bay towards Flatts, a small section of the original railway track went over Gibbons bay (next to Gibbet Island). Here you can still see the old Pylons (pillars on water) on which the track was built. Here you need to take a short detour, get on to the main road, go past Bermuda Aquarium and over Flatts Bridge to enter Flatts Village and then back on to the trail on the other side.
Phoebus (April 2016)
We walked most of the rail trail last year and loved it. Came back this year but couldn't find our map before we left. Bad mistake. These maps are now out of print and no longer available at the visitor bureaus. Unfortunately, there also doesn't appear to be a downloadable version of it anywhere. If someone still has a version of the map, maybe they can post it here?
Christopher (May 2015)
Hi Raj. We are in Bermuda next week, and have several volunteer projects going. We would love to walk some of the trail, but not sure how much time will be left. I love how you sectioned off the trail and this will be very helpful. If you could only walk 1 or 2 sections, what would be your recommendation? Thank you, and God bless
Raj (bermuda-attractions.com) May 2015
Hi, while the Sandy's section is quite popular with the cruise visitors, I personally prefer the sections through Devonshire, Smith's and Hamilton parishes (section #5 and #6) in my descriptions.
Fred Fesel (May 2014)
We arrive in 2 wks on celebrity. I would like to do the whole trail by bicycle. can you suggest rental, and best route ie. downhill vs. uphill to accomplish this. If not possible, what should we do. thanks. ps. love your site.
Raj (bermuda-attractions.com) May 2014
Hi, You can start cycling from either end of the railway trail. The terrain in Bermuda is not like a continuous higher to lower elevation from one end to the other. However the trail at the western end (starting at Somerset) is the easiest section. The trail is flat here and mostly paved.
You can continuously bike in this section until you reach the section near Warwick. This is where you will need to get off at times and walk your bike up and down steep slopes and cross old bridges. However trail remains quite easy and flat.
As you go towards the eastern side, in certain sections in Hamilton Parish and St George's Parish, the trail is difficult and not conducive to biking. There are lots of old structures and bridges along the way. For most part (other than in the eastern most section) you will need a mountain bike. You can find bicycle rental info here