Railway Trail FAQ
Is there a guidebook?
Bermuda Railway Trail Map and Guide
Bermuda Department of Tourism
This guide to today's Railway Trail divides the Trail into seven sections, each of which takes 1 1/2 to 3 hours to walk. Get it from the Bermuda Department of Tourism or from the Visitors Services Centres in Hamilton, St. George’s and and Dockyard.
If you can’t find the Trail Guide, the Bermuda Tourism brochure, Bermuda East to West, also includes maps and a guide to the Trail.
Can I bicycle (or rollerblade) on the Railway Trail?
Yes, you can, but biking is more practical on some parts than others. This map shows the various parts of the Trail.The part marked “easiest” is is broad and flat, and almost all of it is paved. The parts marked “easy” are flat with only the occasional old bridge or trestle site where you must stop and walk your bike down and up short, fairly steep slopes. The parts marked “hard” have a lot of old bridge sites and are not practical for bikes.
You are probably best with a mountain bike, except on the western section (marked “easiest”), where any bike will do. Don’t treat the Railway Trail as a racecourse and you should be fine.
On rollerblades, stick to the parts marked “easiest”.
Can I take the Trail to get to the beach?
Yes. The Trail passes along the entire length of Bermuda, except in the city of Hamilton, where the track of the old railway has long since been covered by new building since 1948.
Aside from Shelly Bay beach on the North Shore, which can be reached from the Trail east of Flatts, most of Bermuda’s beaches are found along the South Shore in the parishes of Paget and Warwick, west of the capital. Here the Trail runs along the centre of the island and is no more than 3/4 of a mile north of the beaches.
Are there public toilets on the Trail?
Public toilets are plentiful in Hamilton, and also available in St. George’s and at Dockyard. There are also full toilets at some of the beaches and chemical toilets at many of the rest.
Unfortunately these are all far from the Trail, so you will probably have to rely on restaurant facilities along the route where these are available: see “Are there restaurants…”
On Ferry Point there are no restaurants, but Ferry Point Park has a chemical toilet.
The Bermuda Aquarium is 10 minutes from the Trail in Flatts and, if you decide to visit, it of course has toilets.
If you are taking the Trail detour around Hamilton, rather than gong into the city, you will pass close to the Bermuda Botanical Gardens, off Point Finger Road, which also has facilities.
Are there campsites near the Trail?
The simple answer here is: no. If you are a visitor to Bermuda you are not permitted to camp at all.
If you are a Bermudian, camping is permitted at specific sites between May and September. The number of tents and campers are limited at each site. You can get more information on the Bermuda government Camping webpage. (In 2020 the Covid-19 pandemic meant that there was no camping season.)
In any case, most campsites are on islands in the Great Sound, and in 2019 the only sites close to the Trail were at Coney Island and Ferry Point Park.
How safe is the Railway Trail?
Some people have asked me, how safe is the Railway Trail? A good question, since parts of the Trail are fairly isolated. Of course, except for parts of Ferry Point in the East End, a walker is never more than a minute or so from someone's house.
I have been visiting Bermuda every year since 1995, and I have walked the Trail a lot. In that time I do not recall hearing of crime on the Trail more than once or twice. My feeling is that you do not want to be on the Trail after dark, especially the more isolated sections. It’s just common sense.
The bottom line for me is that I feel safe on the Trail during the day. I usually carry a small bag or knapsack with a bottle of water, my map and possibly a raincoat, and my camera goes in there. In other words I don't carry an obviously expensive piece of photographic equipment in an obvious camera case. I have often walked or biked the Trail alone. If I were a woman I probably would not want to spend a lot of time on the Trail by myself, again (unfortunately) common sense.
For more information:
The Bermuda Police Service website has a page for tourists (as well as Bermuda crime statistics if you are interested).
The US State Department travel information site has a page of Bermuda information.
Can I rent a bicycle in Bermuda?
Yes. However, many tourists rent scooters, which in Bermuda are known as bikes, so don’t get confused. (What North Americans call a bicycle is traditionally known as a push bike or pedal cycle in Bermuda.)
Any of the scooter rental shops across Bermuda may have bikes, but often only a few, so they may be out. You should telephone or email in advance to reserve. In the East End I have rented from the St. George’s Cycle Livery. Oleander Cycles also rents bicycles, and they have branches all over the island, including one at Dockyard that can provide pedal bikes. As always, contact the company you hope to rent from in advance.
See this website for more information about cycling in Bermuda.
What attractions can be reached from the Trail?
The Bermuda Railway passed through almost all of Bermuda, so many of attractions are not far from the Railway Trail.
Here are some possibilities, going from east to west:
- St. George’s should not be missed, either before or after your Trail walk in the East End.
- Ferry Point Park, at the end of the Trail on Ferry Point, gives great views of the Causeway and Castle Harbour.
- From the Trail at Bailey’s Bay you are no more than 15 minutes away from the famous Crystal Caves.
- The Trail passes right behind Shelly Bay Beach, where the shallow waters are ideal for children.
- At Flatts the Bermuda Aquarium Museum and Zoo (BAMZ) is not to be missed.
- The City of Hamilton is a good place to start or stop your Trail walk.
- Leaving Hamilton to take the Trail going west you will pass close to the Bermuda Botanical Gardens.
- Paget Marsh is close to the Trail not far from the Middle Road/South Road junction.
- All along the Trail in Paget and Warwick parishes you are a short walk away from the South Shore beaches.
- Warwick Pond Nature Reserve is right next to the Trail near Khyber Pass.
- Gibbs Hill Lighthouse can be reached from the Trail by climbing up Tribe Road #2.
- In Southampton you can reach Whale Bay Park a half-mile west of the Trail from Middle Road.
- Where the main island meets Somerset Island you will leave the Trail to pass over Somerset Road bridge, “the smallest drawbridge in the world”.
- Soon after the Trail starts again you pass below Fort Scaur and Scaur Hill Park.
- As you approach the end of the Trail at Somerset Village, you walk alongside Gilbert Nature Reserve.
- Two and a half miles north from the end of the Trail you can visit Dockyard and the National Museum of Bermuda, Again, not to be missed. (You can take the bus! #10 or 11.)
Are there restaurants accessible from the Trail?
There are, of course, many restaurants in Hamilton, and at St. George’s and in Somerset Village, so you are all set before or after a Trail walk.
Close to the Trail itself your choices are more limited and will often involve walking a bit further. Also, I am not endorsing any of the following establishments. Although I have eaten at some, others remain untried as yet.
East End TrailAfter crossing the Causeway between St. George’s island and the main island, you might stop at the Swizzle Inn pub, on the main road.
The Jamaican Grill has a branch close to Coney Island.
Buzz’n Go Crawl Hill is on North Shore Road east of Shelly Bay and is quite close to the Trail.
Flatts has several restaurants, including Four Star Pizza, and if you are visiting the Bermuda Aquarium and Zoo you can try the Buzz ‘Beastro’ in the Aquarium grounds.
The Flame Restaurant and the Seaside Grill are on North Shore Road between Flatts and Palmetto Park.
West End TrailWest of Hamilton the Railway Trail runs along the middle of the island, so to find a restaurant you will either have to walk north to Middle Road or south to South Road towards the beaches.
In Southampton and Somerset the Trail runs closer to the Middle Road, Your choices include Generosa’s Cuisine, D&C Grill West, J&B’s Wood Fired Pizza and others.
The end of the Trail in Somerset Village is right next to the main road, so you should be able to find a restaurant.
- What if I have a question I would like answered?