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Digbydog May 11th, 2012 09:29 AM

Bermuda Railway Trail
We will be in Bermuda in June and had planned to rent pedal bikes to do part of the Railway Trail. I recently saw some pictures online of the trail, and I can't say it looked fabulous. Is it very scenic? Is there a portion of the trail that is especially nice? Or should we not waste the time?

txgirlinbda May 11th, 2012 11:17 AM

There are sections that are nice for walking and riding, and there are sections I wouldn't consider safe (I lived there for 5 years, left a year ago). I like the section between Somerset Bridge and Mangrove Bay, past Scaur Hill Fort, and the section from near the zoo heading east towards St George's. (I have walked most of the sections). I would avoid the sections in Paget and Warwick, more for safety reasons. Consider that the trail does cross and run along the public road occasionally, it's not continuous. And you need to plan on locking your bike where ever you stop and need to leave it. While I wouldn't discourage you if it's an activity you enjoy, I think the beauty of the railway trail is best enjoyed by walking it. Enjoy your trip! (And please do yourself a favor and pop in to Tribe Road Kitchen in Hamilton for a treat, coffee, or lunch. Seriously.)

Digbydog May 13th, 2012 05:18 AM

Thanks for your helpful response txgirlinbda! If we do decide to rent bikes, are there bike racks available to lock them up? How do we get from the rental store, say Eve's Cycles, to Somerset?

Does the section between Somerset Bridge and Mangrove Bay have ocean views?

txgirlinbda May 13th, 2012 12:44 PM

I am fairly certain there are bike racks in the bigger areas, but don't quote me on that. You might just need to find a lamppost!

Most bike/cycle (the locals refer to motorcycles and scooters as 'bikes' and bicycles as 'push or pedal bikes') rental shops will shuttle your bike to your hotel. Like I said, the Railway Trail runs along the main road in sections. The roads in Bermuda are narrow and frequently have little or no shoulder - often a stone wall. Riding is an option, but not for the faint of heart! And be aware that they drive on the opposite side of the road than in the States, so intersections and corners are a another challenge.

Views on that section of the Trail are going to be of the inner Harbor in between Hamilton and Dockyard, not the open ocean. I think the only decent ocean views from the Trail will be along the North Shore heading east from the Zoo.

Digbydog May 13th, 2012 03:14 PM

Your reply is really helpful. I had nixed the idea of scooters because I have read too much about the danger involved. Now I'm not sure bikes are a great idea. I think we may take your suggestion and just walk the part near Somerset. Thanks!

txgirlinbda May 13th, 2012 10:22 PM

:) If you had even mentioned scooters, I would have been all over you to change your mind!! (Worked at the hospital - saw the dangers first hand!) But surprisingly, the road traffic is fairly mindful of pedal bikes and pedestrians - can't say I recall any incidences involving cars. But like I said, it's not for the timid. Also, the public bus system is excellent, and you can pick it up along the main road - just let the driver know where you'd like to get off. It's even color-coded - pink poles denote a bus heading towards Hamilton, blue poles - heading away from Hamilton.
When you hit the Trail at Somerset Bridge, take a minute to get a few pictures of that- narrowest drawbridge in the world!! (Opens up just wide enough for sailboat masts.)

Let me know if you need anything else!

cmcfong May 14th, 2012 03:45 AM

and don't forget the ferries, the world's most beautiful public transportation! Have a wonderful time in Bermuda.

Digbydog May 14th, 2012 09:34 AM

Thanks a lot! We have never been to Bermuda and are very excited to see it.

txgirlinbda May 14th, 2012 09:50 AM

Well, cmcfong ought to be a tour guide and I lived there long enough, so if there's anything you need to know about -let us know!!

Digbydog May 16th, 2012 05:41 AM

txgirlin bda and cmcfong--we would like to go to St. George's one day and then go to Tobacco Bay for some snorkeling. Is there a place at Tobacco Bay to change, or do we need to wear our swim suits under our clothes?

cmcfong May 16th, 2012 06:28 AM

There are changing facilities at Tobacco Bay.

Lovely spot, but if you are serious snorklers, I recommend Church Bay on the South Shore.

Be sure and look for the longtails...hint, they are tiny!

Have fun.

Digbydog May 16th, 2012 08:11 AM

Thanks for the helpful link. I picked Tobacco Bay, because I thought a quick swim and snorkel after exploring St. George's would be nice. We are doing a Jesse James snorkel trip for better snorkeling.

Church Bay sounds great, but I read that it can have strong currents, and we will have our son with us. Is there any way to find out what the currents are like before going to Church Bay?

Bette May 16th, 2012 08:55 AM

Since you will have your son with you, I recommend Tobacco Bay. My husband enjoys Church Bay, but I generally find it too rough as it is on the South Shore.

bhonoreh May 16th, 2012 10:05 AM

If you need taxi service - my brother in law is a driver there. I myself am not crazy about Tobacco bay. Used to be nicknamed "piss pond" - just can't get that vision out of my head.

cmcfong May 16th, 2012 10:34 AM

Bette's advice is probably sound if your son is young. I have not had any difficulties with the currents at Church Bay personally. To check on them you might call the Bermuda weather bureau or stop at Horseshoe and ask the lifeguards. There won't be a lifeguard at Church Bay.

bhnooreh, it is kind of hard to forget a nickname like that.

txgirlinbda May 16th, 2012 12:14 PM

Another vote for Tobacco Bay, esp for kids. It's not so much the currents as wave action on the South Shore that affects snorkelling, and that you can assess with a glance. I have snorkelled from Tobacco Bay all the way around Ft St Catherine when the North Shore is calm.

Digbydog May 16th, 2012 01:45 PM

How far is Church Bay from Horseshoe Bay--walking distance? I did read that St. George's dumps their sewage straight into the ocean. Hence the name "piss pond"? Gross!

cmcfong May 16th, 2012 02:26 PM

I have walked it and it isn't terribly far, but with a child, I doubt you want to do it. Just take the bus (7 or 8) and ask to be let out there.

Digbydog May 16th, 2012 04:30 PM

I should have been more clear. Our son is 14--just not a strong enough swimmer that I wouldn't worry about him with undertow. I know that there is a path from Horseshoe Bay to Warwick Long Bay. Does the path continue on to Church Bay, or would we be walking along the road?

If we decide to skip Tobacco Bay and go to Church Bay instead, how long would it take us to get there by bus from St. G.eorge's? Do we go to Hamilton first and then take the 7 or 8 bus to Church Bay?

cmcfong May 16th, 2012 06:24 PM

You would be on the road although part of it is paved sidewalk. I believe it would take an hour by bus and you would have to change in Hamilton...however you might want to check that.

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