When you think of Bermuda, what colors come to mind? Perhaps pink for the fine pink sand beaches or white for the stepped roofs that you’ll see throughout the island. Or maybe orange for the refreshing Bermuda Rum Swizzle cocktail? Well, when I think about Bermuda, I see vibrant blue. Bermuda’s crystal clear, turquoise waters are perfect for snorkeling and bathing in the Atlantic. Yet it wasn’t until I biked the Bermuda Railway Trail did I get to fully appreciate the beauty of Bermuda’s rugged coastline.
The Bermuda Railway Trail is a historic Bermuda landmark that offers one of the most scenic biking routes in the country. Formerly a railway track, The Bermuda Rail Trail is now a breathtaking 18-mile nature trail that spans the island. To cover more ground, I rented a bike but you can also explore the trail by foot or on horseback.
About the Historic Railway Trail in Bermuda
The Railway Trail Bermuda dates back to 1926 when Bermuda’s government granted the Bermuda Railway Company a 40-year charter. Private cars were not allowed on the island at this time so the railway was the primary means of cross-island passenger and cargo transportation.
Completed in 1931, the “Old Rattle and Shake” got its name from the bumpiness of the ride. However, after the end of World War II, Bermuda saw a spike in automobile transportation. Unable to keep up with the expensive maintenance costs, the “Old Rattle and Shake” was decommissioned.
In 1964, the abandoned railway track transformed into a public 18-mile nature trail. Later it was recognized as a Bermuda national park.
Where does the Bermuda trail begin and end?
The trail begins east of the island at the St. George’s train station and ends west of the island at Somerset Village.
Sightseeing in Bermuda
There are several bike rental companies and bicycle tours in Bermuda.
Pedego Electric Bikes is based in Saint George’s and offers electric bicycles including comfort cruisers, mountain bikes, city bikes and child trailers.
Long Story Short Bicycle Tours by Kristin White offers bicycle tours in Bermuda where you can sample the local food and visit the beaches off the beaten path.
Since tourists are not allowed to rent cars on the island, biking is a cost-effective way to get around. It’s also great exercise!
I rented my bicycle from WeRide Bermuda which unfortunately is now closed. My Dutch-style cruiser was perfect for navigating Bermuda’s roads and the Bermuda Railway Trail. My rental came with a bright orange helmet, a padlock, and keys to adjust my seat. My bike was also sturdy and comfortable and I could easily adjust my ride with the handlebar gears.
Biking The Bermuda Railway Trail
Despite having a blast visiting lots of beaches in Bermuda, I decided to bike the Bermuda Railway Trail to experience a side of Bermuda that I hadn’t seen before. I recommend visiting the railway trail for sightseeing off the beaten path and discovering something new on the island.
The Bermuda Railway Trail is the perfect adventure for solo cyclists, families, and friends. It’s also a romantic date idea for couples. Here you can watch the sunset, spot a plane or savor a delicious picnic.
The Bermuda Railway Trail National Park Biking Route
There are seven (some sources say nine) sections to the railway trail. Sections range from one mile to three miles. Each has its own distinct charm. There are paved sections, bridges and some steep slopes. The trail isn’t continuous so there are plenty of entry points scattered throughout the island. Periodically the trail intersects with busy roads.
The sandy dirt path terrain varied with rigorous uphill sections but luckily spin class prepped me for the challenge! If you ever feel like it’s too difficult, just hop off the bike and walk.
On my two-hour bike ride, I covered seven miles. It’s actually pretty difficult to cover all 18-miles (one-way) in a day, but I dare you to try!
I started at Grotto Bay Beach Resort and biked to Shelly Bay. Grotto Bay Beach Resort is a fantastic starting point because you’ll get to cross the scenic bridge near Bailey’s Bay Dock. After I got to Shelly Bay, I decided to head back because I had trouble sharing the narrow roads with buses, vans, and motorcycles. Also, some of the trail’s signs were hard to find, so this was a good time to head back.
Railway Trail Highlights
On the trail, you’ll bike behind pastel-colored cottages. You’ll spot old castles, churches, caves, and lighthouses. Only accessible to pedestrians and cyclists, don’t worry about sharing the trail with automobiles and motorcycles, you’ll have it all to yourself. And don’t forget to bring your bathing suit so you can take a dip at any of the many hidden beaches on the route.
I actually spent a lot of time off the bike taking photos and marveling at the panoramic cliffside views! I can’t stress enough that the railway trail is a must when visiting Bermuda!
Is the Bermuda Railway Trail safe?
Absolutely! I felt safe exploring the Bermuda trail while biking solo.
- Always stay on your left when biking in Bermuda.
- Bring a water bottle and wear sunscreen – check out my packing list here.
- If you ever feel uncomfortable, retrace your steps.
- It’s hard to bike the entire trail in a day, so focus on a few sections.
- Plan your route with a copy of the Bermuda Railway Trail Guide from the Visitor Information Centre.
Other Helpful Bermuda Tips
Budget for your vacation to Bermuda with this trip to Bermuda cost breakdown.
What other fun activities would you recommend in Bermuda?
Danielle is a travel finance strategist, author, speaker and podcaster. She paid off $63,000 of student loan debt in 4 years, bought a house at 27 and has traveled to 27 countries and 4 continents. She refuses to let her financial responsibilities hold her back from living life on her own terms.