Running and Walking
Site of the former National Stadium, the government’s National Sports Centre (50 Frog Ln., tel. 441/295-8085) promises world-class facilities for track and field, cricket, soccer, rugby, swimming, concerts, and special events—though some of those elements remain works in progress. Millions of taxpayer dollars have been poured into the project, which stretches north from Parson’s Road to Devonshire Recreation Club over several acres.
To date, a running track with lights and bleachers is complete, and the island’s running clubs and track program make good use of it in the evenings. Runners of all abilities looking for a safe, soft-surface site to put in some mileage can also join the many locals, especially women, who head to the track before work in the mornings, even in the darkness before sunrise.
Washrooms are on-site, and there is no admittance charge. Park on the grassy verge on Parson’s Lane and enter via the turnstiles. Major events like the World Rugby Classic and the Bermuda Music Festival are also held here.
The Devonshire Railway Trail is one of the most panoramic stretches of this national park, with elevated, 180-degree views of the main shipping channel into the Great Sound and Hamilton Harbour. Much of the North Shore is visible, from Dockyard to Shelly Bay. It is a particularly good spot to watch cruise ships and tankers moving through the channel into port or back out to the open ocean.
Starting at Barker’s Hill (leave scooters in the roadside Ocean View Golf Club carpark), you can trek a good mile along the shady tarmac path, past Loyal Hill Playground and historic Bermudian cottages such as Firefly Hall—a private home—and through busy pastel communities peppered with children, dogs, and clotheslines. The trail continues through Smith’s, past more lush vegetation, all the way to Gibbet Beach—a good run of about four miles from Barker’s Hill and back, even offering a refreshing swim mid-route.
© Rosemary Jones from Moon Bermuda, 2nd Edition