BTA To Host ‘Rediscover The Rail Trail’ Event

February 26, 2017 | 11 Comments

The Bermuda Tourism Authority’s [BTA] will host the ‘Rediscover the Rail Trail’ event on Sunday, March 5th, with a host of activities and offerings including paddleboards, kayaks, yoga sessions, boot camp training, mini beach obstacle course, free wi-fi hotpot, Gombeys, live steel pan music, a rum swizzle bar and more.

“At Shelly Bay Park, part of the history-rich Railway Trail, a slew of outdoor activities  will be available to the public for free — everything from paddleboards and kayaks to soca-size and boot camp training,” the BTA said.

“The organizers of the BTA-sponsored Bermuda Triple Challenge, happening March 17 to 19, are also previewing their event with a mini beach obstacle course.  Meantime, on the Rail Trail between Shelly Bay and Bailey’s Bay activities are planned including fishing off the rocks and seaside yoga.”

“We want to inspire everyone — particularly entrepreneurs — to reimagine the potential of the Rail Trail as a tourism asset,” said Pat Phillip-Fairn, chief product and experiences development officer at the BTA.

“Bermuda now attracts a visitor who is younger and more adventurous and we believe that creates new business opportunities for Bermudian entrepreneurs.  The Rail Trail is one of those opportunities — it’s an underutilized asset with tremendous potential in the tourism economy.”

On the same weekend, the BTA will host adventure travel planners eager to learn about the kinds of experiences Bermuda can offer to their clients. The travel planners will take part in Sunday’s activities, including a mountain bike ride on the Rail Trail.

Visitors and locals who enjoy walking, running or mountain biking are the target audience for the event.

Starting at Shelly Bay Park participants are exposed to a menu of health and wellness experiences that not only include what’s mentioned above, but also the opportunity for time with a nutrition consultant, a personal trainer, and a nurse, providing free health check-ups.

Argus and the Department of Health partnered with the BTA to provide these services. Healthy food and beverage options will also be on-hand.

At the turnaround point of Sunday’s trek, Bailey’s Bay Cricket Club, One Communications will offer a rest stop which includes a free Wi-Fi hotpot.

The Recharge Lounge, as it’s being called, is set up to encourage participants to post pictures from the day to social media using #RailTrailBDA.

The lounge area will also be a hub of cultural activity with Gombeys, live steel pan music and a rum swizzle bar. As participants leave to return to Shelly Bay, Gombeys will lead the way on the Trail.

“The Rail Trail is a mix of health and wellness and heritage and culture and we’re grateful to our sponsors and partners who helped ensure Sunday’s event reflects that,” said Glenn Jones, director of public and stakeholder relations for the BTA.

“Obviously we want everyone to come and have a great time, but truthfully it’s more important to the BTA that, over time, we generate new tourism ideas and stimulate visitor spending. That’s how we’ll judge whether or not our efforts around the Rail Trail are successful.”

Ms Phillip-Fairn said: “We hope locals help us spread the word. If you see a visitor let them know about this event and tell them your own Railway Trail memories.

“For me, it’s riding bicycles with my son and bravely climbing trees to pick loquats. Everyone’s memory is probably a little different but chances are: if it meant something to you, it’ll mean something to a visitor.”

Those planning to attend the free Rediscover the Rail Trail event should register online by March 3rd, to sign-up for their free activity preferences. The first 150 pre-registrants to show up at Shelly Bay on March 5th will receive a One Communications t-shirt as a gift.

The BTA will follow up with a second Rail Trail event in November in the west end. The event times in March and November are strategically positioned to be in the shoulder season of the tourism calendar, the time frame the BTA is trying to beef up the island’s credentials as a year-round destination.

BTA Rail Trail Infograph Schedule [PDF]:

BTA_railtrail_schedule_draft5

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Comments (11)

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  1. Nice concept, but subliminal electioneering.

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  2. Jiggs Bda says:

    I hope this doesn't clash with the Cycle for Life in the same area on the same day

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    • A Bermudian says:

      The Cycle 4 Change event organized for The Family Centre will end at Shelly Bay for all families riding in the event and has been coordinated with BTA's Rail Trail event so that it can be a whole day of fun. There are many organizations that are working together to make March 5 a great day with lots to see and do...Parks Department, Baileys Bay Cricket Club, Triple Challenge organizers, food trucks, yoga, fishing and others. The Hamilton Parish Council are organizing a cleanup of the Trail before March 5. And if you can't get out to Hamilton Parish, you can watch the Sloop Foundation's fundraiser with walking the plank.

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  3. Lois Frederick says:

    Not sure why they think dropping the "way" makes the name more catchy, if anything it just confuses the marketing. Otherwise this is an under used asset that can definitely be improved upon and used more by tourists and residents. That's great!

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  4. sage says:

    How to promote outdoor healthy living and incorporate a swizzle bar (as usual).

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  5. question????? says:

    March is cold you you might get lucky. Why not have this event in April or early May? Who's paying for all this free stuff?

    TAX Payers!!!!!! :(

    Bob told Bermuda we have no money. All those government employees took furlough days for 2 years to keep their jobs safe and the civil services still needs to be cut more in so many peoples eyes. Now you spending the money saved up for electioneering votes like a drunk sailor afraid to walk the plank on the December 2017 election.

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    • Answer says:

      Wait, what!! So you didn't take off your tin foil hat and go outside yesterday? It was beautiful!!

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  6. Make a new plan Stan says:

    Running and riding is a little difficult to do comfortably in the east. I know some people said it would ruin the beauty of the area but a while back a couple that was visiting tried to do it with a stroller. They abandoned it and said they might go back with a carrier for their infant.

    Also I spoke with a couple yesterday (Sunday February 26 2017) who were happy to see the sun (considering Saturday's weather) but needed a little help getting on the Railway trail. Then a foursome came later who just finished walking it. They seemed to have no trouble calling it the RailWAY Trail.

    The children in my life (three, ages 13, 11 and 6) don't understand why "way" is being dropped to make a better hashtag. They said the Railway Trail is a part of our history and anyone visiting should be excited by that. Out of the mouths of babes......I agree with them. I work with visitors and as was evidenced yesterday, Railway Trail rolled right off their tongues. To be honest as it pertains to their smart phones the only thing they seem to care about is the password to our WiFi. There are longer hashtags than #RailWayTrail. Why not say #RWTBDA? I guess you all know best......

    We shouldn't sell the people that visit here short by thinking that a hashtag will make or break their experience of our beautiful island.

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  7. Tourism Advocate says:

    Most experience providers are offering their services free or at reduced cost because they believe in the concept and hope to see more year-round business in the future. Sponsors are covering a lot of the other costs (Argus, One Communications, Dept of Health. etc).

    Hopefully those details helps curb the conspiracy theories.

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  8. A Bermudian says:

    The idea is to get more people out using the Railway Trail...both locals and visitors, walkers, runners, cyclists, short, tall, young, old and everyone in between. It really makes not difference who and how....just do it for fun, for beauty, &/or for fitness. As for the name, some people call it "The Trail" and no one get's bent out of shape about it. If you want to continue to call it "The Trail", "The Railway Trail", "The Railroad Trail", or "The Rail Trail" --- you can call it whatever appeals to you. The Friends of the Bermuda Railway Trail and the Department of Parks have made some great improvements to the Trail in the East. If you haven't been on it in a while, why not come out on March 5th and enjoy all that will be on offer, and tell your friends to join you on "The _____ [whatever you call it]" and have some outdoor fun. I know I'm planning on attending.

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