Cooper’s Island, Bermuda

trip report by site editor Rick McCharles

The most famous walking in Bermuda is the Railway Trail.

But I prefer day hiking Cooper’s Island Nature Reserve out by the airport in tranquil St. Davids.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Cooper’s Island is no longer an island.

…thanks to reclamation work is now joined to St. David’s Island as a southeastern peninsula …

The island has been used by many United States government agencies (which relinquished the island in 1995), as well as previously being occupied by a NASA space tracking station. Until 1995, access was restricted, but it is now open to the public. …

Swimming, walking, picnicing, bird watching and snorkelling are all permitted within the reserve.

The Park opens at 9am. I was there close to opening and there was almost nobody else in sight. Dogs are not allowed. March is considered winter by locals. I was comfortable in shorts and t-shirt.

Clearwater beach

There are many short side trails to explore.

One highlight is an observation tower. Inside are historical signboards.

Schedule about 90 minutes to explore the park.

related – Bermuda Attractions – Cooper’s Island Nature Reserve

Surviving Vancouver Island Wilderness – ALONE TV

Alone (TV series) … follows the self-documented daily struggles of 10 individuals (seven paired teams in season 4) as they survive alone in the wilderness for as long as possible using a limited amount of survival equipment. …

They may “tap out” at any time, or be removed due to failing a medical check-in. The contestant who remains the longest wins a grand prize of $500,000. …

Seasons 1, 2 and 4 were shot on Vancouver Island.

The first season premiered 2015.

They were dropped on Quatsino Sound in Northern Vancouver Island, Canada, only accessible by boat or float plane.

As I hike and cycle a lot on the Island, I was keen to see how mere mortals could live off the land in a remote rain forest.

Starting a fire was the first big challenge. EVERYTHING is wet all the time.

Food was the long term challenge.

Lucas was by far the most skilled in season 1. He built a boat, yurt and even a musical instrument.

But Lucas didn’t take home the $500K first prize. That went to the contestant that was psychologically strongest. I do believe he could have lasted weeks longer — though he lost over 60 pounds.


The 10 people selected for season 2 were better prepared. The challenge was the same — remote, wet Vancouver Island. Though the weather was better.

The final four all found ways to last a long time. But as winter approached, the food supply dwindled.

Nicole was one of my favourites. Marine biologist. Expert in intertidal zone ecosystem. Knows what plants to eat. What plants not to eat.

She had the luxury of letting a big salmon go free one day. Wow.

I was cheering Jose, as well, a Spaniard who had adopted the ways of the North American indigenous peoples. His kayak is amazing.

In the end, missing loved ones at home was the final reason to tap out.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.


Season 4 had seven teams of family members competing against one another.

Same geographical location.

Personally, I found the pairs stories less interesting. Did not finish the season.

International Appalachian Trail Ulster-Ireland

We’ve added the IAT Ulster-Ireland to our list of the best hikes in Europe.

Traversing lush coastlines, rugged mountains, and everything in between, the Ulster-Ireland section of the International Appalachian Trail (IAT) takes hikers on a tour through some of the most stunning landscapes in the country.

The section’s governing body was established in 2011, and since then the organization has worked towards constructing this 279-mile trail, which runs from west Donegal in the Republic of Ireland to Larne, Co. Antrim in Northern Ireland. …

The Trek
  • Established 2011.
  • Ireland’s only coast-to-coast hike
  • average 24 – 30 days
  • section hiking is popular
  • Slieve League Mountain, one of Europe’s highest cliffs
  • Giant’s Causeway Coast

Official website – IATUlsterIreland.com

Click PLAY or watch a teaser on YouTube.

Hiking Prince Edward Island

Everyone loves PEI, one of the Canadian Maritime provinces.

Population only about 165,000.

Nora, Marian, Danny, and Bryson were first to do the NEW Island Walk as a thru hike.

  • 700 km
  • 32 sections
  • one month
  • easy compared with most other thru hikes

A detailed guidebook is available:

Digital: Etsy
Paperback: The Bookmark

I’ve cycled a lot of PEI myself. As it’s quite flat, I’m predicting cycling the Island Walk will be even more popular. Alasdair Veitch cycled it.

Details on theIslandWalk.ca

Juan de Fuca – the West Coast Trail alternative

Many try and fail each season to get a permit to hike the West Coast Trail, our #1 hike in the world.

Happily, from one of the WCT trailheads — Port Renfrew — you can start south on the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail. It’s very similar scenery (and climate) BUT doesn’t require a permit.

And it’s open year round, unlike the WCT which closes in winter.

Be prepared for serious rain.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Hiking the Faroe Islands

If Iceland seems too tame for you, consider hiking the Faroe Islands, an autonomous country of the Kingdom of Denmark.

I’m hoping to get there myself next summer. 

Click PLAY or get a glimpse via Rannvá Joensen on YouTube.   (4K)

 

Some of the best hikes include:

  • Lake Sørvágsvatn, Bøsdalafossur Waterfall
  • Kallur Lighthouse, island of Kalsoy
  • Slættaratindur (882m)
  • Mykines Lighthouse
  • Draganir (Sea Stacks)

Here’s a hiking map of the islands.

It’s included in an excellent free hiking guide (PDF).

I’m planning to arrive by ferry from Denmark on my touring bicycle.

Dreaming …

Fisherman’s Trail, Portugal

Trip report by BestHike editor Rick McCharles

I FINALLY hiked Fisherman’s, one of the world’s best coastal hikes.

Porto Covo to Zambujeira do Mar in NOVEMBER.

Click PLAY or get a glimpse on YouTube.

HIGHLIGHTS

Sunsets are what I remember best. Usually with wine.

Weather was perfect for me in early November, though it’s considered too late in the year for hiking. I saw only about 12 other multi-day hikers over 4 days. Most hotels and restaurants had already closed for the season.

Beach walking is lovely … for a while. There’s a LOT of sand on this adventure.

In November I had most beaches to myself.

Clifftop vistas are stunning.

Charming villages are particularly charming in November, nearly deserted in the off-season.

Porto Covo
Vila Nova de Milfontes
Fort of Pessegueiro

I’d highly recommend 3 days, 3 nights Porto Covo to Zambujeira do Mar. In either direction.

As do most, I added Zambujeira to Odeceixe. But you could certainly skip that day as it doesn’t add much. And requires quite a few kms of road walking.

If looking for MORE, however, Fisherman’s Trail (Porto Novo to Odeceixe) is only one section of the longer Rota Vicentina.

In case you’re considering hiking high season, here’s how some beaches may look on a busy day.

Zambujeira do Mar

related – STINGY NOMADS trip report

Norway ➙ Faroe Islands ➙ Iceland

Dream by BestHike editor Rick McCharles

Many of my hiking travel plans have been cancelled starting March 2020. Pandemic. 😕

IF possible in August 2022, here’s my PLAN.

Cycle and hike Norway on my Trek Checkpoint touring bike.

Catch the ferry in northern Denmark. Stopover in the Faroe Islands.

Continue to Iceland for yet more cycling and hiking.

Fly out of Reykjavik.

Price for that ferry starts at 404.00€ plus meals onboard.

It’s 30+ hours to the Faroes. Another 15+ hours to eastern Iceland.

Travel between the islands is not difficult, I understand. Here’s an overview map of popular hikes.

Photo by Tomu00e1u0161 Malu00edk on Pexels.com
Faroe Islands photo by Tomu00e1u0161 Malu00edk on Pexels.com
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