Spittal Pond Nature Reserve

Spittal Pond Nature Reserve is the largest and most easily reached nature reserve in Bermuda. The reserve hugs the south shore and is jointly owned by the Bermuda National Trust and the Bermuda Government. At its centre is Spittal Pond, without doubt the best birdwatching location in Bermuda.

There are two entrances to the reserve, both on South Road. Most visitors use the entrance on the western side (near Spittal Pond Dairy Farm).

From the parking lot follow the trail through the woods. Here you will find endemic Bermuda cedar and prickly pear cacti. After emerging from the wooded area you see Spittal Pond on the left. The water is tidal but approximately 6 hours behind the ocean flows due to the delay caused by rock filtration.

Spittal Pond Nature Reserve, Bermuda
Spittal Pond Nature Reserve

In the fall and winter months the reserve becomes the temporary home of a multitude of migratory shorebirds and waterfowl. Common sights include American black duck and blue-winged teal. Permanent residents include the white-eyed vireo and yellow-crowned night heron. The pond itself is a wildlife sanctuary, off-limits to the general public and protected by a fence.

The Checkerboard is an unusual geological formation on the coastline. It is a large, flat slab of limestone with weathered grooves dividing it into clearly defined squares.

Further up the path is Portuguese Rock, the earliest sign of humans in Bermuda. Some initials and the date ‘1543’ were inscribed here. The initials are difficult to decipher and were originally thought to be TFP; interpreted as standing for the work of Spanish sailor Theodore Fernando Camelo. Later research suggests they read RP and stand for Rex Portugaliae (King of Portugal), indicating that Portuguese sailors were once shipwrecked here. Their fate is unknown since no evidence of human settlement was noted by Sir George Somers when he arrived on the island in 1609.

The original rock was destroyed by weathering and vandalism and a bronze cast now marks the spot. In April and May it’s a good vantage point to watch humpback whales migrating from the Caribbean to their summer feeding grounds in the north Atlantic. In the spring and summer longtails can be seen swooping around the cliffs.

Close to the Portuguese Rock is a cave formation with an overhead entrance. It’s called Jeffrey’s Hole after a slave who once hid here after escaping from his master. Bermudian folklore states that the owner gave up the search for Jeffrey after several weeks of searching, presuming he must have fled the island on a ship. Subsequently, the owner noticed one of his female slaves leaving his property with a small parcel. He decided to follow her and discovered she was taking food to the cave where Jeffrey was hiding. The fate of slaves is unknown.

Entrance to the reserve is free. It’s open every day from sunrise to sunset. To get to Spittal Pond by public transport take bus number 1 from Hamilton to St George.

There’s a good grocery store at the eastern end of Spittal Pond where you can purchase all the supplies for a picnic. Other attractions in the area include the beach at John Smith’s Bay and Verdmont.

Nearby Attractions

Tourist attractions and things to do near Spittal Pond Nature Reserve include:

Nearby Restaurants

Restaurants and places to eat and drink near Spittal Pond Nature Reserve include:

  • Rustico (0.9 miles) - Casual Italian restaurant in Flatts village. Close to the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum, and Zoo.

Map

Map showing location of Spittal Pond Nature Reserve.

Click here for a detailed map showing all points of interest.

Map showing location of Spittal Pond Nature Reserve

Details

Spittal Pond Nature Reserve

Address
South Road
Smith's Parish
Bermuda

Reviews and Additional Information

  1. We took a nice, easy walk around this park and saw lots of birds and butterflies plus some rather dramatic views of the ocean. There was nobody else there so it was very peaceful.

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  2. This is a great place to come for a walk. We did and are glad we made the choice. We saw lots of wildlife including birds and lizards. I’m no expert so not sure of the names. It was great to stand on the cliffs and watch the waves crash against the rocks. Nature is so powerful it is awesome. It was more or less deserted apart from us, so is a great place to come and get away from the crowds.

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  3. I worked in Bermuda in the early 90s and Spittal Pond was my haven from work and a ridiculously busy social life. I spent many happy days there. It is a tranquil spot on an island which is one of the most beautiful in the world – that includes the people who live there. Thank you

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  4. I, personally, had the privilege of working and living in Bermuda, and I will forever be grateful for the experience. I spent quite a bit of time at Spittal Pond overlooking the ocean meeting the sky and watching the boats go by. Feeling the sunshine drape around me and the beauty and nature was pristine. A beautiful place and a beautiful place in time. Forever cherished.

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  5. I LOVE SPITTAL POND.
    I have been there more than 100 times.

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  6. Spittal Pond is a great place for both the locals and the tourists to go to. I think we need to consider our selves lucky to have such a peaceful and beautiful nature reserve. I just really hope it have rcovered from Hurricane Fabian, Katrina, Emily and Bill.

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  7. My wife and I hiked Spittal Pond Nature Reserve while we lived in Bermuda from April 1968 to September 1971. It was Bermuda’s Best to us. We lived on Turtle Island in Harrington Sound, just near Devil’s Hole.

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  8. I have been to Spittal Pond and hope it has recovered from Hurricane Fabian. It’s such a beautiful place and deserves to be preserved for future generations to visit and enjoy.

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  9. I went on a school field trip and what I liked the most was the tidal pool. It is a very peaceful place.

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  10. Spittal Pond has a lot of things that have been destroyed by the hurricane. But now it’s becoming a wonderful place again.

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  11. Spittal Pond sounds really calm and relaxing!!
    I agree from pictures it should be treated with respect!

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  12. Spittal Pond is not back to normal but trees are being planted but being trees they take a while to grow! Schools have been around to grow trees so Bermuda is trying! Spittal Pond is a beautiful park and we should look after it and people like me do!

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  13. No it’s not back to normal. A lot of the trees lost in 2004 haven’t been replaced yet.

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  14. Is it back to normal now? I went there in 2004, just after Hurricane Fabian, and the place had been ripped apart. That was 3 years ago, so I suppose it’s recovered?

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  15. I have also visited the park, and I agree with Jason as Spittal Pond is a wonderful place that should be treated with respect and kindness.

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  16. I have personally been to Spittal Pond and I think it is so wonderful that you have such a peaceful nature reserve.

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