Each February, a dedicated group of walkers and hikers, head out in the pre-dawn hours for the Great Train Hike!
The route traces that of the old railway line from the capital city (Bridgetown) to the village of Belleplaine in the north-east of the island.
While the walk officially starts at 6:00am, many people like to get started as early as 4:00am in order to beat some of the afternoon heat. Leaving the city areas, the “train” heads out through the beautiful countryside of St. George and into St. Philip, pass old sugar factories and through lovely sugar cane fields, before turning north and up the coastline for a scenic oceanfront “ride” into St. Andrew.
You can choose to join and leave the hike at any point, and many so just that. Doing so, you’ll complete the entire hike over the course of a few years. Of course if you’re feeling really adventurous you can do the entire route in one go. Experienced hikers and walkers have no problem completing the 24 mile-trip. While most of the route is relatively flat, it’s still a long haul.
It’s a lot of fun to get together a group of friends, family members or neighbours to walk with, plus you can encourage each other on!
What to take with you:
- comfortable walking/hiking shoes
- water or energy drinks
- a light snack
- cell phone
- bus or taxi fare if you plan to stop along the route or need a ride back to Bridgetown.
The Barbados railway ran from 1883 to 1937, and according to those who rode the train it was a great experience. Unfortunately the railway was plagued with financial challenges throughout its existence which led to its eventual demise.
The Great Train Hike is held in the memory of Dr. Colin Hudson who lead some of the Barbados National Trust walks for many years and who had a deep knowledge of the history and geography of the island.
The 2013 hike will be held on February 17th. For more information contact the Barbados National Trust @ email@example.com or tel (246) 426-2421.