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The National Trust in Bermuda has wisely protected the island's nature reserves. If you play by the rules -- that is, don't disturb animal life or take plant life as a souvenir -- you can explore many of these natural wonderlands. If you enjoy nature trails, they're one of the most rewarding reasons to visit Bermuda.

The best and largest sanctuary is Spittal Pond Nature Reserve in Smith's Parish. Birders visit the reserve -- especially from September to April -- to see herons, ducks, flamingos, terns, and many migratory fowl (which can't be seen after Mar). This 24-hectare (59-acre) untamed seaside park is always open to the public with no admission charge. The Department of Parks (tel. 441/236-5902) offers free guided tours. Tours are offered primarily from November to May; call for schedules and additional information.

The island abounds with other places of natural wonder. Craggy formations shaped over the centuries out of limestone and coral dot the beaches along the southern coast, with towering cliffs forming a backdrop. Some of Bermuda's natural beauty spots were badly damaged by recent hurricanes, but 344 hectares (850 acres) of trails, parks, and preserves are up and running again. You can join one of the many interpretative tours offered by local eco-heritage groups. To learn what's available at the time of your visit, contact the Bermuda Audubon Society in Hamilton (www.audubon.bm).


Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.