One of Bermuda’s  most spectacular wild parks, government-owned Hog Bay Park (open sunrise to sunset daily, admission free) comprises some 38 acres of open space, leading from a roadside carpark on Middle Road to the coast. Between, there are undulating, shady dirt trails that lead past an ancient lime kiln near the entrance, rise past numerous tracts of agricultural fields and cherry, loquat, and spice tree forests, and descending to serpentine seaside trails past prickly pears and the silvery skeletons of Bermuda cedars.
While it is Bermuda’s third-largest park, and one of its most untamed, Hog Bay is under-used; you can find remarkable solitude exploring it in any season, though because of the steep hills, you need to be fairly fit. Follow the main trail down to the shoreline, where there’s a tiny beach at low tide and a beautiful area for swimming. Sea grass attracts turtles here, and rock pools contain crabs and sergeant majors. You can actually explore a long section of the coastline here, with the wide-open horizon of the South Shore flats stretching out as far as you can see. At low tide, the shallows extend for about 1,000 feet, good for snorkeling.
Hog Bay Park, which is used occasionally for cross-country races and mountain biking, is named for Bermuda’s wild hogs, which roamed the island when the first settlers arrived in the early 17th century. It’s believed that in years prior, passing mariners had offloaded the animals to multiply and create a natural larder at Bermuda that might feed castaways wrecked on the island’s treacherous reefs. The former Hog Bay, where settlers found a large herd of the swine in the West End, is now called Pilchard Bay.