Part of the Bermuda National Parks system, the Cooper's Island Nature Reserve consists of an area that once housed a U.S. military base and a NASA space tracking station. Situated on the edge of St. David’s Island, just east of the airport, the nature reserve boasts 12 acres of pristine lands that include island forests, salt marshes and sea turtle habitats, along with now-uninhabited buildings. A boardwalk runs through the preserve, making it easy to explore the palmettos and Bermuda cedars that are found here.
A former NASA space shuttle monitoring tower now offers an ideal vantage point for wildlife watchers looking to spot migrating humpback whales or Bermuda petrels, the island’s national bird. Along the protected inner cove of the reserve, a pair of picturesque public beaches—Clearwater Beach and Turtle Beach—offer a secluded place to swim and snorkel. Look for conch on the sandy floor and sea turtles grazing in the sea grass beds.
The park sits on the southeastern tip of St David’s Island, about a 20-minute walk from the St. David’s Lighthouse, which is on the public bus route. The park is open to the public, with no entry fee, every day from sunrise to sunset.