Trail on the South Side Hills - St. John's

Trail on the South Side Hills – St. John’s

Today I hiked up the South Side Hills, these are directly to the south of the ever popular Signal Hill.

It was a great day and lot’s of people were out and about, I was lucky that they all went somewhere else and I had these hills all to myself. I could see that there had been some other folks up the hill in the few days since the blizzard, and for the most part I followed their snowshoe tracks since I had no idea where the trail was underneath all that snow.

Snow on the trail - St. John's

Snow on the trail – St. John’s

Up on top (one of the many tops) I had an awesome view of Signal Hill and the Narrows and all that was going on there. I had my big zoom lens with me so I could see everything… One thing that drew my attention was another outcrop of boulders and rocks, I figured I would have a much better view from there but for the life of me I couldn’t find an obvious trail to it. Through my lens I saw tracks near the boulders so knew it was possible to get there. I walked up and down the known trail to see where the tracks would veer off towards the outcrop, but I couldn’t find any tracks leaving the trail. That’s why I decided to just barge trough the snow myself to see how far I could get.

How do I get there?

How do I get there?

After much hard work, ‘walking’ through dense vegetation and deep snow, I finally found the tracks that I had seen earlier. Upon closer inspection I realized that these were not man made but moose made tracks… Man, those moose are something else! I followed in their tracks and you would not believe the kind of snow they can walk through. In a few places they even scaled fairly steep snow covered cliffs! In the end I found my place on the rocks and took photos of everything that moved until it was time to go home, since my fingers were starting to freeze. Maybe when spring melts all this snow I’ll find an easier route to this rocky outcrop.

Here’s some shots from today:

What a job - St. John's

What a job – St. John’s

These guys were fixing or replacing some sort of structure on the cliffs beneath the North Head, right next to Signal Hill.

Bald Eagle - St. John's

Bald Eagle – St. John’s

I saw many eagles flying overhead when I was up on the hill, this is one of them. Later when I was driving home I heard on the radio that four eagles were spotted near Quidi Vidi lake. I said to myself ‘Only four?’.

The radio also mentioned an otter and I hope someone got some good shots of him, personally I’ve not yet seen a wild otter here in Newfoundland yet. (INSERT: Someone did get good shots: Flickr, these are by a photographer I met on a night shoot not too long ago)

The Battery - St. John's

The Battery – St. John’s

The South Side Hills offer a great view of the Battery, and of Signal Hill.

Signal Hill - St. John's

Signal Hill – St. John’s

Out of the fog - St. John's Bay

Out of the fog – St. John’s Bay

In the distance, the fog was rolling in thick as pea soup. A good reason to call it a day.