Last October I hiked a new trail which if you remember was kind of a side trail from the old Cripple Cove Path. At that time I suspected this trail would eventually lead all the way to Cape St. Francis, and today I found out that it does, and it’s an absolutely beautiful addition to the trail.
I started my hike from Cape St. Francis, a good location on the East Coast Trail to spot very early icebergs. I had clear views of the ocean and Conception Bay all the way to Bay de Verde and Baccalieu Island, but there were no icebergs to be seen:
I did see plenty of other nice stuff, like amazing coastal scenery and lots of animal tracks, like mouse tracks, squirrel tracks, hare tracks, fox tracks, otter tracks and of course many moose tracks and moose droppings.
The snow was still deep on the trail and impossible to avoid, which meant that after 5 hours my leather boots felt like cold wet socks. When I held them upside down at the end of my hike I half expected the water to rush out of them but apparently most of the water had been sloshing around in my socks.
Snow aside, most of this new trail was in fair shape but definitely still undeveloped, there’s quite a bit of scrambling involved and two rope assisted ‘climbs’. I also had to ‘pluck’ a tree from the ground two times to use as trekking pole assisting me in steep ascents and descents:
If you’re interested in hiking this new trail too, have a look at my map for Cripple Cove Path, I’ve updated it with this new connection between the old trail and Cape St. Francis.
The way I hiked it today is a nice way to do it: start in Cape St. Francis, follow the new trail clockwise around Back Cove, keep following ribbons, then walk south over the ridge, turn right to Cripple Cove, then walk back to the main road using the old familiar trail, and finally just walk down the road to wherever you parked your vehicle.
Here are more photos from my hike, starting with this shot taken at Back Cove near Cape St. Francis itself, in the far background you can see the Bay de Verde Peninsula:
One of the places I had always wanted to visit was the Broken Forest on the other side of Back Cove, this new trail runs right through it:
When you’re walking this new trail and get to choose between a yellow–ribboned trail and a pink-ribboned trail, take the pink one. I took the yellow one and it was very difficult; in retrospect I think yellow may mean that it still needs to be cut down or something.
After I completed the new connecting section, I was happy to find myself on the old familiar trail leading to Cripple Cove:
After reaching Cripple Cove I hiked the first few kilometres of another new trail heading south to Bauline. From these ‘White Horse Path’ hills I had a great view of Cripple Cove and Conception Bay:
After that I called it a day, I still had to walk a long way back to the car, which I had parked in Pouch Cove.