I just got back from a 14km/8hr hike, most of it over rough terrain. 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 just now I half expected the water to rush out of them but apparently most of the water had been sloshing around in my socks.

The venue of my hike was Cape St. Francis, the earliest possible place on the East Coast Trails to spot icebergs from. 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:

No icebergs between Cripple Cove and Bay de Verde Peninsula

No icebergs between Cripple Cove and Bay de Verde Peninsula

I did see plenty of other nice stuff, like mouse tracks, squirrel tracks, hare tracks, fox tracks, otter tracks and of course many moose tracks and droppings.

Animal tracks in the snow - Cripple Cove Path

Animal tracks in the snow – Cripple Cove Path

Last October I hiked a new trail departing from the Cripple Cove Path; at that time I suspected it would eventually lead all the way to Cape St. Francis.

Today I hiked that new connection and found it to be an absolutely beautiful addition to the trail. At the moment it’s still unfinished: there’s a bit of scrambling involved and two rope assisted ‘climbs’. The bits with felled trees were especially tricky in all this deep snow since I was never quite sure if I was standing on solid ground or on a fallen but still elevated log. In two cases, I had to ‘pluck’ a tree from the ground to use as trekking pole assisting me in steep ascents and descents through the snow:

Me, my tracks and my tree pole - Cripple Cove Path

Me, my tracks and my tree pole – Cripple Cove Path

The new trail starts on top of the hill overlooking Cape St. Francis and runs down passing Back Cove, it then hugs the coast around the bend towards Big Cove North, before taking the crest of the hill all the way South, connecting to the Cripple Cove Trail. Check it out on my Cape St. Francis Path hiking page, it’s the trail starting out North from the Northern trailhead.

This shot was taken near the Cape itself, in the far background you can see the Bay de Verde Peninsula:

My shadow at Back Cove - Cripple Cove Path

My shadow at Back Cove – Cripple Cove Path

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:

Broken Forest - Cripple Cove Path

Broken Forest – Cripple Cove Path

Much, much later, I reached Cripple Cove. When you 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.

Marshberry at Cripple Cove - Cripple Cove Path

Marshberry at Cripple Cove – Cripple Cove Path

After reaching Cripple Cove I hiked the first kilometres of yet another new trail heading south to Bauline, from these ‘White Horse Path’ hills I had a great view of Cripple Cove and Conception Bay:

View from the hills South of Cripple Cove - Whitehorse Path

View from the hills South of Cripple Cove – White Horse Path

After that I called it a day, I still had to walk a long way back to the car.