The hiking season has begun and that means that many people will attempt a hike to the East Coast Trail‘s most popular attraction: the Spout.
Because it’s not always obvious to newcomers how to get there, I’ve made this little map:
As you can see there are several trails that will get you there, here are descriptions for the 4 most obvious ways:
From Bay Bulls:
This is the most scenic route, and the one I recommend you take. Start from the Spout Path trailhead in Bay Bulls, stick to the trail (solid green line on this map) and arrive at the Spout after 12.7 kilometres. You can then opt to hike back the way you came, or camp at the Little Bald Head campsite, or continue north. The dotted green line near the start is a ‘shortcut’ that’s not really worth the hassle, as it’s muddier, wetter, and far less scenic.
From Middle Pond:
This is the winter route. Snowshoers use this route to walk directly to the Spout when all the streams, ponds and marshes have frozen solid and a thick blanket of snow covers the land. The route is about 7.5 kilometres one-way, depending on your navigation skills. This route is only partially marked and should not be attempted without proper preparations.
From the Goulds:
This route uses the infamous 6.3 kilometre Shoal Bay Road to arrive at Spout Path‘s north trailhead, from there, hike an additional 4.5 kilometre to get to the Spout. This combined one-way hike of 10.8 kilometre is shorter than the Bay Bulls option, and slightly less scenic but still beautiful. Bring waterproof boots for the perpetually flooded section of Shoal Bay Road.
From Petty Harbour:
This route is for backpackers, campers and long-distance hikers. Start at the Motion Path trailhead in Petty Harbour and follow the trail all the way to it’s end in Shoal Bay, then add the additional length on Spout Path to reach the Spout. Motion Path is 13.5 kilometres, adding the 4.5 kilometres on Spout Path makes for a total one-way hike of 18 kilometres, after which you can camp at the Little Bald Head Campsite, or continue south to Bay Bulls.
East Coast Trail Guide:
The East Coast Trail Guide is a digital trail guide and photo book available on iBooks. It describes the entire East Coast Trail in great detail, including all the trails that get you to the Spout.
Curious? Please have a look at the free sample chapter.