Four years ago this weekend, I spent an entire day exploring the brightly coloured landscape of Motion Path; it turned out to be one of the best hikes I had done in a long time.

Looking back to Petty Harbour - Motion Path

Looking back to Petty Harbour – Motion Path

Motion Path has always been a personal favourite, it’s a little rough around the edges but for me it’s been a consistently lucky trail when it comes to seeing wildlife.

On this particular hike I saw a mink, a bunch of seals, a few falcons, a flock of snow buntings, a lonely loon and several beautiful butterflies. The thing that stood out above all else wasn’t an animal though, it was a plant: the flamboyant chokeberry. Covering much of the hills, its crimson leaves created an almost surreal landscape:

Bright red chokeberry leaves - Motion Path

Bright red chokeberry leaves – Motion Path

Tussock grass - Motion Path

Tussock grass – Motion Path

Half the trail was covered in an inch of streaming water, fall hiking at its best:

Wet trail, great view - Motion Path

Wet trail, great view – Motion Path

Starrigans in a bright red marsh - Motion Path

Starrigans in a bright red marsh – Motion Path

At the Bight, halfway down to Motion Head, big boulders flank the trail. They are bigger than you can see here because half of them is hidden from view by the trail:

Big Rocks - Motion Path

Big Rocks – Motion Path

These rocks are actually on a beach several metres below the trail, and their name really is ‘Big Rocks’.

Quiet stream at the Bight - Motion Path

Quiet stream at the Bight – Motion Path

Aside from gorgeous scenery, all these pictures show something not easily defined but always present on the East Coast Trail: peace and quiet.

Peace and quiet on the East Coast Trail - Motion Path

Peace and quiet on the East Coast Trail – Motion Path

Low tide at the Bight gives you access to some strange and smooth rocks:

Smooth rocks at The Bight - Motion Path

Smooth rocks at The Bight – Motion Path

I always see seals when I stop for lunch at the Bight, they’re either already there when I arrive or they pop up soon after I sit down on one of the rocks. They’re very curious animals:

Seals in the Bight - Motion Path

Seals in the Bight – Motion Path

One of the best views on Motion Path can be had from Big Hill, usually in the late afternoon on the way back to Petty Harbour:

Memorable view from Big Hill - Motion Path

Memorable view from Big Hill – Motion Path

Be sure to bring binoculars to look for anything that moves!