The May Long Weekend is here and in Newfoundland that means going outside and exploring the great outdoors. This year more than ever, the fresh air of the East Coast Trail is an attraction in its own right, so why not go for a hike?

Hills around St. John’s

If you’re looking for a challenge near St. John’s, hike up to the Bawdens Highland viewpoint on Sugarloaf Path to get a great view of Quidi Vidi and Cuckolds Head:

View from Bawdens Highland – Sugarloaf Path

Late afternoon to sunset is a good time to be there, with the sun lighting up the hills from the west. Whales have already been spotted in the area so keep a look out for them while you’re up there!

If the Sugarloaf Path trailhead seems a little busy to you, just turn around and head for another challenging climb near the city, from Fort Amherst up into the South Side Hills:

View from the South Side Hills – Deadmans Bay Path

Check the Deadmans Bay Path map to find a fork in the trail just after the initial climb. Turn left to follow the East Coast Trail towards Freshwater Bay, or turn right to explore a side trail with great views of Signal Hill and downtown St. John’s.

Easy but scenic

If you were hoping for something easier but close to St. John’s and still super scenic, drive north and walk out to Stiles Cove from the Satellite Road access trail halfway down Stiles Cove Path:

Sunrise at Stiles Cove – Stiles Cove Path

With several waterfalls and viewpoints around the cove, this is an easily-reached location you’ll keep coming back to for years to come. For the very best light and less people on the trail, come early in the morning.

For other easy hikes near St. John’s, check out my Easy hikes on the East Coast Trail page (this Stiles Cove hike is #6 on the list).

More socially distant

Those that like to leave the crowds behind altogether should venture further away from the the city. The further south you go, the quieter and less-travelled trails get.

For a nice varied hike with lots of lush forest and clifftop viewpoints, consider hiking Flamber Head Path:

Cliffs and fog – Flamber Head Path

You can start this hike from Bauline East, La Manche, or Brigus South, and you can easily make an overnight stay of it. If you’re hiking group is small enough you’ll find several suitable places to camp along the way, including a basic campsite with tent platforms near the scenic cliffs pictured above.

More information

Obviously there are many more trails to choose from, these are just a few suggestions from all the great hikes available on the East Coast Trail.

For more trail information, trail photos, and some basic trail maps, check out my Hiking the East Coast Trail page.

Happy hiking and stay safe! 🙂