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The East Coast Trail Guide offers maps, photos, and a detailed description of the entire East Coast Trail, including Cape Spear Path.

Curious? Have a look at the free sample chapter available on iBooks.


Please don’t confuse the East Coast Trail Guide with the basic maps and trail descriptions that have always been available on this blog; those will remain available right here:

Basic map:

Trail description:

Cape Spear Path runs from Cape Spear National Historic Site to Maddox Cove.
Check the map for the following details:

  • The trail is 9.7 km in length, excluding access to the north trailhead.
  • The north trailhead is on the trail, 1 km south of Cape Spear NHS.
  • The south trailhead is at the end of the Old Maddox Cove Road in Maddox Cove.
  • Check the map for designated parking areas.

Cape Spear is the easternmost point in North America, it’s a National Historic Site that draws a lot of tourists in the summer months. Among other things, people come here to see the sun rise on North America, to visit the lighthouses, to see icebergs float by in spring, and to see whales feed along the coastline in summer.

Cape Spear Path starts just south of the NHS and in my opinion this trail is the easiest of the longer paths I’ve mentioned on this site. It starts out due south over barren headlands and marshes, providing many boardwalks along the way. Have a good look at the peculiar pitcher plants that grow in all the bogs on the Cape, they’re the provincial flower of Newfoundland and Labrador. Continuing south you’ll realize that this trail has no significant elevation changes to speak of, it remains quite level for most of the way.

After briefly sidetracking over North Head the trail veers southwest over a long boardwalk, before finally running into the hills. These forested hills are the only significant obstacle before reaching Maddox Cove, be especially careful on wet days when the many exposed roots and rock-steps in this forest are extra slippery.

Scenic spots on Cape Spear Path:

  • Cape Spear National Historic Site is great, offering both history and nature, an interesting combination.
  • Many small but scenic coves between North Head and Maddox Cove.

Berry picking:

Berries you can find on Cape Spear Path include bakeapples, blueberries, wild strawberries, crackerberries, raspberries, cranberries, marshberries and blackberries.

Photos and stories featuring Cape Spear Path:

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