The East Coast Trail Guide offers maps, photos, and a detailed description of the entire East Coast Trail, including Biscan Cove Path, which briefly mentions the trail to Cripple Cove.
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:
The trail to Cripple Cove runs from Cape St. Francis to Cripple Cove.
Check the map for the following details:
- The trail is 3.5 km in length, excluding access to its trailheads.
- The north trailhead is near the Cape St. Francis lighthouse.
- Route 20 from Pouch Cove to Biscan Cove (Biscayan Cove) is a dirt road that can get pretty bad depending on the season.
The trail to Cripple Cove is just the beginning of a much longer trail called White Horse Path, which is under development as of 2016 and not an official part of the East Coast Trail just yet. At this moment, the trail to Cripple Cove is primarily a fun and adventurous extension of a hike on Biscan Cove Path.
The trail to Cripple Cove is only 3.5 km (one-way), but since both ends of the trail are hard to reach an actual hike on this trail will be a lot longer. The north trailhead is at the very end of Route 20 near Cape St. Francis (a ~4.5 km walk from Pouch Cove), and Cripple Cove itself is located on the coast in the middle of nowhere. You could also use the old trailhead which is marked on the map, but that option will skip half the path and you’ll miss some excellent views.
Personally I recommend starting your hike from the Cape St. Francis side, you may even be able to drive your car all the way up to the trailhead when Route 20 road-conditions allow it.
As mentioned above, the trail to Cripple Cove is still being developed at this moment. Expect to use ropes to scramble up and down short rock faces, and look for colourful ribbons when the trail is hard to find.
After reaching Cripple Cove, you can walk back east over one of several trails, or continue south all the way down to Bauline. This brand new trail to Bauline is called White Horse Path and it has been cleared for use in 2015. White Horse Path is not as well defined as the trail to Cripple Cove itself, and you’ll have to use some trail-finding skills from time to time. Remember to follow the ribbons and bring more than enough water. In the coming years ECTA will improve this trail further by developing stairs, boardwalks and proper signage.
Scenic spots on the trail to Cripple Cove:
- Cripple Cove is picturesque, isolated, and offers an amazing view of Conception Bay.
- Back Cove is stunning every time I see it.
- Cape St. Francis is the northernmost tip of the East Coast Trail.
- Exciting opportunity to walk the brand new White Horse Path.
Berries you can find on the trail to Cripple Cove include creeping snowberries, blueberries, partridgeberries, crackerberries, cranberries and bakeapples.