The East Coast Trail Guide is a digital trail guide and photo book filled with information about Newfoundland’s amazing East Coast Trail, including Deadmans Bay Path.
A free sample of Newfoundland’s #1 hiking guide is available on Apple Books.
Don’t have Apple Books? There’s lots of trail information on this blog too. Below you’ll find a basic map, a quick trail description, and trail stories and photos from hikes in every season:
Deadmans Bay Path runs from St. John’s to Blackhead.
Check the map for the following details:
- The trail is 10.6 km in length.
- The north trailhead is near the end of Fort Amherst Road in St. John’s.
- The south trailhead is on the Blackhead Bay turnaround in Blackhead.
- Check the map for designated parking areas.
- There is easy access to Freshwater Bay from Blackhead Road.
- Bing Maps used to offer a unique aerial perspective of Deadmans Bay Path.
In my opinion, this trail is all about berry picking and amazing views of St. John’s.
Starting uphill from Fort Amherst the trail can be quite intimidating, but somehow you get on top pretty fast, even with the view behind you making you turn around every other step. The hills you’ve just entered are called the South Side Hills and they offer two things in abundance: blueberries and great views. Looking north you’ll see majestic Signal Hill with the Cabot Tower playing the part of the cherry on top. To the west lies downtown St. John’s, there’s a separate trail allowing you to explore that view from many angles.
The East Coast Trail heads southeast though, passing a few small ponds that serve as swimming holes in summer. Eventually the trail drops down to the water level at Freshwater Bay. A quick side trip to Gunners Cove is worth the effort, be sure to keep a look out for ripe marshberries if you’re hiking this trail after winter’s end. From the crossroads, the main trail leads you to Freshwater Beach, which separates the barachois pond from the ocean. Crossing this beach is a real pain in the ankle, with every other boulder tipping over as you try to navigate your way to the other end. If it is impassable or if you just don’t like the look of the barachois trail, you can also follow the regular trail all the way around Freshwater Pond.
On the east side of the barachois, the trail heads north for a bit, offering some unique views back to Fort Amherst and Signal Hill. After the turn at Small Point comes a quiet forest hike to the south trailhead in Blackhead, with a viewpoint poking out of the forest every now and then, showing you the cliffs below.
At the top of Deadmans Bay there is an overgrown side trail that drops steeply towards a cobblestone beach, please note that this fun side trail is not suitable for inexperienced hikers.
Scenic spots on Deadmans Bay Path:
- The South Side Hills; together with Signal Hill these hills dominate the view from downtown St. John’s, that means that they in turn offer a unique view onto Signal Hill and the city.
- Freshwater Bay has an unusual beach (barachois) with large ungainly boulders.
- Peggy’s Leg is a gorgeous sea stack below the trail.
Berries you can find on Deadman’s Bay Path include blueberries, crackerberries, marshberries, chokeberries, partridgeberries and blackberries.
Featured stories on Deadmans Bay Path:
More photos and stories on Deadmans Bay Path:
- What’s happening in Freshwater Bay? - April 2018
- Spring hike to Freshwater Bay - March 2018
- Colours on the forest floor - October 2017
- A sound in the forest - September 2017
- Glitter & Sparkle - April 2017
- Rainbow Falls - August 2016
- Snowberry picking - August 2016
- Blueberries on the East Coast Trail - September 2015
- King eider in Blackhead - April 2014
- Fall colours on the South Side Hills - October 2013
- Caribbean Princess arrives in St. John’s - September 2013
- Winter wonder hills - January 2013
- Views from the South Side Hills - October 2012
- Blueberry picking in St. John’s - September 2012
- Message in a bottle - August 2012
- Rain please - July 2012
- A walk to Peggy’s Leg - April 2012
- Iceberg just outside the St. John’s Narrows - March 2012
- Cape Spear to Small Point hike - November 2011
- Jewel of the Seas in St. John’s - September 2011
- Deadmans Bay Path on Bing Maps - May 2011
- 5k to Freshwater Bay - April 2011
- Fort Amherst to Freshwater Bay - December 2010
- Freshwater Bay near St. John’s - October 2010
- Crown Princess in the Narrows - September 2010
- Blueberry Hills - September 2010
- Snowy hills of St. John’s - February 2010