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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 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:

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.

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; the unique view near Small Point towards Signal Hill makes it all worth it though.

After Small Point comes a quiet forest hike to the south trailhead in Blackhead, every now and then a viewpoint pokes out of the forest showing you the cliffs below. At the top of Deadmans Bay you’ll pass 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.

Berry picking:

Berries you can find on Deadman’s Bay Path include blueberries, crackerberries, marshberries, chokeberries, partridgeberries and blackberries.

Photos and stories featuring Deadmans Bay Path:

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