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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 Motion 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:

Basic map:

Trail description:

Motion Path runs from Petty Harbour to Shoal Bay.
Check the map for the following details:

  • The trail is 13.5 km in length, excluding the Shoal Bay Road access/exit trail.
  • The north trailhead is in the hills above Cavell’s Lane in Petty Harbour.
  • The south trailhead is at the end of Shoal Bay Road, in the middle of nowhere.
  • Continuing to the Goulds over Shoal Bay Road adds 6.3 km to your hike.
  • Continuing to Bay Bulls over Spout Path adds 17.2 km to your hike.
  • Check the map for designated parking areas.
  • Bing Maps used to offer a unique aerial perspective of Motion Path.

Motion Path is at times steep, narrow, wet, eroded and washed out; the distant views from the open hills make it all worthwhile though.

On the first few kilometres you’ll enjoy a great view of Cape Spear Path on the other side of Motion Bay, on a clear day you can even see the historic lighthouse in the distance. Coming around the bend at Motion Head you’ll walk through an interesting erratic-strewn landscape with many small bogs, on your left hand lies the open ocean with all its seasonal attractions.

After climbing all the way up to Hartes Point Ridge be sure to take in the view all around, looking back north for a memorable view stretching all the way to the Cape Spear lighthouse, and looking ahead all the way to the Ferryland lighthouse.

Continuing south you’ll pass the entrance to Pipeline Road, which leads to the Goulds. I don’t recommend that option because you’ll miss the beautiful twin waterfalls at Raymond’s Gulch just before arriving at the south trailhead. Once you’re there, you are still on the coast, and you’ll have to make a choice between continuing to the Goulds over Shoal Bay Road (adds 6.3 km) or continuing to Bay Bulls over Spout Path (adds 17.2 km).

Trail flyer:

Do you offer accommodation in this area? Here’s a trail flyer you can use to promote the trail. Flyers about other parts of the East Coast Trail can be found on the trail flyers page.

Scenic spots on Motion Path:

  • Motion Head with its erratics left there since the time of glaciers.
  • Beautiful twin waterfalls at Raymond’s Gulch.
  • Memorable views from Big Hill, Burkes Head and Hartes Point Ridge.

Berry picking:

Berries you can find on Motion Path include blueberries, crackerberries, crowberries, cranberries, chokeberries, partridgeberries and bakeapples.

Featured stories on Motion Path:

More photos and stories on Motion Path:

East Coast Trail