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Life in Newfoundland

Bottle Cove Trail in Lark Harbour

Last year while planning a trip to Western Newfoundland I came across an inviting picture of Lark Harbour’s Bottle Cove Trail on my kitchen calendar. After I looked up where in Newfoundland Lark Harbour was (it’s 1 hour west of Corner Brook), I decided to add it to our travel plans.

Our very first hike on this short but sweet trail was just before a big snowstorm hit the west coast (just like it did this week). Thankfully, Lark Harbour was spared the worst of the storm but still the weather was cold and unfit for hiking, so we didn’t stay on the trail for very long.

One week later at the end of our stay in Newfoundland we were in the neighbourhood again and the weather had turned around completely, no more wind and snow but lots of sunshine and warmth instead, ideal for a hike:

Mom on the trail – Bottle Cove Trail, Lark Harbour

This trail is rated as easy to moderate, because it involves a little bit of climbing to get up to the viewpoint at the top:

Climb to the viewpoint – Bottle Cove Trail, Lark Harbour

If you’re careful about it the climb is pretty straightforward, and the view of Island Cove makes it all worth it:

View of Island Cove – Bottle Cove Trail, Lark Harbour

It’s said that this trail is particularly beautiful during sunset, something I look forward to seeing on my next visit! 🙂

ECTA Fundraiser in Petty Harbour – Maddox Cove

Coming up on June 2, the East Coast Trail Association is hosting their annual fundraiser to help maintain and protect the East Coast Trail, a great cause and a great time!

You can help the East Coast Trail by signing up for this event and hiking some beautiful trails with the company or support of your friends and family.

This year, there are 4 hikes to choose from, all near Petty Harbour – Maddox Cove:

Hike 1: Cape Spear to Petty Harbour

East Coast Trail near Maddox Cove – Cape Spear Path

Hike #1 covers all of Cape Spear Path and adds a short road walk to scenic Petty Harbour. This particular hike is found on bucket lists around the world because it’s the easternmost hike in all of North America, but even if it wasn’t, this trail would still be highly recommended. Starting out on the open cliffs at Cape Spear be sure to keep a look out for icebergs, and maybe even a few early whales. 🙂

Hike 2: Petty Harbour to Motion Head

East Coast Trail near Motion Head – Motion Path

This beautiful hike covers the first half of Motion Path, climbing up and over Big Hill (great views) before exploring the wide-open landscape along Motion Bay (shown above). When you’re making your way around The Bight, try to find the curious seals that are keeping an eye on you…

Hike 3: Family hike to Square Rock Gulch

Square Rock Gulch – Cape Spear Path

This shorter hike on Cape Spear Path sticks to a decidedly easier section of East Coast Trail to explore the hidden gem of Square Rock Gulch. If you have young explorers in your group you can even venture into the gulch where you’ll find a small cobblestone beach and a cascading waterfall.

Hike 4: Family hike around the harbour – Stroller Friendly

Sunny day in Newfoundland – Petty Harbour

This easy walk is limited to 50 people, including adults and children, and explores the wharf and traditional fishing activities in Petty Harbour itself. Guides from Island Rooms: Fishing for Success will offer two activities: a wharf walk and traditional fishing skills, including a visit to the touch tank at the Petty Harbour Mini Aquarium!

Sign up for this event

For more information and sign-up details, visit the Trail Raiser 2018 page on ECTA’s website.

More photos and stories

For more photos and stories from my own hikes on these trails and the rest of the East Coast Trail, check out my Hiking the East Coast Trail page.

The suspension bridge in La Manche

Is it one of the top attractions on the East Coast Trail or is it simply a convenient way to cross the river gorge in La Manche?

La Manche suspension bridge – East Coast Trail, La Manche Village Path

I say it’s both!

Once, La Manche Village was a fishing community with homes on the cliffside and children playing underneath the flakes, growing up at the water’s edge. Now, more than 50 years after it was abandoned, La Manche Village’s homes have long since vanished and you’ll find wildlife hanging out in the cove instead of children.

It’s this wonderful combination of history, wildlife, scenic beauty, and the fun of a softly swaying suspension bridge that makes La Manche such a special place to visit, and it’s definitely one of the highlights of the East Coast Trail.

Do you want to visit here and cross the suspension bridge too? It’s easily reached over La Manche Village Path from Bauline East or over the Hungry Hill access trail that starts at the end of La Manche Road.

Icebergs in the fog?

Well it’s May and it’s foggy, that sounds about right doesn’t it.

But where are the icebergs, are they hiding in the fog?

Yes. Today’s iceberg chart shows a small number of icebergs near the Avalon Peninsula, but with all this fog it’s anybody’s guess as to where they are exactly:

Iceberg chart for May 2, 2018 – Canadian Ice Service

One iceberg was reported near Pouch Cove this morning, and it’s likely still out there somewhere along Biscan Cove Path or Stiles Cove Path. Tomorrow is forecast to be mainly sunny, so we’ll find out then.

Right now, Twillingate seems to be the most reliable place to see a few icebergs close to shore, but they have rain and snow in the forecast, so all things considered the East Coast Trail is probably a better place to be tomorrow! 🙂

Update / May 2, 10 AM

The iceberg in Pouch Cove is no longer hiding in the fog, so if you want to see it now’s your chance.

What’s happening in Freshwater Bay?

In many places around the world people have to drive for hours on end to get away from the city, to find some peace and quiet, to get a breath of fresh air.

Not in Newfoundland. Newfoundlanders have easy access to spectacular coastal scenery and all the fresh air they want whenever they feel like it. Even townies stuck in an office can look forward to the end of the day, when they can just take off on the East Coast Trail and escape.

This wilderness at our doorstep is often taken for granted but trust me, it’s very special, and you’ll miss it when it’s gone.

If we want future generations to enjoy our unique and wonderful island the way we do now, we need to make sure our coastal treasures are conserved and protected.

So what’s happening in Freshwater Bay?

Prospective site of the Freshwater Bay Urban Nature Reserve – Source: NCC

Conservation, that’s what’s happening! 🙂

The Nature Conservancy of Canada is currently raising funds to create and preserve an Urban Nature Reserve near Freshwater Bay, right along the East Coast Trail from St. John’s to Cape Spear.

If you want them to succeed in these conservation efforts, you can read more about their project on their website, they need your support to make it happen.

Spring at the Baboul Rocks

Mickeleens Path is a trail you can easily hike as a loop.

Starting from either Bay Bulls or Witless Bay, first explore the beautiful coastal trail with its towering red cliffs and breathtaking viewpoints, then after you reach the end, just take the inland shortcut back to where you started.

If you’ve seen Mickeleens Path’s Baboul Rocks before, have a look at this:

The Baboul Rocks – East Coast Trail, Mickeleens Path

Doesn’t that just want to make you put on your hiking boots and go?

That scenic view is just about halfway on Mickeleens Path and it’s just one of the highlights of this trail. When you’re at the viewpoint here, don’t get too close to the edge, but do look for seals, as they enjoy feeding in this area:

Foamy seal whiskers – East Coast Trail, Mickeleens Path

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