The East Coast Trail Guide is a digital trail guide and photo book filled with information about Newfoundland’s amazing East Coast Trail, including the snowshoe route to the Spout.
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:
This overland snowshoe route to the Spout is not a part of the East Coast Trail; for the regular coastal hike to the Spout, see my page on Spout Path.
- This snowshoe route is about 6.6 km in length, one way.
- The unmarked trailhead is in Middle Pond, on the Southern Shore Highway.
- This route is only available in winter.
The Spout is a beautiful natural attraction that draws in many hikers every spring, summer, and fall. In winter time though, it can be hard to access over the regular coastal trail, and that’s where this snowshoe route comes in, it’s an ‘overland shortcut’ to the Spout.
It’s important to realize this snowshoe route is not an actual trail like the other trails on the East Coast Trail, it is a route, which is neither maintained nor properly signed.
As the title suggests, this route is only suitable for snowshoeing, and then only in the middle of winter when the streams and ponds along the way have been frozen solid. I have hiked this route in spring as well, and found that it is much more challenging than in winter. With great care, the streams, ponds, swamps and marshes can be crossed, but don’t count on keeping anything dry.
As you can see on the map, the snowshoe track is rather fat compared to my other tracks. This is to indicate a wide margin of ‘error’ along the route: snowshoeing isn’t tied to one specific line, there are many ways to go. That said, the last few kilometres towards the coast are regularly marked with pink ribbons. Keep an eye out for them but don’t count on them to find your way, as some are hidden by the snow and others are attached to trees that have fallen down.
Bring a GPS with you if you are unfamiliar with the terrain, the route is quite obvious in some places but completely unclear in other places. You can get lost when you’re not paying attention, and even when you are. Always let someone know where you’re going. Cellular reception is only available near the Southern Shore Highway.
I’ve tried several different overland routes to the Spout, and the one on this map is the one I prefer.
Before you go:
- it’s easy to get lost: go with someone who knows the way
- winter days are short: go as early in the day as possible
- thaw is bad: go when it’s been freezing for at least a week
Photos and stories about this route: