The East Coast Trail & Impressions of Newfoundland - ClubTread Community

User Tag List

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of (permalink) Old 07-03-2011, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
Off the Beaten Path
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: AB, Canada.
Posts: 941
Default The East Coast Trail & Impressions of Newfoundland

The East Coast Trail is a much different trail than I've hiked before. It weaves 540 km along the coastline, in and out of 32 communities. It isn't really meant to be backpacked, but rather to stop at B&B's in between sections. It's very much a cultural hike. You get to see some scenery during the day, then experience some of the local fare at night. You can mix it up by doing a boat or kayaking tour, see a local dinner theatre, or go to a pub. We hiked a few sections of the trail, but also spent some time in St. John's itself.

Monday

We began our tour of Newfoundland with a foggy walk around Fort Amherst, Quidi Vidi, and Signal Hill.



Afterwards, we checked in at our B&B at Bay Bulls and did some hiking along the coastline. This is where the "Spout Path" section begins.



I was very happy with the food and accommodations there. The staff and owner were very nice and helpful, especially with my wife who has celiac disease. The couple upstairs seemed to be really enjoying the experience too. She kept saying “yes” over and over again. Her companion seemed to be having a nice evening too, as we could hear him grunting his approval at her exclamations. On second thought, the walls could have been a bit thicker.

Tuesday

We hiked a pretty section of trail from Aquaforte to Ferryland. There is a nice little waterfall at the beginning of "Mudder Wet Path."



The forested areas were quite pretty in areas too. I was glad I packed my tripod "just in case."



The sun came out for the first time as we descended the "Sounding Hills Path" from the headlands down into Ferryland.



We capped off the hike with a great picnic lunch at the lighthouse. You place your order at the lighthouse, and they give you a blanket and flag, and tell you to go find a nice place on the grass. When your food is ready, they bring your food out to your flag. Neat concept, and very popular. Great homemade lemonade, sandwiches, and ganache. Here's the view:



Then, we returned to Cape Broyle for an afternoon kayak tour with Stan Cook Sea Kayaking Adventures. Highly recommended. Even though it pissed rain and we didn't see any whales, it was still a blast. The whales follow the capelin, which hadn't moved into the bay yet. It's easy to spot whales, though, because all you need to do is look for the sea birds circling and diving. Poor fish get it from both sides.



Wednesday

We went for a morning boat tour to Gull Island from Bay Bulls with O'Brian's Tours. We had great luck to follow a humpback whale all the way out to the island. It showed us a couple terminal dives but no breaching.



And then we saw the puffins. Just the coolest little birds ever. The murre looked pretty... well... common, next to the puffins.



In the afternoon, we hiked the "Beaches Path" from Mobile to Witless Bay. I really enjoyed this section. We saw a bald eagle, which we Albertans don't see that often, and some whales in the bay too.





They also had some well maintained boardwalks through here.





Thursday

We worked our way by car back to St. John's. We stopped at Petty Harbour with nice morning light. The sun disappeared permanently for the rest of the day. We toured through Cape Spear, then Middle Cove and Quidi Vidi before making our way to the hotel. We went to Shamrock City Pub that evening after a great dinner at Yellowbelly's.





Friday

The weather wasn't good enough to justify hiking in the morning, so we went to the Geo Centre, which was excellent too. We did a lot of walking around the city during the day, stopped at the Pepper Mill for a good dinner, then up to the Battery and Signal Hill again for the fireworks. The sunset at the Battery was very nice. We went back to Shamrock City for some entertainment after the Canada Day celebrations. I learned that when in Newfoundland, a whole different language starts being spoken when the drinks are flowing. I have no idea what the guys were talking about half the time. They were friendly as shit though. One bearded fellow was wearing a t-shirt that read “I pull out.” He seemed less classy than his buddies.

The first photo is my favourite one from the whole trip.



Saturday

We started the day with a terrific breakfast at the Bagel Company. I had granola french toast with strawberries and bananas, whipped cream, syrup. The hashbrowns were the best I've ever had, and the sausages were good too. I didn't eat again until supper. Shaun Majumder was in the booth next to us, but I resisted the temptation to beat him down with some schtick. We also saw one of the characters from the Republic of Doyle. I pet her dog.

We took the boat tour from the harbour. It wasn't as good as the one in Bay Bulls. We saw some whales, but not as close. Some white-sided dolphins approached the boat, but I couldn't get a good picture of them because you could never predict where they would surface. It was nice to see Cape Spear out of the fog, though. Gannets were diving for capelin off the cape but we didn't get close enough.

We ended the day with a very good dinner at Get Stuffed, and I took a few night-time shots on the way back to the hotel.



-------------

After this trip, I have the following conclusions:

1) Everyone says that the people in Newfoundland are the greatest, which is true; however, it seems to extend beyond the locals, to all the people from around the world that visit The Rock. I've never had so many conversations with other tourists. Everyone seemed eager and open to share their traveling experiences with a stranger, as if the hospitality of our hosts had rubbed off on us a bit.

2) I think the Canadian media has painted Newfoundland with the shit brush over the years. They're doing fine out there, despite all the imagery of the impoverished fisherman. There's more affluence than I expected. The offshore oil industry is blowing my mind.

3) Danny Williams may very well surpass Great Big Sea and Jesus on the popularity meter out there.

4) Everyone should visit Newfoundland. It's an awesome place, just like everyone says. I can't wait to go back and see the west side of the island.
dav1481 is offline  
Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of (permalink) Old 07-03-2011, 08:26 PM
Headed for the Mountains
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: rockies, alberta, Canada.
Posts: 260
Default

what a great trip report! I almost snorted my drink in fact.... yes, yes, yes indeed.
mtnlioness is offline  
post #3 of (permalink) Old 07-03-2011, 08:36 PM
Headed for the Mountains
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Surrey, BC, Canada.
Posts: 160
Default

Beautiful! A place that's been on my list for a long time!
Do you think 3-4 days would be enough to see a least a few bits of all those amazing places?

Quote:
quote:The couple upstairs seemed to be really enjoying the experience too. She kept saying “yes” over and over again. Her companion seemed to be having a nice evening too, as we could hear him grunting his approval at her exclamations
too funny!
myanovo is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of (permalink) Old 07-03-2011, 08:49 PM Thread Starter
Off the Beaten Path
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: AB, Canada.
Posts: 941
Default

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by myanovo

Beautiful! A place that's been on my list for a long time!
Do you think 3-4 days would be enough to see a least a few bits of all those amazing places?
I know a lot of people say that you need at least 2 weeks to see Newfoundland properly. But that just doesn't work for our schedules, and we find that a week off at a time is plenty. I think an argument could be made for a 4 day trip if you got a seat sale, realizing of course that more is better. For example:

Day 1: St. John's. Full on. Breakfast at the Bagel Co. Lots of walking. Fort Amherst, Battery and Signal Hill, Quidi Vidi, loop back downtown. Supper anywhere. Pub & live music to end the day.
Day 2: Boat tour from Bay Bulls, sea kayak tour in Cape Broyle. Stay at a B&B.
Day 3: East Coast Trail hiking, lunch in Ferryland at the lighthouse, dinner theatre, B&B.
Day 4: Cape St. Mary's and close the loop back to St. John's.
Day 5: Regret leaving.

dav1481 is offline  
post #5 of (permalink) Old 07-03-2011, 08:56 PM
Summit Master
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: , , Canada.
Interest: Hiking, hunting, fishing, and many others.
Posts: 3,951
Default

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by dav1481
.

I seen that very same tail of Vancouver Island last year.
That big guy or girl really gets around.
Just kidding.

Wonderful report. [8D]
Wildman is offline  
post #6 of (permalink) Old 07-03-2011, 09:02 PM
High on the Mountain Top
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Okotoks, Alberta, Canada.
Posts: 1,891
Default


A character face or what?

Good read and great photos as always Dav.
Sodbuster is offline  
post #7 of (permalink) Old 07-03-2011, 09:13 PM Thread Starter
Off the Beaten Path
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: AB, Canada.
Posts: 941
Default

Thanks everyone.

@Cindy, I simply cannot embellish that story enough to bring it close to reality. It was wild.

@Wildman, that was the first whale I've ever seen in the wild, and I was super excited. I'd love to see the killer whales sometime on the west coast.

@Clayton, I used my Canon 80-200mm F2.8 with a 1.4x teleconverter, and still had to crop it in 50%. Those puffins are smaller than you realize!
dav1481 is offline  
post #8 of (permalink) Old 07-03-2011, 09:33 PM
Summit Master
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Da\'Wack, BC, Canada.
Interest: Hiking, flyfishing, camping, photography, kayaking, swimming, x-country skiing wana get my open water dive certification... scrabble, mean yatzee player.........
Posts: 5,392
Default

Wonderfully well written TR with some fabulous photos.

I have a friend in Halifax who describes himself as a displaced Newfoundlander; he keeps trying to talk me into a Newfoundland tour (though he's more specifically enamoured with Gross Mourne.) He's got a story about hiking the spout in the middle of winter. Your report made me think of him.

exscape is offline  
post #9 of (permalink) Old 07-04-2011, 08:20 AM
Headed for the Mountains
 
mtn.mom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Armstrong, B.C., .
Interest: hikingbackpackingcrosscountry skiingsnowshoeing
Posts: 161
Default

Thanks for the trip report and the suggestions! Looks like a wonderful area of Canada!
mtn.mom is online now  
post #10 of (permalink) Old 07-04-2011, 08:23 AM
Headed for the Mountains
 
mtn.mom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Armstrong, B.C., .
Interest: hikingbackpackingcrosscountry skiingsnowshoeing
Posts: 161
Default

Did you rent a car to get around?
mtn.mom is online now  
post #11 of (permalink) Old 07-04-2011, 08:57 AM
Summit Master
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 6,120
Default

Absolutely fantastic photography !!! I almost made it there last year and then the weather turned crappy so I canceled. Maybe I'll rethink my plans for this year and take a real serious look at a visit.
Great report and thanks for posting this. Two thumbs up !!!
19351 is offline  
post #12 of (permalink) Old 07-04-2011, 09:12 AM
Bry
Headed for the Mountains
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: , Alberta, Canada.
Posts: 258
Default

Great TR and photos! I'm heading out that way at the end of August and will be staying around St. John's, so it's nice to see such a positive TR.

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by dav1481
We capped off the hike with a great picnic lunch at the lighthouse. You place your order at the lighthouse, and they give you a blanket and flag, and tell you to go find a nice place on the grass. When your food is ready, they bring your food out to your flag. Neat concept, and very popular. Great homemade lemonade, sandwiches, and ganache. Here's the view:
I'll have to remember that - sounds like it could earn me a few brownie points.
Bry is offline  
post #13 of (permalink) Old 07-04-2011, 09:16 AM Thread Starter
Off the Beaten Path
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: AB, Canada.
Posts: 941
Default

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by exscape

Wonderfully well written TR with some fabulous photos.

I have a friend in Halifax who describes himself as a displaced Newfoundlander; he keeps trying to talk me into a Newfoundland tour (though he's more specifically enamoured with Gross Mourne.) He's got a story about hiking the spout in the middle of winter. Your report made me think of him.

I would have liked to hike to the spout, but it didn't really fit in our itinerary. I think NFLD deserves at least a couple visits, one dedicated to the Avalon peninsula, and another to see Gros Morne and some of the Nordic history. Don't make him wait too long before talking you into a trip!
dav1481 is offline  
post #14 of (permalink) Old 07-04-2011, 09:26 AM
Summit Master
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Da\'Wack, BC, Canada.
Interest: Hiking, flyfishing, camping, photography, kayaking, swimming, x-country skiing wana get my open water dive certification... scrabble, mean yatzee player.........
Posts: 5,392
Default

[:I]*Gros Morne*[:I]

Perhaps next year. Their photos from last year had me feeling a little jelous.
exscape is offline  
post #15 of (permalink) Old 07-04-2011, 10:50 AM Thread Starter
Off the Beaten Path
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: AB, Canada.
Posts: 941
Default

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by mtn.mom

Did you rent a car to get around?
You don't need a car in St. John's, but you'd definitely want one to get outside the city. The roads are windy and slow, so it can actually take some time to get places. The hikes are all one-way, you would want to hitch a ride back to your car.
dav1481 is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome
 

Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.1