The East Coast Trail is a 540 km coastal hiking experience that takes you to the outermost reaches of North America. The Trail provides walkers and hikers with a special blend of wilderness adventure, outstanding natural beauty, wildlife, history, and cultural contact.
Truly spectacular features on the trail
The Trail takes you past towering cliffs and headlands, sea stacks, deep fjords, and a natural wave-driven geyser called the Spout. It provides access to abandoned settlements, lighthouses, ecological reserves, seabird colonies, whales, icebergs, world's southern most caribou herd, historic sites, a 50-metre suspension bridge, two active archaeological dig sites, and many more attractions. It offers a wilderness paradise of boreal forest, fresh clean air and quiet solitude, all combined with the raw natural beauty of the rugged Atlantic Ocean.
Flatrock is situated 12 kilometres northwest of the capital city of St. John's , Newfoundland and a short walk around the shoreline will quickly show visitors how the community got its name.
Flatrock was settled in 1762 by Norwegian and Irish families as well as people from England, Scotland, France and Norway.
Among the first settlers was a French officer named Balone who lived in "Boyles", which is commemorated by the road name "Boyles Lane". The area was lived in by the Wades. Balone had left St. John's when the French were fighting over Signal Hill. He was an educated man who knew he was fighting for a worthless cause.
Another settler was Stoyles. He was from Ireland. Stoyles Cove is named after him today. The third man was a McDaniel. He was from Scotland. He lived over on the beach area. The first child born in Flatrock was a McDaniel.
In 1782 a man and his wife by the name of Mayo came to Flatrock. They lived on Red Head. Mayo would take long walks with his dog over the hills in Stoyles Cove, back northeast to Three Island Pond. It would remind him so much of Scotland that he would think he was still there.
The Johnson GEO CENTRE is a geological interpretation centre located on Signal Hill in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.
The GEO CENTRE is a not-for-profit organization, and a registered charity. The centre opened in 2002, and houses exhibit galleries related to our planet and our provincial geology, oil and gas exploration, natural resources, space exploration, and the Titanic disaster. The centre also features an educational KIDZone for ages 7 and under, period hosting of travelling exhibits, gift shop and café. The centre offers interpretation through public presentations and hands-on curriculum-based visits for school groups.
Find Battery Road at the east end of St. John's, Newfoundland, and if you are courageous enough, follow it along the single car width street until you reach the start of the North Head hiking trail. [Battery Road Leading to the North Head Trail] This 1.7 kilometer (1.1 mile) trail offers some of the most spectacular scenery in North America as it winds a challenging route up and around the north entrance of St. John's Harbour.
Steps have been built in the steeper sections and in one place, a chain for hand gripping has been anchored to the cliffside to prevent hikers from slipping down the steep cliffs to the rugged Atlantic Ocean far below! But the view is well worth the effort, not to mention the terrific physical workout that you also gain from this hike.
After climbing about 750 steps interspaced between the less steep sections, you arrive at a well recognized Newfoundland landmark, the Cabot Tower, which is visible for many miles in the St. John's area. This is also the site where the inventor Marconi first received a trans atlantic radio signal in December of 1901. A gift shop is open in the summer season for souveniers plus there are many information points where you can stop and read about the history of Signal Hill. An Interpretation Centre is also open for visitors at the lower parking lot (Yes, you can drive to Signal Hill too). All this, whether driving to Signal Hill or hiking up the North Head Trail, makes your visit memorable as well as enjoyable
Dildo - Trinity Bay - Newfoundland and Labrador - The following text is courtesy of St. George's High School.
Located in Upper Trinity South, Dildo is a very historic place for Newfoundland tourism. Dildo was settled in the early 1800's by Reids, Prettys, and Smiths. During the 1990's, these names were still predominant names in the community. Every summer Dildo sponsors Dildo Days which is a community celebration and a Newfoundland tourism destination.
In 1889 a permanent fisheries commission was set up for the Colony and a fishery was established on Dildo Island under the direction of A. Neilson, Superintendent of the Fisheries. This hatchery was one of the most modern and largest of its type in the world, and was designed to hatch between two million and three million cod in a season. A spawning pond was added in 1891 and a 5.5 m high wind mill to provided the power to pump sea water into the pond.
In the Twentieth Century Dildo was a flourishing whaling center until the ban on whaling in the early 1970's brought this industry to a close. Now conservation of whales is a major concern. The closing of the whaling industry also had an effect on the mink ranches because it depended on whale meat as a cheap source of food. In 1955 an entire mink farm was transported from Lester Island, near Vancouver, to Dildo but in the late 1960s rising feed prices forced the ranches to close. Dildo has changed a lot since the 1800s mainly because of its economic growth. There are a lot more businesses and resources that have been created and up-dated since this time. There are 2 stores in Dildo and there is another little store that should be open in the next month or two.
There are about four or five people in Dildo who have started their own businesses which continue to grow.
Even though Dildo doesn't have a town council it still has many resources and regarded for its activities. Dildo has its own swimming pool, an S.U.F. lodge, and Lions Center. Every year Dildo celebrates Canada Day and our own Traditional Dildo Days. These events are held on the swimming pool grounds where there are many activities, such as games, swimming, hot dogs, cold plates, and much more. As you can see Dildo is a very historic and traditional community.
The Irish Loop refers to an area that encircles the shores of Newfoundland's Avalon Peninsula. The area is named after the Irish immigrants that first inhabited this part of Newfoundland, and for the geography which resembles their homeland. This tour around the Irish Loop can be done in a day at a leisurely pace or is best done over a couple of days to truly enjoy the scenery, history and the people.
This scenic and historic drive starts at St. John's and heads south on Route 10 into the heart of Irish Newfoundland and the magical world of whales, seabirds and caribou, then loops back to St. John’s.
Take Route 10 to Kilbride and its neighbour, Goulds, both now part of St. John's. This is some of the most fertile land in the province where you will see herds of dairy cattle and fields of vegetables as you drive by. The rolling green hills of the area are still being farmed by the descendants of the Irish families who settled there in the 19th century.
Continue on to Bay Bulls, another old settlement and one of several communities where you can hop a tour boat to see the marine delights of the Witless Bay Seabird Ecological Reserve. The town, 30 kilometres south of St. John's, derives its name from the French "Baie Boules," a reference to the bull bird or dovekie, which winters in Newfoundland. The town was first fortified in 1638, when Sir David Kirke governed the colony of Newfoundland from Ferryland. Despite its fortifications, the community was captured and burned by the French on several occasions, the last in 1796.
In the deep waters of Bay Bulls lies the wreck of HMS Sapphire which was sunk in action against the French in 1696. The site was excavated during the 1970s by the Newfoundland Marine Archaeology Society. Bay Bulls played an important role in the Second World War as a strategic port for the relief and repair of Allied warships and merchantmen. The German submarine U-190 surrendered here during the last days of World War II. Today, Bay Bulls along with Witless Bay and other Southern Shore communities are embarkation points for the boat tours that bring thousands of visitors every year to the Witless Bay Seabird Ecological Reserve.
The reserve, four islands and the waters around them between Witless Bay and Bauline, is home to phenomenal numbers of seabirds that nest here to raise their young. When you see them, you'll swear someone missed a few hundred thousand. About 530,000 Leach's Storm Petrels nest of Gull Island, with another 250,000 on Great Island. Green Island has 74,000 Murres. And there are tens of thousands of Atlantic Puffins, the provincial bird.
As your boat tour cruises near the Witless Bay Seabird Ecological Reserve - they are protected areas off limits to people - you'll see puffins running and skipping along the top of the water trying to get airborne. Like many seabirds, they spend most of the year on the open ocean hundreds of kilometers southeast of Newfoundland and come to shore to breed and raise their young. They are so well adapted to their marine environment that flying becomes a chore, especially with a belly full of capelin for the squawking chicks.
The chicks are in thousands of burrows on the steep sides of the islands. Below, hoping for a meal, sit greedy grey gulls while other scavengers keep watch from aloft. The burrows provide protection against marauding gulls. Safety in numbers is the watchword for survival for the puffins and other nesting birds. Here you'll also find Razorbills, Great Black-Backed Gulls, Northern Fulmars, Black Guillemots and Black-Legged Kittiwakes. There's a blizzard of birds in the air throughout the day, and they are all looking for something to eat.
That something is the capelin. And it's not only the birds that eat them. Whales come near shore in late spring and summer on their annual migration from wintering grounds in the south to summer havens in the Arctic. More than a dozen species of whales frequent the waters of Newfoundland and Labrador, but the humpback and the minke are the two most commonly seen in this reserve. In fact, you’ll find the world’s greatest concentration of feeding humpbacks along Newfoundland’s east coast, numbering in the thousands each year.
Weighing in about 30 tonnes for an adult, the humpbacks are nevertheless extremely graceful. Quite often a tour boat skipper will discretely follow a pair or a pod of whales as they cruise the water looking for food. They'll dip below the waves for minutes at a time and then surface with a whoosh from the blowhole. Sometimes a whale, especially a younger one, will come close to a tour boat and cock an eye at all on board. Or one will breach - jump completely out of the water and land with a mighty splash.
When the capelin are running, whales will execute amazingly deft manoeuvres while chasing their favorite snack. They actually herd the caplin into tight schools with sound and movement, surround them with streams of bubbles, and then force them to the surface with sounds where the tiny, silvery fish quickly become dinner.
While all this is going on, there might be icebergs off in the distance. Some bergs weigh hundreds of thousands of tonnes and can be thousands of years old. They break off from the leading edge of glaciers on islands in the Arctic and drift slowly south, eventually melting in the warmer Gulf Stream waters southeast of Newfoundland and Labrador.