The Great Northern Peninsula has a network of incredible hiking trails that pull people to explore Gros Morne National Park, Port au Choix National Historic Site and L’anse aux Meadows World UNESCO Heritage site as anchor areas of attraction. The portion of the peninsula north of Bellburns has more than 80 walking and hiking trails to explore. I set a challenge to complete them all, but it wasn’t until nearly the end of summer I got complete it by finding abandoned Fortune!
The Iceberg Trail is being developed from L’anse aux Meadows to St. Lunaire-Griquet, which connects current community walking trails to create a multi-day trail network. The views and experience is truly remarkable and a gem like the East Coast Trail.
On September 6th we left from Quirpon Tickle and go around the Cobbler to the abandoned community of Fortune. We left 9:30 AM and arrived at noon (8 KM). The trail is well-marked, except at the beginning (you have to go right at Quirpon intersection, passed the community hall and drive to the end of the road and park. The trail is rated as hard on AllTrails, what an incredible experience!
Fortune was a small fishing community nestled between Quirpon and Gunner’s Cove. There remains one family home that is still standing, while others had collapsed. There are some outer buildings and the remains of an old motor in the beach. The community may not have residents currently, but it truly was worth the trek and allowed me to complete my trail challenge.
We picked a spot on a flat rock overlooking the bay and enjoyed our sandwich made with homemade bread and lots of other snacks to refuel our energy levels. There were a few moose, likely looking for their lunch too! After a rest we did a little exploring and even picked up some beach glass before heading to Gunner’s Cove.
We left the abandoned community of Fortune and headed to Gunner’s Cove or Route 436 which was a 5.8 KM trek from Fortune. The trail was clearly marked and skirted along the beach. It would however be difficult to find the beginning from Route 436 as there is no trail marker at roadside. The views along the beach were a lovely contrast to the views of the coastline earlier. There was also one giant rock by a very tall tree, lots of berries, mushrooms and other natural beauty! The rock must have been placed either by giants or glaciers. The trail needs some modest improvements, so that one won’t even get wet feet or bring gear better than sneakers.
The Abandoned Community of Fortune as part of the Iceberg Trail trekking form Quirpon to Gunner’s Cove is 13.8 KM. Without a second vehicle or someone to drop you off or pick you up there is another 3.5 KM of walking back to Quirpon. Thankfully a local stopped and gave me a ride from Gunners Cove back to my car in Quirpon. That type of kindness was the icing on the cake to top off a wonderful day. To celebrate we had Vinland martinis and a Sacred Island Burger at the Norseman Fine Dining Restaurant at L’anse aux Meadows.
We may have even dropped by the Dark Tickle Company in St. Lunaire-Griquet for a sculpin cone and their berry ice-cream for dessert.
The Great Northern Peninsula is full of unique experiences, either in the great outdoors or when supporting a local small business. Be sure to add the abandoned community of Fortune on your list when you plan your journey!
Learn more about the Great Northern Peninsula’s trails by clicking here.
Live Rural NL –
Christopher Mitchelmore #NeverStopExploring