St. Lunaire-Griquet is the Gateway to Vinland, as you pass through this picturesque town on Route 436 heading to L’anse aux Meadows for your Viking World UNESCO Heritage site destination. However, this town also has a great network of walking trails and further a mystery, known by locals as “St. Brendan’s” Rock.
This mysterious rock, was discovered by locals who saw an unusual jumble of straight line carvings and no claim by anyone for making them. People believe that these markings date back to St. Brendan, the Irish explorer of the 9th century who set out for the Isle of the Blessed. Although, there has been no evidence to actually prove this inscription was made by St. Brendan, it was made by someone and it does peak the interest to find out who made it and when? It certainly peaked my curiosity to travel to Dog Head via St. Brendan’s Trail.
The Trail Head begins at the playground area near the Daily Catch Restaurant, where you can take the road up the hill, which is known as St. Brendan’s trail and will take about 1/2 hour return. The trail to St. Brendan’s Rock though is via Dog Head, so at the top of the trail you must take the pathway to the right before the viewing area. The trail return is more than a 7 KM journey return.
The Dog Head Peninsula has spectacular scenery, where we had the opportunity to view whales. Earlier in the summer season this would also be a great place for iceberg viewing. The vast nature of trees, flowers, berries, beaches and coastline make for a formidable hike. The trail is part of the multi-day Iceberg Trail but it does require better directional markings and some improvement to trail paths to reduce getting wet feet or walking through mud.
I thoroughly enjoyed making this hike to the uniquely shaped peninsula that resembles a sleeping dog, the photos speak for themselves. Although, I was disappointed to have not found the boulder with the mysterious carvings. If one did not know exactly where it was, I doubt they would even find it. I asked many locals about the location of this mysterious rock, and was pointed to a couple of names. Although, I didn’t find this uniquely carved rock in 2020, I hope this year will be a different story.
There are so many interesting trails and mysteries that surround the Great Northern Peninsula. One only has to consider the French Graffiti of Album Rock in Ship Cove by photographer Moit in the 1850s or the French carvings in the rocks by sailors on the Epine Cordoret Trail in Croque Harbour. I’ll write about both in a future posting.
Learn more about the Great Northern Peninsula’s trails by clicking here.
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