The International Appalachian Trail’s Northern Terminus is at Crow Head, Newfoundland and Labrador and can be accessed from the Cape Raven Trail at Straitsview, NL.
The trail is rated moderate due to some steep sections and takes about 45 minutes to hike and about 20 minutes to the scenic lookout where Captain James Cook is said to have surveyed Noddy Bay in 1763. This famous British cartographer and explorer did much surveying of the Great Northern Peninsula in the mid-1700’s. A cairn of his can be found on Dog Peninsula in Bird Cove in a wonderful walking trail, the Town of Cook’s Harbour bears his name and there are many places in the area named after officers in his crew, like Keppel Island, Hawke’s Bay and Port Saunders.
To find Cape Raven trail you must take the Viking Trail (Route 430) and head north until you reach Route 436 to L’anse aux Meadows. The Cape Raven Trail is about 25 KM down this route and past the community Straitsview. There is a parking area and trailhead signage on the right. If you reach Hay Cove you have passed the trail.
Although the signage notes the trail is about 45 minutes return, the walk can be much longer as it connects to other trails such as Noddy Bay Head Trail and can continue to L’anse aux Meadows as part of the Iceberg Trail. This hike can be up to several kilometres. I opted to create a loop and return via the main road (Route 436) back to my parked vehicle which is a few kilometres and takes about a couple of hours.
You will want to take some time to truly enjoy the panoramic views of the community of Straitsview, the unique topography that is the Northern Terminus for the International Appalachian Trail on the island of Newfoundland and also take in magical views of icebergs, whales, birds and other marine activity.
There is ample resting areas along the way, either a bench, viewing area or picnic table. The trail does have signage, which would be improved upon for visitors to ensure they are aware of the interconnected trail network that makes up the multi-day Iceberg Trail from L’anse aux Meadows to St. Lunaire-Griquet. This is another economic development initiative of St. Anthony Basin Resources Inc. (SABRI).
I look forward to spending more days trekking the trails in this particular region. The coastline just creates an atmosphere that will have you lost in all the beauty you have found.
Add Cape Raven Trail on Crow Head at Straitsview, NL to your must do trail list when visiting the Great Northern Peninsula. When you are done you can head on up to Skipper Hots for some wonderful pub food.
Learn more about the Great Northern Peninsula’s trails by clicking here.
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