Category Archives: Community Economic Development

At least 80 reasons to visit our Great Northern Peninsula!

I’ve put together a list of walking/hiking trails and lookouts on the Great Northern Peninsula from Bellburns and all communities to the North. I’ll be linking these with posts with images and more information on each trail as I am able to update. In 2020, I created a challenge to get them all completed, so now I encourage you all to join the challenge when you visit the Great Northern Peninsula for yourself.

Quirpon Island
Table Point Ecological Reserve, north of Bellburns
  • Trails from Bellburns to Reef’s Harbour (GNP Central-South):
  • Table Point Ecological Reserve (between Bellburns and River of Ponds)
  • River of Ponds Walking Trails
    • trail to the beach 3 km
    • trail to big pond (section still under development)
  • Hawke’s Bay
    • John Hogan Trail, 6.4 km
  • Port Saunders
  • Port au Choix
    • Dorset Trail
    • Coastal Trail
    • Phillip’s Garden Trail
    • Point Riche Trail
    • Barbace Cove Trail
  • Bartlett’s Harbour
  • New Ferolle
    • Old Ferolle Lighthouse Trail
  • Reef’s Harbour
    • St. Margaret’s Bay Trail
White Point Walking Trail, Bartlett’s Harbour
  • Trails from Plum Point to Eddies Cove East (GNP West):
  • Bird Cove
    • Dog Peninsula Trail
    • Long Pond Trail
  • Plum Point
    • Basque Site Boardwalk
    • Mount St. Margaret Ski Club and Trails
    • St. Genevieve River Trail
  • St. Barbe to Forrester’s Point (interconnected trail network)
  • Anchor Point
    • Deep Cove Trail
    • Deep Cove Trail extension to gazebo and beach
    • Deep Cove Ski Club and Trails
  • Flower’s Cove
  • Nameless Cove
    • Flower’s Island Lighthouse Trail
  • Sandy Cove
    • Ecological Reserve for Longs Braya
Captain James Cook Cairn, Dog Peninsula, Bird Cove
  • Trails from Englee to Croque (GNP East):
  • Englee
    • Barr’d Island Trail
    • Locker’s Point Trail
    • White Point Trail
    • Shoe Pond Hill Trail
  • Roddickton
    • Heritage Trail
    • The Farm
    • Underground Salmon Hole
  • Bide Arm
    • Armistice Park Trail
  • Conche
    • Sailor Jack’s Hill Lookout
    • Glass Hole
    • Fox Head Trail
    • Captain Coupelongue Trail
    • Sleepy Cove Trail
  • Croque
  • Main Brook
    • Main Brook Park Rugged Trails
The view from the gazebo, Shoe Cove Trail, Englee
  • St. Anthony Basin Region (GNP North)
  • North Boat Harbour
    • Highlands Boardwalk
  • Wild Bight
    • Whale Point Trail
    • Cape Norman Lighthouse
  • Cook’s Harbour
    • Garge Coates’ Lookout
  • Goose Cove East
    • Pumbley Cove Trail
  • St. Anthony
    • Bottom Brook Trails
    • Lamage Point
    • Tea House Hill
    • American Base Trail
    • Daredevil Trail
    • Cartier’s Trail
    • Whale Watcher’s Trail
    • Santana Trail
    • Iceberg Alley Trail
  • St. Anthony Bight
    • St. Anthony Point Loop
    • Silver Point Trail
  • St. Carol’s
    • John Patey Trail
  • Great Brehat
    • Flat Point Trail
    • Little Brehat Walking Trail
  • Triple Falls Trail (Route 430), 0.8 km
  • Aurora Nordic Ski Club and Trails
  • Raleigh
    • Burnt Cape Ecological Reserve
    • Cannon Holes and Big Oven Hike
    • Nuddick Trail
  • Ship Cove
  • St. Lunaire-Griquet
    • Gull Pond Municipal Park
    • St. Brendan’s Trail
    • Dog Head Trail
    • Camel’s Back Trail
  • L’anse aux Meadows
    • Birchy Nuddick Trail
    • Norstead Trail
    • Lacey’s Trail
    • Beginning of the Iceberg Trail
  • Gunner’s Cove
  • Hay Cove
    • Noddy Bay Head Trail
  • Straitsview
    • Cape Raven Trail
  • Noddy Bay
    • Squidjigging Point Trail
  • Quirpon
  • The Iceberg Trail (multi-day)
  • International Appalachian Trail
Sea Cave on Lacey’s Trail at L’anse aux Meadows

If there is a trail I’ve missed, please let me know and I’ll make an update. The Great Northern Peninsula, north of Gros Morne National Park and the gateway to Labrador offers visitors and residents hundreds of kilometres of trails and very unique experiences. There is beauty around every corner and so much to experience and explore when on a nature walk, hiking trail or a look-out.

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore #NeverStopExploring

Finding (Abandoned) Fortune on the GNP!

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

Expansion of Cellular Service on GNP another Success Story!

Today, is another game changer for our Great Northern Peninsula! The community of Conche joined 10 others (Bay de Verde, Burin, Burlington, Cow Head, Cox’s Cove, Forteau, Hampden, McIvers, Trout River and Winterton) in Newfoundland and Labrador that will see new or enhanced cellular service.

This is a big deal for a community at the heart of the French Shore that has a strong fishing community and has been diversifying its offering to include hospitality, tourism and cultural products. 2020 saw internet improvements and 2021 will also see the completion of paving on Route 434, as it was scheduled to be done in 2020 but the tendered work did not get completed before the end of the construction season. Conche will now be well positioned to compete in the 21st century and have opportunities for further growth. I wrote an article in 2014 entitled, “The Fire Still Burns – Conche, NL”. Although there have been changes over the years since that article, new businesses have opened and now with these investments there will be new opportunity in this region. An investment of cellular service can only help attract more visitors and residents to the Great Northern Peninsula!

Conche – The view from Sailor Jack’s Hill

I firmly believe that we must invest in advancing our transportation and telecommunications networks to remain competitive and enable rural economies to have the successful tools they need to thrive.

In 2018, it was truly a pleasure to serve as Minister of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation and gain the necessary approvals to create the first of its kind cellular service pilot program. Budget 2018 allocated $1 million to the program which required a partnership with a provider and community/organization and a contribution of 25 percent from the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. This initial program saw significant leverage and approvals for multiple communities on the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula (including L’anse aux Meadows, a World UNESCO site), Southeastern Labrador (including Red Bay, a World UNESCO site), Lark Harbour & York Harbour, various communities in St. Mary’s area, Bauline, Pouch Cove, King’s Point, Lord’s Cove and Francophone communities on the Port au Port peninsula.

Communities on the Great Northern Peninsula along Route 436, Route 437 and Route 430 have already reaped the benefits of cellular service, which means improved safety, enhanced quality of life, supports dozens of small businesses en route to L’anse aux Meadows World UNESCO Heritage Site, expand marketing potential and creates numerous other opportunities.

A trek along the Iceberg Trail, a multi-day hike from L’anse aux Meadows to St. Lunaire-Griquet including the abandoned community of Fortune or a trek to the Glass Hole in Conche will be much safer and I’m sure showing up more on Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook or other social media channels when there is a signal. I’ll share with you in some upcoming posts incredible hiking adventures that you can have on the Great Northern Peninsula!

The Glass Hole – Conche, NL

The Great Northern Peninsula has come a long way in the last decade with dozens of communities connected to high-speed Internet and cellular service for the first time, Conche seeing its road into the community paved for the first time in 50 years and many other investments in roads, wharfs, airport and other vital infrastructure. To have strong rural economics it is vital to keep advancing these two pillars – Transportation and Telecommunications! Let’s keep building stronger communities!

Today is another great day for our Great Northern Peninsula!

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA for District of St. Barbe-L’anse aux Meadows

Climbing another Mountain in 2020

I did something amazing to end the year in 2019! Ending 2019 on a natural 5,200 metre high and out of breath in the Andes of Peru – Rainbow Mountain was worth every step! World UNESCO and so impressive in Peru! Happy early New Year everyone!

This was the posting I made on Facebook to share with friends this spectacular experience, as the year 2020 was about to begin. At the top, for just a brief moment, snow fell into the palm of my hand and I felt very connected to my home and those I loved that were so very far away. Peru was on my bucket for quite some time, especially exploring the Sacred Valley of the Incas and the Sanctuary Lodge showcasing pre-Columbian South America’s most advanced civilization at Machu Picchu.

I returned home after my South American tour, little did I know at the time that in March the adventures I had planned to explore distant far off lands would be put on hold for the remainder of 2020. Despite this travel set back, it didn’t stop me from pursuing new goals and new adventures at home, even though I had completed my map of visiting every community in NL in July 2019.

There were so many unknowns about Covid-19, but I began getting some fresh air and began walking in April. Our Great Northern Peninsula winters can last well into May, so it wasn’t always ideal walking around our little community. It took awhile for me to enjoy the morning air and exercise, but it slowly became something I enjoyed while listening to a podcast, music, talking with friends or just taking in the seaside views of my little hometown. As winter melted away and we moved into the early beginnings of summer, I was truly addicted to walking and decided I would explore the walking and hiking trails on the Great Northern Peninsula. I didn’t realize at the time I would find 80 of them in the Northern half of the peninsula. I look forward to sharing posts of the Glass Hole in Conche, The Iceberg Trail en route to L’anse aux Meadows and many other lesser known walks. I slowly realized the island of Newfoundland was a hiker’s dream with so many incredible walking trails scattered across unique topography, including the Grand Concourse, T’Railway and the Holy Grail of hiking in NL – the East Coast Trail!

One of my biggest highlights in 2020 was a mountain I’ve wanted to climb for a long time despite it being so very close to home. On July 19th, 2020, I completed a bucket list item of scaling Gros Morne Summit (806 M) and the second highest peak on the island of Newfoundland.

The morning wasn’t very promising as the fog was as thick as peas soup in Norris Point, so we waited and waited until we felt we couldn’t wait any longer as the trek would be about 8 hours. It was around 11 AM before we left the parking lot and there were some already coming down the mountain as we reached the based and they relayed our fears that there was no view at the top. We made the decision to continue on anyway and hope that in the afternoon the fog would lift. The cloudy weather proved to be very helpful, as it kept us cool while scaling the face of the mountain. I have to admit that this was quite a challenge and the goal always was getting to the next rock, sometimes not that much further than the last. It did get easier after a pile of snacks and getting closer to the top was always motivating. After making it to the summit and taking a few photos, there still wasn’t a lot to be seen in the fog. We continued on to go down the back of the mountain and got to an area where it began to look like we could get some promising photos if the fog would just lift. I decided that my prayers to the weather gods had gone unanswered, so I sent out one to former weatherman and current MP Scott Simms because former Premier Dwight Ball and the MHA for that area at the time always joked that weather was a Federal responsibility. Well, after a short time waiting he didn’t disappoint. There were picture perfect and panoramic views from the top of the glacial formations, deep fjord arms, ponds and other natural beauty that made the hike of nearly 20 KM return that day worth all the effort. I think my legs felt the aftermath of the trek for days, but truly, I want to do it all over again.

Gros Morne Mountain is just pure treasure and definitely one of the top destination hikes in Newfoundland and Labrador. The trailhead begins just 7 KM south of Rocky Harbour on the Viking Trail, Route 430. For more information, visit Parks Canada: Gros Morne Mountain – Gros Morne National Park (pc.gc.ca)

Gros Morne Mountain can be your anchor or gateway to visiting the rest of the Great Northern Peninsula and experiencing, Where the World Came Full Circle a little further north.

Although, I didn’t climb a mountain at the end of 2020, I did lace up my ice skates with my family as we rented the ice at the local arena and realized that 2020 was indeed a different year. One that caused us all to pause, if for some only for a little while, but to re-assess and understand what is truly important. Like 2019, in 2020 I climbed another mountain and look forward to climbing more in 2021. Always set goals, make plans and …

Never Stop Exploring,

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA St. Barbe-L’anse aux Meadows

Live Rural NL returns in 2021

I’m excited to announce the return of regular postings to LiveRuralNL.com.

I started this blog, LiveRuralNL.com more than a decade ago, reaching a peak of nearly 300,000 annual views in 2015, with visitors from more than 170 unique countries around the world and a global total now that exceeds 1.3 million views. I had written more than 600 postings and really want to thank all of my dedicated followers over the years and those who continue to read the content and leave feedback. I didn’t realize when I started in June 2010 the significant interest that would be garnered from the blog posts about my Great Northern Peninsula home. However, the last decade has truly given me an incredible opportunity to visit every cove and bay in Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as, gain much knowledge and appreciation for the place that is my home. I have a desire to continue to share experiences, promote our communities, culture and way of life, and have a passion to never stop exploring.

In 2011, I was elected to the provincial legislature and continued to post new content and maintain regular blog updates. However, in 2015, I was re-elected to office and appointed to the serve as a Minister in the Newfoundland and Labrador Government, in which I had to scale back my personal commitment to this blog and it has been more than two years since an update. During the Covid-19 global pandemic I continued to remain very busy working with a dedicated team to navigate and ensure continuity of Government programs and services. In August 2020, I announced I would not be seeking re-election after serving three terms in office and wished to pursue other interests outside public life. I continue to serve as a Member of the House of Assembly with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador until the election is held sometime this year. Since then I’ve also been using any personal time to pursue many interests that included more time with family, hiking, photography, cooking, mixology, reading, sketching and exploring the great outdoors. All of which, combined with my decade of past experiences will help to generate some exciting new content for LiveRuralNL.

I have reflected upon the year 2020, which was a significant turning point for me. It brought to light important personal relationships that needed more attention, heightened physical activity and desire for a career change. I achieved reaching the summit of Gros Morne Mountain (a long time personal goal that was always put on the backburner), completed all the trails of the Grand Concourse, hiked many sections of the East Coast Trail, completed sections of the T’Railway, checked off 80 trails, walks and lookouts in the District from River of Ponds and north on the Great Northern Peninsula and a number of places in between, logging more than 1,500 KMs. I’m looking forward to change and embracing the next mountain to climb, as I never plan to stop exploring.

It is a new year for all of us – let 2021 bring new beginnings. I’ve had an incredible honour and privilege over this past decade doing my best to serve the people of the Great Northern Peninsula and province of Newfoundland and Labrador as a provincial representative. As this chapter in life is closing, a new one is beginning and I look forward to being able to once again put a greater focus on writing and sharing more of the Great Northern Peninsula and Life in Rural Newfoundland and Labrador on my blog, LiveRuralNL that has brought me much joy over the past ten years and has been around the world many many times.

Everyone needs to experience our Great Northern Peninsula – Where the World Came Full Circle, at least once in their lifetime! I encourage everyone to come visit us on the Great Northern Peninsula when it is again safe to do so! Until then, begin making your plans and check back regularly for new postings.

From the beginning until now, it truly has been an incredible journey. And, the best is yet to come!

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA District of St. Barbe-L’anse aux Meadows #NeverStopExploring

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