Category Archives: Walking & Hiking Trails

Sleeping Dragon Lives at Crow Head, Port Saunders, NL

Crow Head Walking Trail in Port Saunders is a 2.9 KM loop that gives you views of Keppel Island, a fascinating balancing rock, a sleeping dragon, windswept forests and so much more. A lovely trek on the Great Northern Peninsula. It’s even appreciated by the locals.

The Town of Port Saunders is the Government Service Centre for the central portion of the Great Northern Peninsula, with a host of Government offices, programs and services available to the public. It is also home to a very important and dominant fishing industry, which supports the small business community to create a very strong community. The Town has recently been focusing on diversifying to promote and establish more tourism assets, given they have Keppel Island and multiple walking trails. The Crow Head Walking trail is a natural beauty and one you will want to visit when in the area on the Great Northern Peninsula.

Take the Port Saunders and Port au Choix route off the Viking Trail (Route 430). The Town of Port Saunders is 4 KM drive and take a left and travel Main Street. As you drive Main Street the road will fork and you turn left and drive to the end of the road where there is a parking and signage to begin the trail. You will also catch your first glimpse of Keppel Island.

As a resident of the Great Northern Peninsula, I never tire of the adventure and pure beauty that exists all around my home. There are beautiful windswept forests, ocean views, flowers, berries, unique rocks and coastlines that just stimulate the mind and want you to keep coming back for a swim, a picnic, a boat ride, a beach fire or just to experience in all weather days and in different seasons. Another impressive feature on this trail is the “Balancing Rock”.

It is really interesting to see a rock of this stature that is just hanging on the edge of the cliffs. One would think with all the wind that a rock such as that would topple to the ground. It is definitely a nice addition when walking this trail. There are also viewing areas, and several stairs.

Keppel Island is also a unique opportunity and the Town of Port Saunders has made several attempts to sell it for private sector development to further create jobs in the local economy. I know one thing for sure, I’m looking forward to future visits.

Get out and explore more of our Great Northern Peninsula. Crow Head Walking trail and that Sleeping Dragon is a must visit as part of your destination.

You can also visit more trail offerings by reading the following post.

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore

Hiking Adventures to Conche’s Glass Hole

Conche is at the heart of the French Shore and is home to a robust fishing community and a developing tourism industry that remains steadfast in promoting the region’s French connection. The Town’s sign says Welcome to Conche with the tag line, The Beauty Spot of the North. Beauty surrounds this community from the look-out at Sailor Jack’s Hill, the coastline of Crouse, from Sleepy Cove to the Stages, Fox Head, the waterfront, to one of the most impressive hiking experiences on the Great Northern Peninsula, known as the Glass Hole.

I’ve been to Conche so many times, but never ventured to the Glass Hole trail until this past summer. A 4 to 4.5 KM hike along the top of the cliffs of Conche, which takes you to a cavern in the heights of the cliffs. At the very bottom you are at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. One can begin the journey by parking at the World War II plane crash memorial site. The first few hundred metres are a little steep until you get to Conche lookout. You will want to climb to the top and get views of Conche, but also the Grey Islands off in the distance. There is also a variety of wild flowers to enjoy as you trek.

Rating: Moderate Trail

Conche is currently not connected by cellular coverage, but that will change with a recent announcement that will bring the service to the community through a partnership with the Government of NL, Town of Conche and Bell Mobility. This will certainly make taking a hiking adventure that much safer and also allow you to use your Instagram or other social media to instantly share this remarkable beauty with the rest of the world. In the meantime plan your hiking adventures accordingly. I’ve had the great pleasure to work with residents of Conche to see much development, including the paving of Route 434. This improved access will help increase tour bus and visitor traffic into the community and the region. Conche and the entire Great Northern Peninsula East is poised to see more people visiting the region in the near future. This presents business opportunities for current and future operators to add services and experiences.

A walk through the paths in the forests, the views along the headlands, the beaches are just remarkable. You have the opportunity to bird watch, whale watch or see icebergs (in season) and truly enjoy nature. The trail could use some additional signage to highlight the distance and ensure you don’t stop short of actually experience what is the glass hole. There is a rope in which you have to take to scale down the incline to meet the North Atlantic ocean.

This is a must see destination trail when visiting the Great Northern Peninsula! Your hiking adventure to the Glass Hole in 2021 awaits! Start planning for your unique French Shore experience today.

Learn more about the Great Northern Peninsula’s trails by clicking here.

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore

St. Barbe is your Gateway to the Great Northern Peninsula and Labrador

St. Barbe-Pigeon Cove on the Great Northern Peninsula is the year-round port for the MV Qajaq W, which crosses the Strait of Belle Isle in 1 hour and 45 minutes to land in Blanc Sablon, Quebec, just a few kilometres south of the Labrador border. For Ferry Information click here.

The opening and significant investment of paving in the Trans-Labrador highway, as well as a World UNESCO designation for Red Bay Basque Site has increased visitor traffic to Labrador. In 2019, the former MV Apollo was replaced with an enhanced vessel with 12 year $144 million contract to improve service. The work continues to see further upgrades of local infrastructure.

A number of tour companies see Gros Morne National Park and Tablelands World UNESCO site and L’anse aux Meadows World UNESCO Heritage site as the perfect itinerary, with the inclusion of UNESCO at Red Bay, Labrador. The community of St. Barbe offers accommodations, food services, gas station, retail and is a hub of recreation activity.

While visiting this community or waiting for your ferry commute, I encourage you to take a walk on the beautiful trails. The St. Barbe-Pigeon Cove Walking trail is part of an inter-connected system that can take you as far as Forrester’s Point in a linear trail. It is more than 10 kilometres to complete the full system on a return journey.

This portion of the trail begins at the St. Barbe RV park, which is across from the Ferry Terminal. You can follow the fence to the forest and follow a crushed stone pathway that will take you to the waterfront area of Pigeon Cove in just a short kilometre.

I had the pleasure of taking this trail during the summer, but also recently in January, which offered another unique perspective as freezing was beginning in the harbour.

The St. Barbe RV park has been since upgraded with new red siding and will be ready for your business this coming season. There are many important amenities and offerings for the visitor, commuter or resident in St. Barbe-Pigeon Cove. When visiting the Great Northern Peninsula, this is gateway you will not want to miss.

Learn more about the Great Northern Peninsula’s trails by clicking here.

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore

The Wonders of White Point Walking Trail

Wedged between the communities of Bartlett’s Harbour and Castor River North is White Point. It’a natural beauty offers an incredible nature and walking experience as you crest along the coastline and hug the forest on your journey.

The Great Northern Peninsula has an impressive network of walking trails and one of the newest additions is located off Route 430 at the Castor River North and Bartlett’s Harbour turnout. As you approach the community of Bartlett’s Harbour on the left you will see a boat with moose antlers, a number of picnic tables, benches and other features that mark the beginning of the White Point Trail. There isn’t any designated parking at this current time, but there is no issue with parking at roadside and enjoying the serene and picturesque views along this more than 2 KM walking trail return. Trail rating: Easy.

As you walk the crushed stone pathway you immediately have to stop to view the inukshuk, teepee and other pieces that have a dedication to our indigenous people, who have been in the region for more than 5,000 years. The community of Bartlett’s Harbour has a large percentage of the population that identify as aboriginal.

In mid-August, I took a few minutes to go off Route 430 (Viking Trail) to take the White Point trail. The results were these pristine images of forests, bodies of water and I truly felt I was in a very special place, connected deeply with Mother Nature. There are ample rest areas, including the very popular green tree chair. I love the creativity and innovation that exist with residents of our local communities. All of this adds to the uniqueness of our home and special feeling one gets when visiting.

It was quite exciting to see what the local development association and the local employees had achieved through a Job Creation Partnership with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. These partnerships created something not only for the local residents to enjoy on a daily basis but for those in the region and those visiting to truly appreciate this corner of the world. The community of Bartlett’s Harbour and the Development Association have a plan to expand and connect the two neightbouring communities through various phases of trail development. In October, I returned to the trail and got to check out the expansion closer to the point. On my journey this time, I even saw a moose. The trail was still in progress but this phase has since been completed. I look forward to returning in the 2021 hiking season!

The impressive Highlands of St. John are in view and this really is a remarkable place to have a picnic, pick some berries, read a book or just truly enjoy the awe inspiring view. Bartlett’s Harbour and the expanded White Point Trail is one of those places well worth turning off and experiencing for yourself the beauty that is the Great Northern Peninsula.

Learn more about the Great Northern Peninsula’s trails by clicking here.

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore

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
  • 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
  • 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

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