Blog Archives

French Carvings Found on Epine Cadoret Trail, Croque, NL

The Great Northern Peninsula is full of unique places to visit and explore. We have over 5,000 years of inhabitation from our first indigenous people to the Norse a millennia ago to more recent Europeans coming since the 1400’s.

The Epine Cadoret Trail is found leading to the mouth of Croque Harbour and exhibits carvings from French sailors made in mid-1800’s. Very similar to French photograph Miot in Sacred Bay who graffitied the word Album on what is now known as “Album Rock”, these sailors have forever left an inscription in stone that has indeed stood the test of time.

There are a couple of ways to find yourself at the Epine Cadoret trail which is 2.4 KM return on the road to St Julien’s or Grandois. Head north on the Viking Trail (Route 430), you can exit at Grenfell Drive (Route 432) at Plum Point to head toward Roddickton and then take a left to Main Brook and 6 KM prior to Main Brook you would take 438 to Croque which is nearly a 20 KM gravel road. You turn left toward St Julien’s road and will find a gazebo, sign and parking area. Alternatively, you can drive Route 430 (Viking Trail) to St Anthony airport and turn right on Grenfell Drive, Route 432 it is a loop road) for about 30 KM past Main Brook to Croque road which is Route 438. I will issue a warning though that the trail is in very poor condition in places and use at your own risk.

My first attempt to traverse this trail was during the Grandois Come Home Year in 2015. The first time I walked to the end of the board walk, not realizing these carvings ever existed. I was telling some locals I had done the walking trail. They had advised me I had not gone far enough, so the next day I did the walk again but made it nearly to wear the carvings were but came across fresh bear dung that was quite large. Given I was in the forest, without cellular coverage and alone, I opted to leave the trail and return to my car. At the time I would say I was an very inexperienced hiker.

It is hard to believe five years would pass before I would reach the carvings. The trail obviously has fallen into further disrepair since 2015, however, you can still navigate the trail along the pathways or shoreline, just watch for broken or rotted wood on the boardwalk. Use the trail at your own risk and discretion.

Along your journey you will see a waterfall, natural views of the sea, coastline, flowers and Croque from a distance in addition to the French carvings. It’s a very relaxing walk. One where you truly feel alone with nature.

Croque was once the headquarters for the French Navy and played a critical role along the French Shore. Today, it is home to a tiny population. The French cemetery remains and so do many red fishing rooms along the harbour. There are many stories left to be told of this place and shared with the world.

I always loved visiting Croque and St. Julien’s (Grandois) and The Epine Cadoret Croque Harbour Walking Trail is another reason for anyone who hasn’t been to get out and explore. The 2.4 KM return trail takes you to more than 150 year old rock carvings from French Sailors. Get out and explore the Great Northern Peninsula and another part of the French Shore!

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

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore

French Shore Historical Society

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

%d bloggers like this: