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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

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

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

Fresh vegetables, herbs, teas, creams and a Blast for the Past!

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A green thumb and a little creativity leads to promotion of healthy eating and use of all natural products, as well as a unique community economic development initiative with a trip down memory lane in Roddickton.

Good green things are growing in the forms of peppers, zucchini, tomatoes and other legumes. Only the freshest herbs and teas are produced at Elsie’s greenhouse. I love her chocolate raspberry tea in the evening, as well as spearmint, peppermint and fresh garlic. Her creative labels illustrate the great market sense with product titles as “Oh My Joints” to help ease arthritic pain, “Oh My Bum”  baby creams or “Good-bye Bugs” which is an effective solution to keep the bugs at bay. She is registered in home-based food preparation with Service NL. A hobby and lifestyle has led to sharing recipes, ideas and advice on her Facebook page “Natural Beauty & Healthy Living”. Community is strengthened when people put their talents to use and share them with others. Small business has always been and always will be the driver of the local economy. We have lots of room for small-scale farming, greenhouses, secondary processing and the ability to establish a network of community supported micro-entrepreneurs. 1891273_10152194187642667_416760573_n

After enjoying some natural berry infused water, I began taking a walk down the Blast from the Past Memory Trail.

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Along the trail there are many traditional articles that depict how past residents grew up, such as the old wood stove, handmade chimney sweet, cooking pots, water buckets, scrubbing board, beds, mummers and more. Certainly much work went into this walking trail, with items brightly coloured to add to the visual appeal. Elsie’s pride for flowers are present in every exhibit.

This is a very unique open air museum and public display of art worthy of a visit. Rural Newfoundland & Labrador is full of ideas, creative minds and opportunity! I encourage you to drop by and experience the Blast from the Past yourself, but also think about what you can do to add something new to your community.

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North
@MitchelmoreMHA 
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