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 –
French Shore Historical Society
Have you ever been to Album Rock? This is another one of our best kept secrets on the Great Northern Peninsula!
A remote landmark named for a photograph taken by an 1850s photographer Paul-Émile Miot and his crew of graffiti artists. Just imagine the unique history here in Sacred Bay?
When you’re next in Ship Cove on the Great Northern Peninsula you must check this out! Take Treena’s Trail and at the beach turn right to find it for yourself!
First travel the Great Northern Peninsula on Route 430, known as the Viking Trail. You will have to take Route 436 which is the road to L’anse aux Meadows and turn to Raleigh on Route 437 just a few kilometres along the way. The road to Raleigh is 13 KM and Ship Cove another 9 KM. There is a parking lot and signage that marks Trina’s Trail but there is very little reference or any to this unique piece of history!
The stairway down to the bay leads you to the mussel grounds. It was wonderful to see people collecting wild mussels at low tide. It’s something I did as a child at home. Ship Cove and Raleigh are known to produce good wild mussels. You continue along the beach to trek to Album Rock and Franche Point. There is certainly a lot of beauty along the way.
The Album Rock has interpretation and a gazebo where you can enjoy a meal or rest. Album Rock: Looking back through the lens of Paul-Émile Miot, which has been published by Boulder Publications is a book you may want to pick up if you are interested in a further story by Michael Hollett.
Local legend, Iris Decker, was a pillar of the community and she was so very proud of the little museum she worked hard to establish at the Ship Cove community hall. It promoted the work of Miot, and more of the community. I do hope others on the community will continue her work and see the value of further sharing the story, maintaining these unique trails and tourism assets for both locals and visitors to enjoy. There is opportunity in Ship Cove and for all neighbouring communities. I will certainly be scribing some further articles about Trina’s Trail, the former Tickle Inn of Cape Onion and so much more in the area.
I hope you will add the Album Rock to your list of rural adventures this summer. Learn more about the Great Northern Peninsula’s trails by clicking here.
Live Rural NL –
The Daredevil Trail on Fishing Point Municipal Park in St. Anthony, NL on the Great Northern Peninsula is a daunting 476 steps up and another 476 down. The views at the top will give you perfect panoramic views of the community, St. Anthony Bight, the coastline, whales, icebergs, birds, fishing boats and so much more.
St. Anthony is the largest community on the Great Northern Peninsula and was home to Sir Dr. Wilfred Grenfell and Lady Anne Grenfell. They were transformative to the people of this community and the entire Great Northern Peninsula and Labrador in their quest to improve both the economic and social needs for those they served. The Grenfell Historic Properties is one of the important tourism draws to the community, in addition there are boat tours, restaurants, accommodations, souvenir shops, dinner theatre, music, a craft brewery and an abundance of outdoor recreation.
At the very end of the Viking Trail (Route 430) you will find yourself in St. Anthony and will take West Street to Fishing Point Municipal Park. It is home to the famous Lightkeeper’s Seafood Restaurant, Great Viking Feast Dinner Theatre, Fishing Point Emporium, a place cherished by locals and it too has many walking and hiking trails:
- Dare Devil Trail
- Cartier’s Trail
- Whale Watcher’s Trail
- Santana Trail
- Iceberg Alley Trail
There is a dedicated parking lot for Santana Trail and also you can’t miss the 476 stairs going up the side of the cliff. Park here and take a short walk to the base of Daredevil Trail. I know the stairs look daunting but truly it isn’t so as there are rest areas and you take your time on this moderate to difficult trail.
At the very top is much like a Signal Hill with the views of the city, the ocean and directional signage of where places in the world can be found, while there is no Cabot Tower, there is a cellular tower and the former American Base is off in the distance.
You can easily spend hours at the top, enjoying a picnic, the sunrise or sunset, the activity below will always give you something to enjoy. At the very top is just incredibly peaceful and truly will leave you in awe. Fishing Point is truly a special place. The locals know the treasure they have and they truly cherish it. When in St. Anthony be a daredevil and climb to the very top!
Learn more about the Great Northern Peninsula’s trails by clicking here.
Live Rural NL –
Roddickton-Bide Arm is a region of the Great Northern Peninsula where hay is baled, and sheep would go to pasture. There is a tremendous opportunity to grow more agricultural products and ranch animals.
There are a number of individuals that are hobbyists farmers, planting root crops for subsistence, while others are growing on much larger scale. I enjoy purchasing fresh herbs, spices, teas and other organically grown items from Elsie and taking a walk on her trail of memories (See past article at: https://liveruralnl.com/2014/09/21/fresh-vegetables-herbs-teas-creams-and-a-blast-for-the-past/).
Recently, I dropped by the large greenhouse of Calvin’s on Route 433 outside the Town of Roddickton-Bide Arm. Last year they experimented with growing grapes. This year, many new items are growing including yellow summer squash, depicted below:
I was impressed by the range of product from cauliflower, zucchini, green onion, tomato, squash, greens, carrots, flowers and many more root crops and berries.
The friendly and knowledgeable staff are more than helpful, taking the care to find exactly what you are looking for to eat a little healthier. The cauliflower was so sweet,likely the best I’ve ever tasted.
Buying local creates jobs, builds a stronger economy. Sourcing your food locally helps with food security, reduces reliance on green house gases and gives you an understand of where your food came from, how it was grown and handled. Basically you can trace it from the source to your plate.
I encourage you to visit local farms, farmer’s markets, greenhouses, community gardens, grow your own and/or share with a friend or neighbour. We have incredible opportunity to grow good nutritious foods on the Great Northern Peninsula. We’ve been doing the basics for centuries.
Live Rural NL –
Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA (The Straits-White Bay North)
Marjorie Dempster is the artist behind the Pebble Beach Studio at Plum Point, NL on Great Northern Peninsula. We are lucky to have such talent that is one of our own, that truly depicts rural living. She should inspire us all to follow our interests.
Majorie was one of many families in rural Newfoundland & Labrador to experience re-settlement. Her move was in 1972 when her family left the Fishot island, which is just a few kilometers from the scenic Town of Conche to settle in Port au Choix. Marjorie grew up around the fishery and outport Newfoundland. After raising her family, she opted to change her focus from painting walls to painting on canvas.
Who would have thought that an acrylic Christmas present from her husband, would create an opportunity to depict our culture on canvas?
I purchased one of her tree liver designs (depicted below) in Red Bay, Labrador during the summer of 2012 from the Women’s Institute Gift Shop. I loved the way the lighthouse was shaped on the craggy coastline from the natural product. This has value! In 2002, in starting Flower’s Island Museum, I felt a much closer connection to lighthouses and the important role they played for our fishers. Those who earned their living from the sea.
This past Monday, I again saw more of Marjorie’s brilliant work. This piece was donated in aid of Breast Cancer Research. The color and shape of the flowers in bloom, along with a unique sky background reminds me of impressionism.
Both pictures have seal products next to her art. This is also a very important part of our living culture on the Great Northern Peninsula.
I really enjoy my new hobby, I do hope to continue as long as…..God Guides My Hand. – Marjorie Dempster
I am impressed by Marjorie for finding her talent and pursuing it with entrepreneurial action. We all have talents to share. If you like her work, visit www.pebblebeachstudio.com.
Live Rural NL –Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA The Straits-White Bay North