NEW Trip for Summer 2024Magdalen Islands Haven WalkView Trip Details
Duration
8 days
Activities
  • 6 day self guided hiking
Accommodation
  • 7 nights B&B's/guesthouses
Meals
  • 5 Dinners
  • 5 Lunches
  • 7 Breakfasts

Price

$1800USD

* All prices subject to applicable taxes

Trip Code: ETS

Overview

Trip highlights


  • Enjoy stunning coastal multi-day hiking
  • Opportunities to spot whales, icebergs, puffins, and moose
  • Discover colourful and historic fishing villages and communities
  • Step foot on the most easterly point of North America
  • Experience first-hand friendly Newfoundland hospitality

The East Coast Trail, with its 26 wilderness paths totalling over 300km/186 mi along the Province’s Avalon Peninsula, is the perfect way to experience the majestic cliffs, deep fjords, dense greenery, breathtaking sea stacks, arches, and ocean caves. This gorgeous coastal charm is enough to capture anyone's imagination of Newfoundland as a popular destination for adventurers and nature lovers alike. Our flexible itineraries capture Newfoundland's nature and culture on full display, from popular day hikes along Cape Spear and Deadman’s Bay to the off-the-beat path wonder at Berry Head. Great Canadian Trails removes all logistical headaches with friendly transfers and comfortable accommodations. Discover the history and seafood available in small villages from Quidi Vidi and Petty Harbour to the capital of St Johns. The East Coast Trail is a journey of a lifetime filled with astonishing natural beauty and fascinating cultural experiences that will stay with you forever.

Activities:
Grading:
5

Moderate

More info about grading system


Welcome to the windy, colourful and boisterous capital of Newfoundland. You will need to find your way to your charming B&B in the centre of town (details are provided with your final documents). Spend the rest of the day exploring one of the oldest cities in North America, discovering its bright-painted heritage houses and buildings, restaurants, galleries and antique shops. Your accommodation is also close to the legendary nightlife and live music on George Street.

Meals:  Nil

Technically today’s loop is not part of the East Trail, but it’s too beautiful to miss. We walk along a lake north of St John’s to the old fishing village of Quidi Vidi (pronounced Kiddy Viddy), which is home to the province’s largest microbrewery, and an acclaimed restaurant in one of the oldest buildings in North America (lunch reservations are required). After refreshing yourself with Quidi Vidi’s Iceberg beer, made with the pure waters of 20,000-year-old iceberg water, head over to the Sugarloaf Path located at the southern end of the ECT. It’s a solid hike up to the top of Bowdens Highland for an incredible view over the village, and St John’s in the distance. The walk back to the city follows a gorgeous coastal path, crossing the National Historic Site of Signal Hill and the Battery of St John’s Harbour. You will be met by your friendly driver around 3 pm and transferred to your beautiful B&B in Bay Bulls, your home for the next two nights.

Meals:  B,D

You will be picked up after breakfast and taken to the trail head at Petty Harbour for your hike to Cape Spear, the most easterly point of the continent, in the shadow of the oldest surviving lighthouse in Newfoundland and Labrador, and an iconic symbol of the province’s maritime history. Your hike will feature board-walked bog crossings, a variety of terrains, two river crossings and expansive views of deep swells rolling in across the Atlantic. You have plenty of time to explore the Cape Spear Lighthouse, which was originally built in 1836 and rebuilt in 1955 using the active light of the original lighthouse before you are transferred back to Bay Bulls.

Meals:  B,L,D

After a hearty breakfast, you take on two of the easier sections of the East Coast Trail, ending at the famous brightly-painted saltbox houses in the community of Tors Cove. With its epic views of blue ocean, rocks, field and forest, “the Cribbies” is the most photographed meadow in Newfoundland. It has one of the best views of the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve, and fairy-tale magic about the place. The trail hugs the shoreline with lovely shore and coastal views all the way to the reserve, which is a sanctuary for puffins and migrating seabirds. The area is also a popular feeding ground for humpback whales, so keep an eye out for tails and breaches. After reaching the Cribbies you'll be brought to a lovely accommodation in Port Kirwan with home cooked meals and delightful island hospitality.

Meals:  B,L,D

If there’s a single photo of your trip that will stop people in their tracks, it will be the massive sea arch at Berry Head located on the Spurwink Island Path section of the trail. Chunks of the stratified archway continue to fall to the ground below, while the reflecting ocean window is sublime on a summer day. You have the option of hiking the full distance southwards from Aquaforte back to your accommodation or to do an out-and-back hike to the archway from your accommodation. Both options result in similar hiking distances, but the latter (out and back) route avoids the north section, which is a rugged hike through dense forest with few coastal views.

Meals:  B,L,D

Beginning with grassy meadows and mixed woods, today's path crosses numerous brooks in taking you to a fantastic lookout point overlooking The Forge. This monumental cinder block of rock regularly has high waves break over it during rough seas. This is one of many impressive lookout points to be found on the day's hike which also features views of Renews harbour, of a thriving cormorant colony nesting on Renews Island, and of more waves breaking over rocks and sea-washed ledges. Upon your return to Port Kirwan, you'll be provided another home-cooked meal as you reflect on the day's adventure.

Meals:  B,L,D

Beginning at the Bay Path Trailhead, your return path into the city will be hilly, with a few steep climbs or descents, the coastal path traces a long ridge past a former settlement, an old mine and is the location of several shipwrecks. A placard at Fort Amherst, which still houses the remains of WWII gun emplacements and signs of the 17th century Ford Frederick, signals the end of the East Coast Trail. From here you will walk back to St. John’s. Having ticked off some of the most magnificent hikes in Newfoundland, celebrate with some screech in the boisterous pubs on George Street

Meals:  B,L

Services end after breakfast. We hope you enjoyed your stay at 'the Rock'!

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • 7 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 5 dinners
  • 7 nights in B&B's/guesthouses on a double occupancy basis
  • Luggage transfers (1 piece per person)
  • Transfers to/from trailheads as indicated in itinerary
  • Navigation APP inclusive of detailed route notes and points of interest (available offline while hiking)
  • Set of trail maps (1 per group)
  • Use of Garmin emergency communications device (1 per group)
  • $50 donation to the East Coast Trail Association

  • Travel to and from St. John's
  • Items of a personal nature including alcoholic beverages
  • Meals and transfers where not indicated in the itinerary
  • Travel insurance (compulsory)
  • Entrance fees and optional activities
  • Airport transfers
  • Applicable taxes

Accommodation


Trail Surface


Suitability

Moderate

5

Moderate. Daily walks are between 8km and 16km on well marked trails over diverse and often rugged terrain – from relatively flat to short, steep sections. Most of the walk is on trail with some boarded surfaces, exposed tree roots, and likely mud and/or rocks to scramble over. You should pay particular attention to your footwear to ensure that it is suitable to avoid blisters and rolling ankles. This is not a trip for breaking in new hiking boots! Be sure you have tried and tested your boots in wet conditions and over uneven terrain. Route finding will be reasonably straightforward (refer to information regarding self guided adventures) but days are long and weather conditions will be variable. The main areas to concentrate on route finding are arriving and leaving towns and cities, and along rocky shores. The accent is on keeping a steady pace to take in all of the views, with time to stop and take photos. You will need a good level of fitness to participate fully in this adventure. Self guided walking requires individuals to use problem solving skills, be adaptable and have a keen eye. It is recommended that you are comfortable map reading, referring to route notes and that you have a good sense of direction (or are willing to work on improving this!) Sometimes route finding, losing your way, finding it again and asking the locals for help is all part of the adventure. If you’ve never been on a self guided trip, after the first couple of days you will get the hang of if as the vast majority of our first time travellers attest. Please be assured that our written material issued to you for route finding is updated regularly and we provide local contact information in the event of any problems. There is a certain level of the unknown that comes with self guided trips, however with a methodical approach potential problems will be averted. The freedom of a self guided trip is something that, once experienced, is sought time and time again.


Departure dates

Daily from June through October 9

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Priceper person from

$1800USD

* All prices subject to applicable taxes

Options & Supplements*
  • Single SupplementUSD$490
* Prices listed are per person. All prices subject to applicable taxes.

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Hiking Newfoundland's East Coast Trail with Great Canadian Trails