Duration
6 days
Activities
  • 4 days self-guided hiking
Accommodation
  • 3 nights B&B's/guesthouses
Meals
  • 3 Dinners
  • 3 Lunches
  • 3 Breakfasts

Trip Code: SOG8153

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

As whale pods patrol an emerald coast, sea birds flutter overhead in the salty fresh breeze, while plump golden bakeapples sprout across windswept barrens. Bright-painted clapboard houses sit alongside worn nets and lobster traps. With this stunning coastal beauty enriched by colourful seafaring communities, it’s little wonder Newfoundland captures the imagination. Comprised of 26 wilderness paths totalling over 300km/186mi along the province’s Avalon Peninsula, the East Coast Trail covers towering cliffs, deep fjords, dense greenery and dramatic sea-stacks, arches and ocean caves. Our itinerary gathers the very best of these trails while removing all your logistical headaches, lightening your load with friendly transfers and providing comfortable, authentic accommodation too. Offering plenty of flexibility, Newfoundland’s nature and culture are on full display, from popular day hikes along Cape Spear and Deadman’s Bay to the less-trafficked wonders at Flamber Head and Berry Head. You’ll meet the story-rich characters that breathe life into the coastal communities, and discover the history and seafood available in small villages from Quidi Vidi and Petty Harbour all the way to the capital of St John’s. The East Coast Trail is less arduous but no less stunning than its western counterpart, an unforgettable adventure no come-from-away will want to miss.

Activities:
Grading:
5

Moderate

More info about grading system


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 your B&B in the city follows a gorgeous coastal path, crossing the National Historic Site of Signal Hill and the Battery of St John’s Harbour.

Meals:  Nil

After breakfast, you'll be picked up at your hotel and dropped off at in Cape Spear. Today, your hike begins at the most easterly point of North America: Cape Spear. Perched on a rugged cliff lies Cape Spear Lighthouse – the oldest surviving lighthouse in the province and an iconic symbol of Newfoundland and Labrador's mariner history. Constructed in 1836, the Cape Spear Lighthouse consists of a stone light tower surrounded by the lightkeeper's residence. In 1955 a new lighthouse tower was built on the site using the active light from the original lighthouse. A morning arrival allows us to enjoy this popular attraction with few others... and few others are likely to be leaving the site by foot! The walk back to Petty Harbour is a beautiful outing with a variety of terrain, hills, long views, boardwalked bog crossings, and two river crossings. Pack your windbreaker and be mindful of your footing - The continent's edge is a windy one! Transfer back to St Johns.

Meals:  Nil

Transfer from St John's to Cape Boyle and drop off at Belle Maison.

Meals:  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

Kayaking

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. Stop in Ferryland on the way back to St John's

Meals:  B,L


Inclusions

  • Meals while at Belle Maison
  • 3 nights at Belle Maison 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)
  • Use of Garmin emergency communications device (1 per group)
  • $50 donation to the East Coast Trail Association

  • Services and hotels in 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


Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Our Expertise

Everyone who works with us, from our office staff, ground staff and guides is the ‘’real deal’’. Our team is comprised of actual hikers and cyclists who have explored or live in the region in which you will be travelling. Our entire network is highly-specialised in active travel.

Great Value

Quality services at the best price make our adventures great value for money. Having essential items included like National Park fees, charming accommodations, most meals, bikes for cycling trips, maps and support for peace of mind. Our inclusions allow you to better budget for your big adventure.

Innovative Itineraries

We look beyond the horizon to find new and exciting adventures. We’re passionate about shaping the next generation of outdoor travel in Canada, and constantly seek different ways, routes and alternatives to exceed our clients’ dreams.

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We are committed to responsible travel and true sustainability, formed when the company was established, and in the face of a multitude of threats to the environment, our commitment is stronger than ever. We aim to "leave no trace" in both an environmental and cultural sense.

Videos

Hiking Newfoundland's East Coast Trail with Great Canadian Trails