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Duration
10 days
Activities
  • 8 days self guided hiking
Accommodation
  • 9 nights B&B's/guesthouses
Meals
  • 5 Dinners
  • 7 Lunches
  • 9 Breakfasts

Price

$1835USD

* All prices subject to applicable taxes

Trip Code: GC1

Overview

Trip highlights


  • Enjoy stunning coastal hiking
  • Keep an eye out for whales, icebergs, puffins, bald eagles, and moose
  • Be charmed by colourful coastal fishing villages
  • Visit Historic Signal Hill in St. John's
  • Step foot on the most easterly point of North America
  • Experience first-hand friendly Newfoundland hospitality
  • Lunch with a view on a Ferryland Lighthouse Picnic

The East Coast Trail is a series of 26 wilderness paths totalling over 300 km along the Avalon Peninsula; ranked the world's top coastal destination in 2016 by National Geographic. Enjoy ocean splendours from the shore while traversing towering cliffs and headlands, sea stacks, coves, and deep fjords. Along the way, enjoy picturesque bay-side communities, abandoned settlements, ecological reserves, and a special lighthouse picnic. The package includes popular ECT day hikes such as Beaches Path, Deadman's Bay Path to Fort Amherst, and the most easterly point of North America along the Cape Spear Path. We also take you to more remote sections farther south such as beautiful Flamber Head Path and to the impressive sea arch at Berry Head. Take in the history and culture of small fishing towns, including picturesque Quidi Vidi, charming Petty Harbour and Renews; one of the very first harbours in North America to be frequented by Europeans. There is a real possibility of whale, puffins, moose, or iceberg sightings while on the trail; but encounters with genuine, story-telling local hosts are guaranteed!

Grading:
5

Moderate

More info about grading system


Itinerary

Welcome to St. John's, Newfoundland! You will be met at the airport and transferred to your charming B&B in the centre of town (Details will be provided with your final documents). The rest of the day is free to enjoy this lively city - Your accommodation is just a short walk away from the Harbour, most restaurants, art galleries, craft and antique shops, George Street night life, live theatre (LSPU Hall), Signal Hill Rd, and The Rooms.

Meals:  Nil

Today's hike isn't technically on the East Coast Trail, but that's really just a technicality. The route takes you along a lakeshore north of the city to picturesque Quidi Vidi ('Kiddy Viddy'), an old fishing village which is now considered part of St. John's and is home to the provinces largest microbrewery, as well as a trendy restaurant housed in one of the oldest wooden buildings in North America (lunch reservations required). QV is at the southern end of the ECT's Sugarloaf Path - We recommend a hike up to the top of Bowdens Highland and back for a fantastic view over the village and across to St. John's. The walk from Quidi Vidi to St. John's is a spectacular coastal route via historic Signal Hill and The Battery of St. John's Harbour which leads right back to your B&B.

Meals:  B

This morning, you will be transferred by your driver guide to the southernmost end of the East Coast Trail for a quick visit to the fishing villages and abandoned settlements of Renews-Cappahayden and then up to Ferryland; one of the most historic communities in Newfoundland where you can visit the Colony of Avalon Archaeology Site (and perform your own 'dig') or attend summer dinner theatre at the Arts Centre. Here, you will enjoy the very unique 'Lighthouse Picnic' experience as you are provided with a blanket to lay out where you like on the natural ocean-side terrace and then served a delicious lunch a-la picnic basket*. From Ferryland, take the trail north to Calvert where you will be picked up and taken to your charming guesthouse and treated to a tasty home-cooked dinner. *Picnics operate from late May early October, subject to availability at time of booking

Meals:  B,L,D

The section of the ECT called Spurwink Island Path is most well-known for its massive sea arch at Berry Head - The real highlight of the trail. Today, you have the option of hiking the full distance from your accommodation north to Aquaforte, or to do an out-and-back hike to the arch from your accommodation. Both options result in similar hiking distances, but the latter (out and back) route avoids the north section which is rugged slog mostly through woods and with few coastal views.

Meals:  B,L,D

After a hearty breakfast, you will be dropped off at La Manche Provincial Park, where you can explore an interesting former settlement and its iconic, relocated suspension bridge. Your walk today is south along the 'Flamber Head Path', one of the more remote and underrated sections of the ECT that takes you up and down wooded hills with lovely coastal viewpoints and high cliffs, including the dominant headlands of Cape Neddick and Flamber Head. Your hike ends at the lovely little harbour community of Brigus South, where you will be picked up and transferred back to Port Kirwan for a much-deserved home-made meal.

Meals:  B,L,D

Today's hike consists of two 'easy' sections of the ECT; from the community of Tors Cove up to Mobile, and onto Witless Bay. Starting from the iconic, brightly-painted saltbox houses called 'The Cribbies', the majority of the peaceful route is close to shoreline, with attractive beach-side and wooded paths and lovely shore and island views, including the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve noted for its migratory, seabird and puffin nesting habitat. From Witless Bay, you will be transferred to the very charming village of Petty Harbour where you will be hosted for the next 3 nights.

Meals:  B,L,D

Day at leisure in Petty Harbour. No transfers or activities are included today, but may be organized locally at an extra cost. Apart from simply resting and enjoying the quaint harbour, today's options include more hiking (Mickeleens, Motion Path, etc.), kayaking (weather permitting/subject to availability), whale/puffin boat tours, exploring Petty Harbour's shops and museum, a harbour walk, or perhaps 'learn to row a boat'!

Meals:  B,L

After breakfast, it's back on the trail. 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!

Meals:  B,L,D

Once again, your feet will take you back to St. John's. This time, beginning from Blackhead, just north of Cape Spear and hiking north to Fort Amherst at the entrance of St. John's Harbour ('The Narrows'). This coastal path has some steep climbs, a long ridge hike, swimming holes on the Southside Hills, a former settlement, and a unique barachois (stone crossing) with rusty pieces of the SS Thetis shipwreck. At Fort Amherst, you will come up to a lighthouse and placard, indicating the end of your East Coast Trail adventure. Further exploration will reveal the remains of gun emplacements built during World War II to defend against German U-boats and signs of 17th century Fort Frederick (Frederick's Battery). Your friendly driver will take you back to your central accommodations for your final night in St. John's. If you haven't already, tonight may be the night to get 'Screeched In' on George Street and become an honorary Newfoundlander!

Meals:  B,L

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

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • 9 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 5 dinners
  • 9 nights in B&B's/guesthouses
  • Luggage transfers (1 piece per person)
  • Airport arrival transfer
  • Transfers to/from trailheads as indicated in itinerary
  • Detailed route notes and maps (1 package per 2 hikers)
  • Use of Garmin emergency communications device (1-2 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 departure transfer
  • Applicable taxes

Suitability

Moderate

5

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


Notes

Note:
Second group will travel on an inverse itinerary

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Total Priceper person from

$1835USD

* All prices subject to applicable taxes

Options & Supplements*
    * Prices listed are per person. All prices subject to applicable taxes.

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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.

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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.

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