You will travel down the beautiful East coast, past Witless Bay Ecological Preserve to La Manche, where the hiking is challenging yet superb. You will probably see whales and icebergs, and will appreciate the unspoiled feel of the vast landscape here. The past two centuries of isolation have preserved a distinctive accent, believed by linguists to be a relatively unchanged Elizabethan dialect.
It is very easy to strike up conversation with the friendly folk who live here, but whether you understand or are simply bemused by their colourful colloquialisms remains to be seen. You will rest in 17th century villages; explore coastal barrens peppered with “erratics”, and hike along shores where privateers once lured ships onto the rocks to loot their booty. In Trinity, you will learn about the rich maritime history of the outport with its sheltered harbour, and will have an opportunity to see whales up close on an optional whale watching cruise. Highlights: Whales, birds, wildlife! St. John’s – a cool city; hiking the East Coast Trail; the depth of history in Trinity; the walking theatre; amazing look-offs; sunrise at Cape Spear.
Day 1: Hike up to 18 km/ 11 miles
Meet in St. John's at 13:00. Hike through the Battery to Signal Hill, site of the first transatlantic communication, and a fabulous viewpoint over the mouth of St. John’s harbour. Afterwards, walk a coastal trail to Cape Spear, the eastern-most point in North America. Set high on a cape and restored to its original appearance, the Cape Spear lighthouse, built in 1836, is the oldest surviving lighthouse in Newfoundland. After dinner, enjoy some music of Irish descent in one of many venues on the infamous George Street. D (Meal inclusions provided for guided trips).
Park House Inn; or Banberry House, St. John's.
Day 2: Hike up to 14 km/9 miles, drive up to 1 hour
Hike the exciting Michaleen’s Path beginning at Bay Bulls as it passes through quiet woods to an imposing headland, featuring a rolling meadow, abrupt cliffs, sea stacks and nesting Kittiwakes. In the Witless Bay, look for icebergs, humpback whales, and thousands of seabirds including the very photogenic Atlantic Puffin. The view of islands is spectacular. Picnic lunch at Bears Cove, then walk the beautiful trail from Witless Bay to the community of Mobile. Called the Beaches Path, this gentle trail follows the sea edge, weaving through woods, heath and meadowland. Cobblestone beaches are accessible at many points. You can do a little beachcombing and watch for whales and seabirds along the way. BL. Park House Inn; or Banberry House, St. John's.
Day 3: Hike up to 12 km/ 7½ miles, drive up to 2 hours
After a short transfer, hike the coastal Village Path from Bauline East to La Manche. This is a truly wild walk, along cliffs with carefully built bridges, showing you colonies of seabirds, including Atlantic Puffins, Northern Gannet, Common and Thick-billed Murres, Razorbills and the Blacklegged Kittiwake. The trail ends with a newly rebuilt 150 foot high suspension foot-bridge spanning a river gorge. This afternoon, walk the Gun Ridge trail to the Bull Head Lighthouse which went into operation in 1908. After enjoying the most amazing views of this dramatic coast all the way to Brigus South, your van will transfer you back to your cozy inn. BL. Park House Inn; or Banberry House, St. John's.
Day 4: Transfer to Trinity (3 hours). Hike 2 hours or more, 73 m/238 ft elevation
Trinity is a jewel. Most of the town is a national heritage site - an essential stop on any Canadian explorer's agenda. You will be introduced to the town, today or tomorrow morning, by the New Founde Lande Trinity Pageant, a walking tour of the town led by actors portraying a few of the more outrageous characters from the not-too-distant past. Afterwards, you can walk up Gun Hill to overlook the harbour. BLD. Artisan Inn, Trinity.
Day 5: A full day of hikes, tailored to suit the group
In the morning, hike the coastal trail at Old Bonaventure. In the afternoon, it’s a five minute transfer to Port Rexton, to walk with an exceptionally knowledgeable and entertaining guide who can point out some fascinating landmarks and talk about the history and culture of this area. Enjoy the Skerwink hike at the end of the day, if you still have it in you! BL. Same lodging.
Day 6: Drive up to 1 hour to see nearby fishing outports and explore them on foot. Up to 3 hours walking.
Visit the Green Family Forge, English Harbour, Paradise, Maberley, Dungeon, the museum and the Mockbeggar property in Bonavista, picnic at the Cape Bonavista lighthouse, Newman's Cove, Amherst Cove, and Catalina. Swim in Catalina. Return to Trinity, keeping an eye out for moose. BLD. Same lodging.
Day 7: Farewell!
Transfer about 3 ½ hours to St. John’s following breakfast, arriving by noon. B.
Testimonials: “You run a wonderful organization filled with excellent employees who represent you well. Thanks for all the great memories.” - Cliff G. & Peggy P.
“Lovely and quaint…terrific in every way…You all do a great job to provide us with a great vacation. We both enjoyed every aspect of this trip.” - Ron & Linda Anderson
-Start: St. John’s, Newfoundland 13:00, day one.
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