The East Coast Trail was launched in 1994 as a network of walking tracks that run the east coast of Newfoundland and Labrador. Today, it’s comprised of 26 trails that wind their way through more than 300 km of the Avalon Peninsula!
And that’s an area ranked the world’s top coastal destination by National Geographic in 2016. From Cappahayden in the south to Cape St. Francis near the northern tip of the peninsula, and back down to Portugal Cove on its west coast, the trail takes in endless rugged coastline, breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean, rugged fishing villages, abandoned settlements, deep fjords and ecological reserves.
While trekking along this spectacular landscape you may spot moose, puffins, whales and icebergs, and should always be ready for a friendly conversation with a warm and welcoming local. This self-guided trek takes all the logistical work out of your vacation, leaving you free to concentrate on having fun.
The 9-day itinerary includes all your accommodation in B&Bs and guesthouses, daily breakfast, most lunches and some dinners. Your luggage will be transferred ahead by vehicle each morning, leaving you unencumbered to spend the day hiking.
Day 1 Arrive St. John’s, Newfoundland
Day 2 Quidi Vidi Loop. Nine to 12 kilometres of trekking, about 3 to 4 hrs. (+/-190 metres)
Day 3 Southern Avalon Settlements. Approx. 2.5 hrs., 7 km trek.
Day 4 Spurwink Island Path. Approx. 6 to 9 hrs., 16 km trek.
Day 5 La Manche to Brigus South. Approx. 6 to 9 hrs., 16 km trek.
Day 6 The Cribbies to Witless Bay. Approx. 6 hrs., 16 km trek.
Day 7 Day of leisure!
Day 8 Petty Harbour to Cape Spear. Approx. 4 to 6 hrs., 10.2 km trek.
Day 9 Blackhead to St. John’s. Approx. 5 to 7 hrs., 10.6 km trek (+/-400 metres).
Day 10 Tour concludes.
Walks range from 10 to 20 kilometres per day, with seven days of hiking plus the start and finish days, and one built-in rest day. Though whether you choose to actually rest is up to you as there are plenty of hiking options in the area to tempt you. Or, perhaps you’ll go kayaking or whale-watching. Ah, the possibilities with Canada!
The East Coast Trail, NFLD | GREAT CANADIAN TRAILS
Length/Departs: 9 days; June, July, Aug., Sept., Oct. Custom date departures also available. Contact operator for details.
Accommodation: B&Bs, guesthouses
Price: from approx. $2,290 CDN, but ask always about current pricing as price can change.
Difficulty: Moderate; ask operator for details.
Note: See COVID-19 Terms & Conditions for booking and refund policies, re: local public health situation.
GCT says “all our trips are 100% carbon offset.” See site for details.
A few guidelines on trip descriptions: All descriptions/itineraries are sourced from trip/tour operator, and Outpost assumes no liability. Prices are in Canadian dollars unless otherwise indicated, are often “starting from” the one listed, and don’t necessarily reflect final/total cost (that is, taxes, in-country or extra fees might be added). And, prices indicated here do NOT include airfare, unless it says so. Date changes are always possible and sometimes even inescapable. So, always get in touch with an operator directly; sometimes they’ll let you know about a sale or special so a price may actually be less than listed here.