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 10-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.
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 in Petty Harbour about mid-trip. 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!
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 Cape Spear to Petty Harbour. Approx 4 to 6 hrs, 11.5 km trek.
Day 9 Blackhead to St. John’s. Approx 5 to 7 hrs, 10.6 km trek (+/-400 metres).
Day 10 Tour concludes.
GREAT CANADIAN TRAILS
- Phone: 866.305.2257
- SM: @GreatCanadianTrails, @GreatCanTrails, @greatcanadiantrails
- Length/Departs: 10 days/June to Oct.
- Accommodation: B&Bs, guesthouses
- Price: from $2,390 CDN
- Difficulty: Moderate to challenging (ask operator for details)
- Special Note: Great Canadian Trails says “this trip is 100% carbon offset.”