Here’s two views of the English Harbour Arts Centre that we visited last August while in Newfoundland. It was wonderful seeing such positive human endeavours in this setting of beauty by the ocean. The stones you see in the foreground are part of a spiral dry stone wall, created during a workshop at the Centre.
In August when we were in Newfoundland, we travelled to Gros Morne National Park in the western part of the province. Gros Morne is a large, extremely beautiful park with a great variety of land and sea scapes. The park has been designated a world heritage site by UNESCO.
We had heard that we must go see the freshwater fjord in Western Brook Pond while we were in Gros Morne. We took everyone’s advice and booked a two hour boat tour on the Pond.
Fjords are long, narrow inlets in the sea with high cliffs arising on each side. The steep cliffs were carved out of rock by glaciers from former ice ages. Western Brook Pond once was connected to the ocean but it was cut off from it after the glaciers melted and the land, having less weight upon it, rebounded.
We had a sunny day with a bit of wind on the lake, enough to regularly splash those of us standing excitedly at the bow to get great views of the cliffs as we travelled into their midst. Another experience of profound beauty in Newfoundland.
Another very beautiful and dramatic trail in Newfoundland is the Skerwink Trail. Skerwink is a local name for a Shearwater, a type of bird that lives in open sea–a pelagic seabird. The 5.3 km trail is near the town of Trinity. We hiked the trail in August, often near the edge of cliffs overlooking the ocean. We took our time walking, stopping to photograph the land and sea, and to catch our breath as we climbed ever higher.
The trail is maintained wonderfully well with many stairs to help you in the ascent. I was exhausted at the end of the trail, but did not regret taking it.
On this Canadian Thanksgiving, here’s photos from our hike on the East Coast Trail in Newfoundland last August. Finding this trail was something we were certainly thankful for. On our last day in Newfoundland, we travelled to Pouch Cove–pronounced Pooch Cove–to go to an artists’ studio tour. We arrived a bit early for the tour and drove around the town. When I saw a sign saying “parking for trail” I pulled over and we got out. There was no sign of a trail, but luckily several hikers got out of another car and we got directions from them.
Down the road a short way, we came to a sign for the East Coast Trail that we hadn’t realized you could get to from here. This trail runs 265 km along the Avalon Peninsula. My husband had read that it was very beautiful. And here, we had happily come upon the northern most entry point without planning to do so.
We hiked for around two hours, seeing vast views of the coast with cliffs and rugged rocky outcrops, some encrusted with lichens of different colours. A terrific way to end our trip.
I’m not following a chronological order in writing about my travels in Newfoundland. So, today I’ll take you to the town of Twillingate which we spent an afternoon in this past August. It’s on the edge of the Atlantic and has breathtaking views near the lighthouse.
We arrived at the lighthouse in late afternoon and saw that there were trails leading down along the coast. We only went a short way a short way along the trails because of the hour. Even so, we looked out over a sweep of hills, rock and ocean that were of extreme beauty. Here’s a few photos of my favourite view.
We returned to the Bay Roberts Heritage Trail/Mad Rock Trail in Newfoundland, Canada the next day, this time driving to the ocean and starting there. The name Mad Rocks comes from the rocks offshore that have been particularly treacherous for ships. Again, the beauty was intense. We stopped for long stretches and sat on the rocks taking in the ocean and fresh air.
We had no expectation of seeing whales in August, but we were fortunate to look out over the water and see many minutes of a whale surfacing and submerging as it travelled alongside the rocks. This was a terrific experience even though I cannot identify the whale(s) we saw that day.
While in Newfoundland, we took two extremely beautiful hikes on the Bay Roberts Heritage Trail off of Conception Bay. This post shows photos from the hike we took on our first full day in Newfoundland. We were practically overwhelmed by the beauty, something we frequently felt on our travels. We walked over rolling land with sweeping views of ocean, rock, grasses and wild plants. Signs told of the history of the settlers on the land.
I’m back at the Cape St. Mary’s Ecological Reserve in my mind. This photo shows Northern Gannets and Kittiwakes on tiered rock. The expanse of ocean, rock and huge numbers of birds created exuberance in many of us there. Indeed, while setting out for Bird Rock, we came upon 2 people from England returning from the walk. We talked for a few minutes, as people often do in natural settings. The man told us that he is a volcano watcher and has been to see some fantastic volcanoes. Nevertheless, he said, what he had just witnessed at the Cape had been the greatest natural experience of his life. Later, I would have the same feelings.
I’ve just returned from nearly three weeks in beautiful Newfoundland. Many posts to come from the east and west of the island. This hike near Mad Rock was terrific. Views of the ocean, dramatic rocks and rolling terrain. We loved the signs we encountered, particularly this one. It was near here, on rocks by the ocean, that we saw whales nearby. Our best guess is that they were minke whales.
While I was on the Bruce Peninsula, I saw many patches of lovely pink/white and yellow flowering Fleabane. The flowers are 1/2 – 1″ wide on a plant 6 – 36″ high. Fleabane is in the aster family. It got its name from the belief that the dried flower heads would get rid of fleas, according to the Audubon Field Guide to Wildflowers. This particular type is, I believe, Philadelphia Fleabane, Erigeron philadelphicus. A similar plant called Robin’s Plantain, Erigeron pulchellus seems to have fewer white/pink ray petals. If I’ve gotten this wrong, do let me know.
These shown above are at Singing Sands, on the alvar, the pitted rocks. I learned that alvars only exist in Estonia, Sweden and the Great Lakes Basin. Water from rain or melting snow collects in the rocks’ small depressions along with silt and sand. These provide growing places for plants that are able to live in harsh conditions.