Sugarloaf section of the East Coast Trail from Logy Bay to Quidi Vidi
the Sugarloaf Path. You pass lots of coastal vistas, magical woodlands, rock formations, and, ahem, a landfill. But don't let that stop you. This was one of the best hikes I've ever done and it's a favorite stretch of the ECT for many a St. John's local. There were a few steep climbs and some slippery rocks to traverse, but it was fairly moderate overall, I'd say. Still, not one that a lot of tourists do so you'll mostly have it to yourself. Allow 3-4 hours to stop for pictures and to take in the views.
Harbourside Walk North to North Head Trail to Signal Hill
|North Head Trail|
Quidi Vidi Lake Trail
Looking for a nice, easy trail run? Looking for some nice looking people out on a trail run? Look no further! A loop around the whole lake is just under 2.5 miles, and it's flat the whole time - no ups for downs. Great for a brisk exercise walk or run. There are lots of ducks and other seabirds in the lake just waiting for you to give them bread, and lots of wildflowers to be seen and smelled. As is often the case in St. John's you can easily extend this walk if you like. Other walkways that spin off of Quidi Vidi Lake include Rennie's River Trail, the Virginia River Trail, Cuckold Cove Path, Lake to Lookout Trail, and also the Sugarloaf section of the East Coast Trail mentioned above.
Rennie's River Trail
|Rennie's River Trail|
Pippy Park - Long Pond Walk
Another nice walk, kinda similar to the Quidi Vidi Lake path but with the added benefit of being more remote and forested, is the Long Pond Walk in Pippy Park. It's about 1.75 miles, mostly level, and goes around Long Pond, another prime gathering place for waterfowl. This walk is worthy of mention simply for the fresh scent of pine in the air. You can get here by car, but try walking from Rennie's River Trail. From here it's not too far to the Memorial University Botanical Garden and the adjacent Long Pond to Oxen Pond walk will take you there. There are some nice views of the city and Signal Hill from up here as well.
East Coast Trail from Fort Amherst to Blackhead, Blackhead to Cape Spear
We wanted to do this hike but didn't make it happen. If we'd have had one more open, sunny day we would have done it but it'll have to wait until next time. It was highly recommended and the Freshwater Bay/Deadmans Bay portion was said to have been very appealing. We probably would have had a cab drop us off at the small community of Blackhead and walk back, or if we were feeling really adventurous we could have started at Cape Spear and walked back, making a whole day of it. For a better description of the Fort Amherst to Blackhead hike w/ lots of pics see this blog post by Dottie Maggie. I also heard that Cape Spear to Maddox Cove is perhaps an even nicer hike, but that would have required two cab trips I guess?
Waterford River Walk to Bowring Park
Another path we had hoped to do but didn't is this stroll through an affluent looking old neighborhood that is also the beginning of the Newfoundland T'Railway. At close to 550 miles, the T'Railway is a recreational trail going across Newfoundland that's open to walkers, bikers, horseback riders, snowmobilers and cross country skiers. For the city dweller's purposes though, it's enough just to ramble along Waterford River to Bowring Park, a lovely, historic park known for its swans and fountains.
We were really impressed by the fitness-driven mentality here and the amount of people out taking advantage of this wonderful network of walking routes. Yet another thing to love about St. John's!
Click on the following links to read more about my St. John's trip and the pubs, live music and restaurants I experienced.