East Coast Trail day hike options with Great Canadian Trails.
Get a taste of the beautiful East Coast Trail by choosing one of Great Canadian Trails’ favourite day hikes. One will take you along the Cape Spear Path, where you can enjoy expansive views of the coastline all the way to Petty Harbour. A slightly easier route, Beaches and Tinkers Point Paths will take you along the edge of a seabird reserve to the Cribbies – one of the most photographed spots in Newfoundland.
BEFORE YOU GO
Please consult the latest updates from the Government of Canada, as well as your province/territory, your municipality and the organization that manages your chosen section of the Trail.We strongly encourage everyone using trails in our network to abide by all public health guidelines.
Overview | Inclusions
Duration: 1 day
Activities: 1-day self-guided hiking
- Friendly transfer service from St. John’s to trailhead and return
- Stop at a local establishment to pick up lunch
- East Coast Trail detailed route notes and maps (1 set per two hikers)
What’s not included
- Travel to/from St. John’s
- Guide (this is a self-guided tour)
- Personal expenses
- Meals and transfers not indicated in the itinerary
- Airfare, visas, applicable taxes, travel insurance (required)
OPTION 1: St. John’s: Cape Spear Path to Petty Harbour (transfer + approx. 11.5 km)
Photo: Cape Spear, courtesy of Great Canadian Trails
St. John’s: Cape Spear Path to Petty Harbour (transfer + approx. 11.5 km)
Meet up with your driver, who’ll take you to pick up some lunch items (cost of lunch not included) in St. John’s before heading south of the city to Cape Spear Lighthouse National Historic Site, a fascinating attraction perched on a rugged cliff. Check out the lighthouse and the World War II gun emplacements, before continuing on this beautiful section of the East Coast Trail. Hike along varied terrain to the pretty community of Petty Harbour, while taking in the breathtaking views along the way. Take the opportunity to explore this charming village before you meet your driver to transfer back to St. John’s.
OPTION 2: St. John’s: Beaches and Tinkers Point Paths (transfer + approx. 13.7 km)
Photo: Tors Cove, courtesy of Great Canadian Trails
St. John’s: Beaches and Tinkers Point Paths (transfer + approx. 13.7 km)
Meet your friendly local driver and stop at Irish Loop Coffee House to grab coffee, tea and lunch items (cost of items not included) before you’re dropped off at the nearby trailhead. Armed with detailed information and maps, set off on the East Coast Trail for an unforgettable experience filled with ocean views, puffin sightings and a visit to one of the most photographed spots in Newfoundland – the Cribbies. These brightly-painted traditional houses are just beyond the end of the trail and mark your pick-up point for the journey back to St. John’s.
- By air: The nearest airport is St. John’s International Airport (YYT).
- Transfer service: The package includes round-trip transportation between St. John’s and the trailhead
Great Canadian Trails: A note on self-guided adventures
Self-guided walking requires individuals to use problem-solving skills, to be adaptable and to have a keen eye. It’s recommended that individuals are comfortable reading a map and referring to route notes, while having a good sense of direction (or are willing to work on improving this!)
Sometimes route finding, losing your way, and asking the locals for help are all part of the adventure. If you’ve never been on a self-guided trip, you’ll get the hang of it after the first couple of days, as the vast majority of first-time travellers with Great Canadian Trails attest.
Written route-finding materials issued by Great Canadian Trails are updated regularly. Great Canadian Trails provides a seven-day service hotline to help solve problems and answer questions.