Great Canadian Trails: East Coast Trail

Traverse Sections of Newfoundland’s Dramatic Eastern Coastline with Great Canadian Trails.

Make your way along the East Coast Trail on Newfoundland’s Avalon Peninsula and enjoy incredible views from towering cliffs, sea stacks, coves and deep fjords. Stop and explore picturesque bayside communities and charming fishing towns like Quidi Vidi, Petty Harbour and Witless Bay. Remember to keep your eyes peeled – there’s a very real possibility of whale, puffin, moose or iceberg sightings while on the trail!

Overview | Inclusions

Duration: 10 days

Activities: 8 days self-guided hiking

Accommodation: 9 nights B&Bs/guesthouses

Meals: 9 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 6 dinners

What’s included

  • 9-night accommodation in B&Bs/guesthouses
  • 9 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 6 dinners
  • Luggage transfer (1 piece per person, not exceeding 20 kilograms)
  • Transfers as indicated in itinerary 
  • Navigation app including detailed route notes and points of interest (one per group) 
  • Trail maps (one per group) 
  • Use of Garmin emergency communications device (one per group) 
  • $50 donation to East Coast Trail Association, a partner of Trans Canada Trail 

What’s not included

  • Travel to/from St. John’s 
  • Airfare, visas, applicable taxes, travel insurance (required)  
  • Airport transfers  
  • Guide (this is a self-guided tour) 
  • Personal expenses 
  • Meals and transfers not indicated in the itinerary  
  • Entrance fees and optional activities 
  • All applicable taxes 

Book your self-guided journey now!


Photo: Quidi Vidi – Great Canadian Trails

Day 1      Arrive St. John’s

Welcome to Newfoundland! Find your charming B&B in the centre of town. Enjoy the rest of the day exploring the city at your leisure. 

Day 2      St. John’s: Quidi Vidi Loop (approx. 9 to 12 km)

Hike along a lake north of the city to picturesque Quidi Vidi, an old fishing village that is now considered to be part of St. John’s. We recommend a hike up to the top of Bawdens Highland and back for spectacular views over the village. Return to your B&B via a gorgeous coastal path, crossing the National Historic Site of Signal Hill and the Battery of St. John’s Harbour. 

Day 3    St. John’s: Shoe Cove to Flatrock (transfer + approx. 12 km) 

Your driver will transfer you to Shoe Cove, constructed circa 1900 as a fishing station. Continue on foot to Shoe Cove Brook through coastal woods along a traditional cow path. Continue to Stiles Cove and then Flatrock, where your driver will bring you back to St. Johns for your transfer to Bay Bulls, your home for the next two nights.

Day 4    Bay Bulls: Petty Harbour to Cape Spear (transfer + approx. 10 km)

After breakfast, head to the trailhead at Petty Harbour and hike to the easternmost point of North America: Cape Spear. Check out the Cape Spear Lighthouse, then walk back to Petty Harbour and enjoy the beautiful vistas. Return to Bay Bulls for the night. 

Day 5    Bay Bulls to Witless Bay and the Cribbies to Port Kirwan (approx. 16 km) 

Today, head to Witless Bay to discover the Cribbies, the most photographed meadow in Newfoundland. Enjoy views of the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve and hike along the shoreline. Continue to the brightly painted saltbox houses in the community of Tors Cove. Transfer to Port Kirwan for the night.   

Day 6    Port Kirwan: Spurwink Island Path (approx. 16 km)

Head to the Spurwink Island Path section of the East Coast Trail today. At Berry Head, stop for a photo op at the massive sea arch. For a challenging option, hike southwards to your accommodation, or opt for an out-and-back hike from your accommodation, which avoids the rugged northern route. 

Day 7    Port Kirwan: La Manche Provincial Park to Brigus South (transfer + approx. 16 km) 

This morning, you’ll be transferred to La Manche Provincial Park to explore the area and see its iconic suspension bridge. Enjoy lovely coastal viewpoints as you walk south along Flamber Head Path. Your hike ends at the lovely harbour community of Brigus South, where you’ll be picked up and transferred to your accommodation in Port Kirwan. 

Day 8    Port Kirwan: Renews to Cappahayden (approx. 10 km) 

Your day begins with a jaunt through grassy meadows, wooded paths and several brooks en route to a gorgeous lookout point overlooking the Forge. Along your route, enjoy views of the the cormorant colony on Renews Island and crashing waves. Return to Port Kirwan.  

Day 9    St. John’s: Bay Path Trailhead (transfer + approx. 12 km) 

Start off at the beginning of the Bay Path Trailhead. Set off on a hilly return path to the city along the coastal path to Fort Amherst. From here, walk back to St. John’s for your final night in Newfoundland.  

Day 10   St. John’s

Services end after breakfast. 


Photo: East Coast Trail – Great Canadian Trails

Getting there

  • By air: The nearest airport is St. John’s International Airport (YYT)

Book your self-guided journey now!

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.

Why travel with Great Canadian Trails?!

Expertise: They’re a team of hikers and cyclists who have explored or live in the region.

Great value: Quality services at the best price means great value for your money.

ECO friendly: Great Canadian Trails are committed to responsible travel and true sustainability. They aim to “leave no trace” in both an environmental and cultural sense.