Hi folks! It’s been a long time and the blog had fallen into a bit of disrepair, but I’ve migrated servers and patched up most of the holes, and I’ve been working on my knee to get it hiking strong again. The test of both the retooled blog and the strengthened knee falls on the Cape Broyle Path, and a test it is!
Cape Broyle Path: an interesting one to say the least. This mostly woods trail presents more than its fair share of steretypical woods trail obstacles. I started in Cape Broyle, where hikers have to park at the Ultramar on the main road and hoof it in South Side Road to the end and on to the beach below. The instructions on the ECTA website were easy to follow and accurate, but this is definitely a section that could use some signage. No trailhead makes me feel like I’m missing something.
Hikers should note the red and black plastic blazes that mark the early path, as they’ll be your best friend for the next 10km. Some kind soul, I’m assuming one of the ECTA volunteers, has marked this severely overgrown trail, and that’s a good thing, because there are places where a less than confident hiker might think they had somehow gotten off track and started following a moose path. The obvious, recent moose traffic on the trail doesn’t help with that suspicion. I saw one and I’m sure more than one saw me.
Anyhow, as I said, the first 10km of the trail are pretty overgrown for large stretches. I attempted to capture it on camera as you’ll see below, but it’s hard to get a good picture of the worst of it, where the trees were at eye level across the trail and you couldn’t see the uneven ground at your feet. My guess is this remote trail hasn’t been maintained in years, but the markings make me think a grooming is in the plan, especially given that the last 9km of the trail are well groomed. My advice to hikers is to keep a sharp eye on those red and black blazes: in the densest sections, they’re close enough together that you can always see the next blaze from the current one.
I stayed the night in spectacularly beautiful Long Will Campsite, where three of the five (the map says six) tent platforms are perched on a steep-sided point on the trail to a viewpoint overlooking Lance Cove Beach. I stayed at one of the more sheltered sites. Arriving around supper time, I quickly set up, stowed my gear, grabbed my camera, and headed out to explore Lance Cove Beach. It was worth the slow slog through dense brush: a kilometer-long stretch of sandy beach like nothing you’ve ever seen before. Completely isolated, the sun beating down, the waves crashing, it’s a slice of heaven.
The next morning I set out over top of Lance Cove Beach once again, and a couple of climbs and drops later, was happy to see that the trail was wide and well-groomed. God love the ECTA volunteers, because I don’t know if I could have done the hills that followed if they were as densely packed as those around Gallows Cove. The climb up to Blow Me Down and Cape Broyle Head is a slog, up over a steep hill through trail that’s at times little better than a river. The drop is quick on the other side of Cape Broyle Head approaching Calvert, so be ready to put work in walking this trail in either direction!
Best of all… no knee pain whatsoever! Knock on wood! 🙂
Check out the pictures from my May 24th adventure below!