Category Archives: Communications

May 24th Hike on Motion Path (With Company!), a Foggy Jaunt on Tinkers Point, and an Interesting Link!

Hello folks! It’s the 24th of May and we likes to get away, especially when we have new toys to play with! I was planning an overnight getaway for the May 24th weekend, the weather looked spectacular, and so I thought it’d be fun to hike with a couple of buddies of mine with whom I’d chatted about hiking. Our schedules all aligned for a Friday evening/Saturday morning hike, and so we settled on the Motion Path, given that the Miner Point campsite is close enough to one end that we could leave late in the afternoon and still make camp with plenty of time to set up and get a bite. Our second day would be a bit longer, but we had all day, so there was no rush. A good plan!

The walk in over Shoal Bay Rd. is as advertised; rocky, wet, and not very scenic. That said, it was a quick hike, and we were on the trail in no time. Making our way past Nippers Cove, we saw a pair of otters playing by the shoreline! Well, playing is the best description I can give to their behavior, as I honestly have no idea what they were doing. The first was chasing gulls, and once he had rid the rocks of them, he dove into the water. The second rubbed his belly on the rocks for a couple of minutes, and then proceeded to stand on his front legs and jump with his hind legs a few inches off the ground. He repeated this five or six times, and then walked away, with his tail sticking straight out, following his buddy into the water. We didn’t know what to make of it. We felt lucky to have witnessed the creatures in their natural habitat, though!

As we approached Miner Point campsite, a flock of gannets began diving into the water to the north of it. It was spectacular. With the sun starting to set, we arrived at the campsite and quickly got started setting up, Andy and I hanging our hammocks around the edges of the tent site, Evan’s tent between them. It was an ideal spot. It was a very cold night, though, and I didn’t get much sleep despite being quite comfortable in my new hammock. Andy and Evan did a bit better than  me based on the snores I heard!

The next day we got off to a slow start: we had the day in front of us, and only 11.3 km to walk, so we took our time packing up. The sun was hot by the time we got on the trail. Heading south from Miner Point, the trail is challenging in spots, with some significant altitude gain, starting with the climb up the Tolt. The trail and the weather was beautiful, but by the time we got to Motion Head, I was fairly exhausted, having gotten little sleep, and my companions were starting to feel the heat and exertion as well. We all spent the last of our reserves climbing up to the top of Big Hill, and were quite happy to see our vehicle in Petty Harbour.  An exhausting but exhilarating hike!

As someone who typically hikes alone, it was a really great experience  having my buddies overnight with me on the trail. I had a great time and I think they did as well despite their first overnight on the ECT being a bit of a challenging one! Check out the pics of our adventure below!

Earlier that same week I had a chilly, foggy jaunt on Tinkers Point Path. I was surprised by the fog… well, as much as a hiker from NL can be surprised by fog, but it kept me cool as I tried to make good time between Mobile and Tors Cove. The trail is in great condition and as always is one of the most spectacular when it comes to scenery, even in the fog. Check out some pics below!

Finally, a link to an interesting page. Somehow this came up in the statistics for my blog, as a visitor was somehow directed here from there. I was glad, at any rate, because I discovered this:

Amelie Hikes the East Coast Trail – a 2.5 year old who has taken up hiking!

Just too cute for words, and what a great way to introduce your child to nature! Check them out!

The First Half of May on the ECT – Lots of Hikes and New Gear!

May has been about getting myself back into hiking shape. I started the month by taking Heather out to see Cripple Cove for the first time. There was no talk of rope-assisted climbs or kilometers of dirt road, which Heather tells me would have led to a veto of the activity. It was for the best as this is can’t-miss trail IMHO! Anyhow, we had a heck of a day, saw a bald eagle (or two), one of which chased a smaller, unidentified bird of prey away from a perch which could have been a nest: I consistently see bald eagles near Cripple Cove and so I assumed they were nesting in the area. A few pics from the Cripple Cove leg of the White Horse Path; more hike talk below:

I experienced some knee pain at the end of that hike so along with an exercise/stretch regimen I decided to make the next few flat: my issue is “hiker’s knee,” which flares up when too much strain is put on the knees walking downhill. The next one for me, then, would be the first few kilometers of the Stiles Cove Path as far as Shoe Cove. This is mostly flat with one glaring exception on the approach to Shoe Cove itself. I felt a little tinge but it was a spectacular day and overall my knees held up.

There is a moose carcass at Shoe Cove, it is somewhat decomposed at this point but some folks would probably still find it a little unpleasant. It’s in the middle of the beach and is hard to miss. Kind of sad and gross in this prime hiking destination; I understand that it’s the circle of life etc. but some folks are going to be turned off from Shoe Cove which is sad because IMHO it’s one of the highlights of the ECT. Pics and more discussion below, WARNING, there is a pic of the moose carcass:

Next up was the north end of the Cape Spear Path. I was disappointed to see very clear mountain bike tracks on the trail. Bikes are clearly prohibited on this section of trail and as you can see there is a clear impact on the treadway. I saw bike tracks heading off the trail and into sensitive flora. Not cool.

Anyhow, I had never hiked the complete side trail to North Head, and when I got out there I was feeling good, so I checked it out before heading down to Summerside. This is a part of the trail that fascinates me: apparently, there was at one time habitation at this location, complete with its own trail. I have searched and can find no sign of this habitation. It must have been a windswept, difficult location in winter, completely open and somewhat wet in places. In one of the pictures below I have indicated a linear collection of rocks that could be clearing for human activity, a rock wall, or even the base of a building of some sort, but it’s really reaching. There remains little to indicate humans ever resided here. There’s something fascinating about  that to me! A few pics of that hike; and more hike talk below:

Another day, another hike: next up was a tester on the Beaches Path for my new backpack, an Osprey Exos 48, lightweight for the extended trips. I picked mine up at, a great little Canadian shop. I packed a couple of things but left it basically empty, wanting to get a feel for it without adding too much weight to strain my knees. I was thoroughly impressed with it. I hadn’t yet removed the Cotton Carrier from my Marmot bag though, so I left the camera home, hence the iPhone pics below.

It was a foggy, chilly day along the Beaches Path, but it made for a crisp hike and some good pictures, and the smell of the ocean was something else. If there’s one smell that brings to mind memories of home it’s the salt air on a cool, crisp day. I breathed it deep as I hiked. There was a fair bit of mud and water along the trail; it was far wetter than I remember it. Perhaps it just needed a few more dry days. More hike chat past the pics:

Last but not least, Saturday started mauzy but turned into a heck of a day for a hike once the sun came out, so I hit Mickeleen’s Path for Saturday afternoon jaunt on another relatively flat trail. There was a  lot of traffic on the trail which is great to see. The treadway itself was much drier than Beaches a few days before, but there was still mud in spots, and for hikers looking to take the loop back to Bay Bulls, the Old Track had a few wet spots as well. These were easy to avoid, however.

Today’s gear test was the first hanging of my new hammock, a Hennessy Hammocks Expedition Asym Zip. I didn’t fully string the rain fly but did successfully lash the thing into place, and then proceeded to nearly fall asleep when testing it out. I packed up the hammock and fly in the “Snakeskin” wraps and put it all away, and left the site with a grin on my face: can’t wait to try the hammock out on an overnight!

Best news of all, which also had me grinning… no knee pain on either of the last three hikes! Fingers crossed that the work I’m doing (exercise/stretching, losing weight, improved trekking pole technique are all partially responsible for the improvement IMHO) continues to bear fruit!

A few pics of the hammock and hike below. Have fun on the trails!

Spring Hike on the Blackhead Path

Hi folks,

To get my knees back into hiking condition and get the exercise regimen started, I’m hiking some of the shorter trails on the ECT. Blackhead Path has always been a favorite of mine so it was yesterday’s target!

First off, there have been some changes to the north end of the trail. Folks who have hiked it in previous years will remember the north end of the trail as being along a private citizen’s driveway in the town of Blackhead. The trailhead has been moved to the cul-de-sac which was used up to now for hiker parking. This is not an ideal spot as the cul-de-sac has obviously been used for dumping for some time: there is garbage, broken glass, and dog feces to deal with at the trailhead. Doesn’t exactly give one that ECT feeling.

That said, this is understandable to a certain extent: the trail was winding around the edge of a private property and there were probably privacy issues. However, the change is a massive one, affecting perhaps the first half kilometer of the trail. I find it hard to believe that the property owners in question owned the stretch of property that is currently blocked. If this is a new development, how was this land ever put up for sale? We need to put a stop to the sale of coastal property in Newfoundland or there won’t be any left for the people of this province to enjoy. The use of this section of land is strongly discouraged, with fences and a rock wall. The owners went so far as to cover the former trail in boulders. They really don’t want people on their land.

At any rate, the new section of trail is nice and meanders through the woods for 500m or so before heading back to the coast to join the former trail.

The other point of interest is the condition of the trail. There is a fair bit of mud and water as the last of the snow from last week’s storm melts. There is patchy snow on the trail but only at specific points: the new woods trail section, climbing Blackhead, atop it, and on the back end near the top. Elsewhere the snow has pretty much melted. Either way it doesn’t present an obstacle: the mud and water is much more relevant.

An absolutely spectacular, if a bit chilly, day on the trail! Pics below!

More new content: Stiles Cove Path page added!

Hi folks! So technically, we haven’t finished this trail. There’s a 6 km section in the middle of the trail that we haven’t done: both times we went out on the trail in the past year we were doing out-and-back hikes and so we didn’t cover great distances, and despite that it irritates me not to finish a trail, we didn’t ever make it back to clue it up before the snow fell. It’s on my list of trails to tackle as soon as the snow melts and we have the time to hike again.

That said, we managed to snap some spectacular pictures on the sections of the trail we have seen over the past couple of years, so head on over to the new Stiles Cove page to check them out!

Edited to add: a short page added for the Deadman’s Cove Path, with much more to come when we complete it!

Cobbler Path page added!

We’ve hiked this trail a couple of times over the past couple of years, but I wanted to put off constructing the page for it until I had some pictures to go with it. The pics I took in 2012 were deleted… I spent the summer of 2012 hiking, taking pictures almost every day for two months, and lost the lot aside from a few that made it online in my tumblr or the old version of the hiking page. Sad. Anyhow, we head out as far as Torbay Point pretty frequently since it’s close to home, so I’ve had plenty of opportunity to get replacement pics for this trail, at least.

Check out the Cobbler Path page!

Welcome to Heather and Gerry’s New and Improved Hiking Page!

Hi folks, and welcome to the relaunch of our hiking blog! We had fun creating this blog, and decided that the best way to continue from here, especially given that our hikes are carrying us beyond the East Coast Trail, would be to host the blog on a server away from, giving us full control and allowing us to expand our little dedication to the trails of the beautiful province of Newfoundland and Labrador. The plan is to continue building pages for trails as we hike and photograph them, and to post with trail updates, discussions about gear, and whatever other hiking-related things might come into our minds!

Thanks for stopping by, and keep checking back as we add and expand! Next step is the addition of the Cobbler’s Path and Stiles Cove Path pages, and some chatting about the summer hike schedule! See you soon!