Heather’s First Hike of the Season!

Hi folks! So real life, as it turns out, sometimes interferes with the maintenance of a blog. Surprising! I teach at the college level and so that midway time between semesters, where exams are being graded and new teaching assignments are beginning, can be very busy. We still managed to squeeze in a couple of hikes these past couple of weeks, though!

Heather has been very busy and so she couldn’t make it out so far this spring, but we started her off with a nice easy one on her first hike: the La Manche Village Trail. Again, we saved ourselves the community walk by skipping the first half km or so and parking at the wharf in Bauline East. From there, it’s a short hike through the woods to La Manche Village.

Along the way, we made a stop in Doctor’s Cove, which is found at a unique point on the trail, where it passes over exposed bedrock. It isn’t far beyond this that the trail opens up above La Manche Village and the first signs of occupation are visible along the hilltop trail: concrete foundations remain, perched high on the hills. The steps down to the bridge are rough in a couple of spots, with one broken step, so be careful. The bridge is in fine shape.

We continued a short distance along the Flamber Head Path, which shares a trailhead with the La Manche Village trail, hoping to get close to the iceberg that had grounded itself just outside of La Manche, but our time was getting short so we headed back.

La Manche Village has always been one of the most interesting places on the trail to me. I’m fascinated by the places where folks originally settled in Newfoundland, and their motivations for doing so, as well as what happened to cause them to leave. La Manche Village was perhaps one of the most interesting cases of this settlement: featuring a beautiful protected harbour but very little land on which to build, much of the community was built on stages around the cliffside. One of the driving causes for the resettlement of the community was the destruction of these stages in a major storm some 60 years ago. All that remains are the concrete foundations and piles of wood, and the chipped away stone where a small quarry existed. Fascinating stuff.

Anyhow, check out the pictures below: mostly the remains of La Manche Village!

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