The trailhead for the Sugarloaf Path is in the Marine Lab parking lot, and the first 500 metres of the trail are a steep uphill climb. The view from the top is spectacular , though, with high, rocky cliffs stretching in both directions, the Cobbler Path to the north, and Sugarloaf Head to the south. From there, the trail continues uphill to Sugarloaf Head, the highest point on the early section of the trail, after which the trail enters the wooded hills for a couple of kilometers.
This trail passes the St. John’s municipal landfill (ie. the dump), and unfortunately, a fair bit of garbage makes its way to the trail each winter, but come spring a team of volunteers makes its way along the trail and cleans it up. The vast majority of what blows down to the trail each winter consists of plastic shopping bags… folks, this is precisely why you should use recyclable/reuseable shopping bags!
Past Robin Hood Bay, the trail opens up to a beautiful grassy area, with deep gulches on one side. The trail enters woods again and descends to John Howards River, red with iron. The trail passes close to the rocky coastline here and the geology is pretty fascinating. From there, the final climb to Bawdens Highland can be a bit of a challenge. It comes in spurts, though, and sections of it are again through the shade of trees.
Rounding the top of Bowdens Highland, a spectacular view of St. John’s is afforded. It really is a beautiful city! From here the trail descends fairly steeply over stairs and rocks towards Quidi Vidi Gut and the scenic Quidi Vidi Village. From here, it’s a short hike alongside Quidi Vidi to the trailhead at the end of the pond.
Check out some pics below!