Newfoundland is absolutely beautiful. Extremely nice people. Well maintained trails, and although not exactly extreme wilderness, it is an excellent seaside trail with a nice mix of terrain.
The trail is made up of 28 different trails/sections, separated by "towns" Some may not like this aspect of the trail but I quite enjoyed walking through the settled areas.
There are 5 wilderness campsites on the trail. Unfortunately, I didn't have a chance to check out any of them. Supposedly the one on the Spout Path is excellent. Nonetheless, it is permissible to camp anywhere on the trail. Leave no trace and no fires.
Numerous bed and breakfasts, and a new taxi service (Southern Shore Taxi) that services the area. The trail starts in St. John's the capital city, so logistics is extremely easy. You can take a $30 CDN taxi from the airport to trailhead and the ride back from the southernmost trail is $180 CDN. St. John's, the capital city, is worth spending a few days in as well.
Hurricane Igor, supposedly the worst in a very long time and my buddies knees, disrupted our trip a bit (washed out trails, impassible river crossing, fallen trees, bushwacking, re-routes and lots of backtracking).. the best laid plans..
We went out the day after the hurricane. Sunny weather... awesome, not so sunny, still very cool to be out in the Atlantic (blusterly weather in full rain gear is excellent). For the most part though, the trails were in good condition considering.
Going back to complete it soon... bringing fishing rod this time. Supposedly legal to fish without a license off shore and because there is no major agriculture or industry the water is drinkable anywhere in the province.
These photos probably represent a bit less than a quarter of the total trail.
I used a MLD Burn, Katabatic Palisade and a Tarptent Double Rainbow. Despite my best attempts, I was still at 27lbs pack out weight, but it wasn't too bad considering our leisurely pace.
I've realized that cliff bars suck and weigh a ton. So does trail mix. I dehydrated stew with 2.5 lbs of beef, potatoes and carrots and it weighed relatively little even when adding the weight of fuel. With a little Uncle Ben's it made a great breakfast and dinner with very little effort. I love my Nesco and think dehydrated meals is the way to go.
Sorry about our ugly mugs in the photos and the photo bloat, I tried to show a good practical representation of the hike.
Day trip the day before the hurricane. It likely wouldn't have been a good idea to go out on the coast in 200Km winds. Good thing I checked the weather channel and our trip delayed a day or else we'd be on the trail when it hit.
The end of the trail. Quidi Vidi Village below. It started to rain.. you can see Signal Hill in the background. We took the municipal trails to Signal Hill, walking back to the hotel. Had to test out the rain gear.
The day after the hurricane. Fort Amherst. The first trail of the East Coast Trail. Going south. Looking across from trailhead as cab dropped us off.
Loved this section. My overexposed photos don't do this area justice. 2 lakes with along trail on the one side, ocean on other.
Trail ends up here. This is the Barachois. It's a barrier made of rocks with the ocean on one side and a freshwater pond/lake on the other. It was impassable because of high water, so was the alternate route around the pond.
With impassible water, injury, fast setting sun, and the next two sections likely flooded we hiked out on the alternate trail to the highway and called a cab.
The next day was sunny and beautiful but more frustration with water. In the end we took another taxi ride south about 50 km and would work north towards St. John's instead of our planned southward trek. After some stealth camping in the closed LaManche Provincial Park (we actually had to hide in the bushes when the ranger drove by, turning off headlamp just in time), back on the trail and it was beautiful.
LaManch Bridge. Trail Assoc. volunteers raised money to connect trails. The ledges by the bridge (top right) is perfect campsite with views of the cove/ocean.
Between trails, although walking on paved road, this area was lovely.
On website, states you can't camp on trail. I thought it meant within sight from trail. Met some volunteers and turns out you can camp right there... too cold for us but nice in the summer with ocean view. Good way to end a lovely day, rolling in with rainbow greeting us. Ahhhhh...simple pleasures. Vale Meadows.
Deep in bush behind Vale Meadow. Miraculous mossy flat spot with 5 somewhat live trees surrounded by dead beetle killed spruce. Nice when things work out.
Packed up and prepared for a rainy day. Supposedly 7000 trees fell across the trail during the storm. We were warned by chainsaw wielding volunteers that the next sections would have a lot of water and fallen trees.
This was our last day on the trail.
Walked through rain all day, shoes soaked through, heading towards marshy area and section after that volunteers warned us was impossible to pass because of fallen trees, sun setting fast... time to throw in the towel and call taxi to take us back to St. John's and the Delta..
Best $150 I ever spent...