Cape Spear Path

edit_4412Another beautiful, cool summer day, another perfect day for a hike along the coast! The Cape Spear Path is so named because the trailhead is in Cape Spear National Park, site of the most easterly point in North America, not to mention some beautiful trails, a couple of lighthouses, one of which can be explored, and extensive military bunkers and gun emplacements. It’s a highly recommended site in its own right for visitors. The Cape Spear Path skirts around the bunkers and by the lighthouses and continues on over the barren land beyond towards Maddox Cove. We parked at the trailhead in Maddox Cove and the fine folks at North West Taxi got us to the other trailhead at Cape Spear.

Technically, we didn’t start our hike at the trailhead; the trail starts at the entrance to the park, and we were dropped at the tourist chalet in the parking lot, technically shaving off ~1km. We joined the trail at the bunker and continued from there. The trail heads out over barrens dotted with scattered trees and deceptively deep mud pits, as one dog accompanying a fellow hiker discovered! Sticking to the trail whenever boardwalk is present is a good idea. The trail skirts a gulch and we come across the branch to North Head, where we stopped and watched the whales put on an absolute show for a boatload of lucky tourists.

Back to the main trail and down over the hill is the site of the former settlement of Staffordside. We couldn’t find any evidence of human occupation, but I’ve seen pictures, so I know some rock piles and walls exist! I have a feeling we walked past Staffordside proper, but the rocky plain it sat on is very scenic nonetheless. The trail continues past some severe looking rocky shores and a few tiny coves, through a large field of erratics, before entering the woods at Herring Cove. The “second steps” portion of the trail is interesting; be careful scrabbling over those rocks on a wet day! Some interesting cliffside walks and seabird nesting sites remain before the trail exits into scenic Maddox Cove. Check out some images from the trail below. Click an image to bring up the gallery!

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