The East Coast Trail in Newfoundland is famous for world class hikes that take hikers along coastlines littered with whales and islands covered with rare seabirds. It’s easy to encounter moose, fox, ptarmigan, puffins, picnic spots, grassy meadows, and secret beaches at every turn. It’s hard to find a bad East Coast Trail hike, but some hikes really stand out as supreme and worth checking out during your visit to Newfoundland this summer. Here are our top 10 East Coast Trail Summer Hikes:
1: Cape Broyle to Calvert – Full Day 18 Kilometre Hike
Experience the Cape Broyle Head Path for a full day East Coat Trail hiking adventure. This hike has a mix of everything and is popular with hikers of all different backgrounds and experience levels. Explore caves along the way and check out rare coastal rock formations.
2: Pouch Cove to Cape St. Francis – Half Day 7 Kilometre Hike
Known as the Biscan Cove Path hike, this coastal hike showcases multiple waterfalls along the way and includes a visit to a lighthouse. This trail includes more elevation gain and loss than other East Coast Trail hikes and the terrain is more uneven. Be sure to give yourself a little extra time to complete this hike because of it’s difficulty.
3: Outer Cove to Red Cliffs – Half Day 8 Kilometre Hike
The Cobbler’s Path hike is named after coastal rock formations that look like part of a hand near Shooting Cove beach. This hike also takes you to the now decommissioned Pine Tree Radar Station high on Red Cliff. The Radar Station has now turned into a giant canvas for local street and graffiti artists.
4: La Manche Village to Brigus South – Full Day 14 Kilometre Hike
Also known as Flamber Head Path, this full day hiking adventure is worth it, with some of the best East Coast Trail coastline showcased along the way. Secret beaches, tidal pools, waterfalls, cliffs, and hidden coves are everywhere. Because this hike has so many amazing things to explore along the way, you’ll want to make sure you give yourself a little extra time.
5: Torbay to Flat Rock – Half Day 8 Kilometre Hike
The Flat Rock area is frequented by rock climbers all summer long because of the clean rock formations along the coast. Known as Father Troy’s Trail, this East Coast Hiking adventure is close to St. John’s and an ideal half day hike. The hiking is more even and there is less elevation gain and loss on this hike compared with others in the list, making it an easy choice and quick morning or afternoon adventure.
6: Tors Cove to Suspension Bridge and La Manche Village – Half Day 8 Kilometre Hike
Probably the most famous of all Newfoundland East Coast Trail hikes is the Suspension Bridge hike, also known as the LaManche Village Path Hike. For a short hike, this adventure packs a lot of punch. Lots of beautiful Newfoundland Coastline, great views of the Witless Bay Marine Ecological Reserve, giant cliffside tidal pools that get warm in the summer sun, and a trip through the historic village of La Manche.
7: Witless Bay to Bay Bulls – Half Day 6 Kilometre Hike
A great morning or afternoon hike, Mickeleens Hiking Path is easy to squeeze into a morning or afternoon. This is a great sampler hike and a decent first time hike for anyone visiting the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve. Close to Whale Watching Tours and the communities of Bay Bulls and Witless Bay, this hike showcases the north side of the Marine Eco Reserve and is guaranteed to leave you wanting more.
8: Petty Harbour to Shoal Bay Road – Full Day 18 Kilometre Hike
This hike, known as Motion Path takes you through an abandoned Newfoundland Ghost Town with colossal coastal formations, freshwater lakes, sea stacks, and coastal boreal forest. Along your adventure, you’ll notice big boulders, ponds, and sea stacks. This full-day adventure will really make you appreciate soaking in an outdoor hot tub at the end of your hike or relaxing by the campfire with friends.
9: Middle Cove to Torbay – Half Day 5 Kilometre Hike
An easy coastal walk and a great way to combine a visit to Middle Cove beach with an East Coast Trail hiking adventure. Known as the Silver Mine Head Path hike, there’s a lot to see along the way with the lookout cliff near Middle Cove being our favourite spot to stop and take in the view. Easy to do more than once, this hike is close to the capital city of St. John’s and Middle Cove Beach, a popular place to have a fire in the evening.
10: Shoal Bay Road to Bay Bulls (Alternate Backcountry Access from Middle Pond) – Full Day / Multi-Day
With multiple ways to access this hike and none of them being short or easy, it’s important to plan this hike out well, especially if you’re going to use the backcountry access road from Middle Pond. The Spout East Coast Trail hike got it’s name from the saltwater geyser that shoots water straight up into the air. If you’re the fast adventure race type, it’s possible to make this hike into a day trip but really, if you want to go slow, enjoy yourself, and take in all this East Coast Trail adventure has to offer, camping overnight at The Spout geyser is the way to go. If you’re looking to add in just one overnight camping experience as part of your Newfoundland East Coast hiking adventures, The Spout is a great option.