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Kittiwake Economic Development Corporation

The eKubator Project

Hiking Newfoundland's Outback
July 20, 2001
{Author: By: Jackie Cheeseman}



  Discovering something new is the essence of a vacation, especially for those who equate vacation with adventure. While Newfoundland’s landscape is characterized as typically rugged and barren, the Kittiwake Coast has a diverse ecosystem, ranging from trails that meander across sand dunes to those that trek across the rocky shoulder of the ocean and through lush, thriving boreal forest.

  Strap on your old hiking boots and arm yourself with a good snack, camera and ample film. The province’s newly-constructed T’Railway puts pristine brooks, ponds and old growth forest within easy reach by foot.

  Terra Nova National Park is famous for its guided walks; the best way to explore the vast expanse of the park. With a variety of hiking trails available, ranging from 3 kilometres to 55 kilometres, families and individuals can stroll the gentle trails or tackle the more demanding terrain. The Outport Trail leads through remnants of former logging communities and up Mt. Stamford, which affords a spectacular view of the sprawling shoreline. The self-guided trail at Sandy Pond takes you into the wilderness where the beavers build dams among pitcher plants, ferns, and orchids.

  Coastline trails provide a unique experience. When in Greenspond, located on the Road to the Shore, be sure to take a walk around the island. The community has history dating back to the 1600's, and was once known as the “Capital of Bonavista Bay”. The trail has been worn into the earth by residents over the past 400 years. Small spruce trees, stunted from the salt spray of the ocean, push their way courageously through the cracks in the rock. This type of environment is a haven for bake apples. These gems can be plucked for a rare snack along the trail.

  During your stay in Gander, take a stroll around the boardwalk of Cobb’s Pond Rotary Park. Green frogs can be seen and heard all along the water’s edge, throats swollen and sending out an alarming croak, signaling the arrival of spring. People often misinterpret the sound of croaking frogs for the quacking of ducks, which are also annual inhabitants of the pond. Children can delight in observing families of black ducks, ring-necked ducks, and an industrious family of beavers. This 2.6-kilometre boardwalk is not to be rushed, for fear of missing the sights, smells and sounds that makes the circuit so worthwhile.

  On windy days take a walk in the sheltered woods of the Thomas Howe Demonstration Forest. Here you will find wide trails suitable for biking, hiking and walking. The trail is a 7.5 kilometres boreal forest classroom which features planting practices of both native and exotic tree species. Tucked on the edge of Gander Lake, you well find the Thomas Howe Interpretive Site. It attracts droves of vistors who wish to learn about the twisted boreal forest, which have struggled to grow in the harsh environment of Central Newfoundland over the past few decades.

  Hiking is a great way to spend your vacation, whether it be a day hike or an overnight adventure.

Getting More Out of Your Hiking Experience



  • Make sure you know the difficulty, time and distance of your hike.
  • Let someone know where you are going and when you expect to back.
  • Pack a light snack, plenty of water, sun-screen, fly repellant and a small first-aid kit.
  • Take the time to be a wilderness detective. Spotting squirrel middens and owl nests will reward you with great photo opportunities.