East Coast Trail
East Coast Trail
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Explore 25 wilderness paths along North America's easternmost coastline. The East Coast Trail unites genuine wilderness hiking with richly historic communities from Topsail Beach, to Cape St. Francis, to Cappahayden. There are over 300 kilometers of developed trail to explore. The paths of the East Coast Trail take you past towering cliffs and headlands, sea stacks, deep fjords, and a natural wave-driven geyser called the Spout. Experience abandoned settlements, lighthouses, ecological reserves, seabird colonies, whales, icebergs, the world's southernmost caribou herd, historic sites, a 50-metre suspension bridge, two active archaeological dig sites, and many more attractions. While the East Coast Trail is free to hike. A $25 annual membership fee helps offset the cost of trail maintenance.
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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473 reviews
Very good

Buffalo, NY20 contributions
May 2022
Great forest trail!. Starts out with small gravel/dirt mixture with the odd to rock to watch out for. The trail runs along a small stream. The further you go the rockier the path gets. At places the path is all river rock with a trickle of a stream just enough to make some of the rocks wet but not enough to make your running shoes wet. The path drops down (rocky) onto an open hilly, grass area with s suspension bridge and waterfall looking onto the ocean. I read that whales can sometimes be seen here but I didn't see any. This is Avery nice walk with the only part being challenging is where it drops down to the suspension bridge. But if you take your time and are careful you will be fine. I think it is harder cardio wise than skill level. On the other side of the suspension bridge the trail turns into stairs going up and then it becomes a usual forest trail with dirt, roots and rocks so it takes time. Near the end of the trail it descends down towards the ocean with lots of large black rocks. Beautiful reward at the end of a long hike. Enjoy! (there are no washrooms, so bring some toilet paper just incase nature calls in nature). Also, I'm not a hiker. I walk approx. 7 km a day on a flat surface so walking up and down hills is a workout for me
Written May 26, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Hector Valencia
St. John's, Canada9 contributions
Aug 2020
Gigantic spot for a picnic, a “budol fight” will be funtastic for an 8.1Kilometers "tukad-baba, baba-tukad."

Worth the trail that will test your agility, endurance and mobility that equates to its easy, moderate and kind of difficult terrain for those who are not use to trudge long distances.

Took me 2 hours and 15 minutes to reach this highlight through different grade of pathways, starting from unpaved road, muddy and stone trail, into the woods, longitudinal boardwalks to stair made of logs, etc.
In total, 5 hours back and forth which includes taking a deep breath, a break and at least 3 “viewpoints.”

Sweat and perspire a lot under a sultry sun, cooling off under the canopies of spruce. Tasting wild blueberries on the way was such a leisurely treat.

Lucky to have the boat on the spot with bunches of people touring the rugged coastline and estuaries.
Written August 20, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

London, Canada11 contributions
Oct 2022
Visiting Newfoundland is an experience like no other. It is breath taking view after view. The trails are amazing, but not well maintained and definitely require proper shoes, water bottle, etc. Please know that there aren't fences in the spots we visited. Please be careful. Totally worth it!
Written October 30, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Berlin, Germany1,012 contributions
Dec 2019 • Friends
This is such a great idea! Creating a trail around the most remarkable coastline in Newfoundland at the Avalon peninsula.
It takes a lot of energy and money to keep the unique trail active.
He is in great conditions.
Especially around the Witless Bay Ecological area the Trail is so special.
Written January 14, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Leverkusen, Germany326 contributions
Jun 2022 • Family
Simply spectacular! Awesome views over the rocky coast and the Atlantic Ocean, different levels of difficulty and length. Two days of hiking and on both days we saw whales. First day a few feet away from shore and out in the ocean, second out in a bay. Wish I could have done more hiking during my stay.
Written June 27, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Waterloo, Canada888 contributions
Jun 2022
Love the ECT! We did a stretch of the ECT south from Cape Spear to North Head. It took a little over an hour to get there. The trail is well maintained, muddy in a couple of spots but people have created alternate paths. Beautiful views all the way along.

The views from the trail are sooo gorgeous. You're high up on cliffs overlooking the ocean. We've done a few sections of the trail and it's gorgeous everywhere. The ECT website is really helpful and explains all the sections you can do.
Written June 15, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

West Lafayette, IN4,718 contributions
Sep 2016 • Couples
The East Coast Trail is a marvelous way to see the best natural wonders of Newfoundland’s east coast. Here are some tips:

1. We had a rental car and chose to stay in St. John’s so that we could be sure to have comfortable accommodations and avoid moving each night. It also allowed us to adjust our daily itinerary according to our energy levels and interests. Of the sections that interested us, Ferryland was the furthest (1 hr) from our hotel (Murray Premises). Other people we spoke with moved from B&B to B&B as they progressed along the trail.

2. Since there were only the two of us with one car, we had to take transportation into consideration once we reached the end of a trail. It is my understanding that, if you stay at B&B’s along the trail, some of them will assist you with this. There also are cab companies that will pick you up at one trail head and return you to the other; however, this can be a pricey service, depending on how far they have to travel to pick you up. Check the East Coast Trail Association website for recommended companies and email them for pricing. The best solution for us was to focus more on the highlights of each trail section and return to our starting point rather than completing sections end to end.

3. Before beginning, go to the Outfitters store on Water Street in St. John’s. Tell them the sections you plan to hike and they will provide you the maps you need. There is a fee for the maps, but you really want to have them and it is my understanding that the fees go back to the trail association.

4. We hiked in August and were blessed with almost universally wonderful weather. However, the weather can change in a heartbeat. Rain, wind and fog can ruin a hike, or even make a hike impossible. So pay attention to the weather forecast and plan accordingly.

5. If you do not have either the time or the interest to hike the entire trail, you will have to select which paths fit your interests and fitness. Being fit and in our mid-60s, our interests were easy-moderate paths that offered the greatest beauty and variety. In my opinion, here are the highlights that you want to see regardless of your plan. These are each accessible without having to complete an entire section of any trail:

a. Cape Spear, for me, is the jewel of the entire trail. It is a Canadian National Park, you can drive to it, and it is only 20 minutes or so from downtown St. John’s. Two lighthouses, spectacular views and dramatic cliffs that rival anything found in Ireland. If you only have time for one section, this should be it.

b. The must-see sight in La Manche Provencal Park is the bridge and the village ruins. The trail begins at the parking lot which is reached by a bumpy ride from Route 10 via La Manche Drive. The 30-minute walk in can be a bit of a tester, but doable by just about anyone who is willing to take their time.

c. Ferryland lighthouse provides photo ops from so many angles and the surrounding coastline is spectacular. You can drive to within about 1 km of the lighthouse and walk to it via a nice wide trail that does include a fairly substantial overall grade.

d. I would also visit Ft. Amherst lighthouse, which can be reached without ever stepping on the East Coast Trail. Only 10 minutes from downtown St. John’s, the lighthouse and the road to it offer great views of the St. John’s wharf, the Battery, the Narrows and Signal Hill.

e. Our experience with the other sections was that they are beautiful, but offer a redundancy of views from forested trails and open meadows. The Mickeleen Path provides a nice sampling with some dramatic views.
Written January 25, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Vancouver, Canada30 contributions
Aug 2015 • Couples
My wife and I hiked the entire part of the East Coast Trail (ECT) starting at Fort Amherst in St. John's Harbour and going up (that's what the locals call it, but actually we were heading south) to Cappahayden. The adventure took 10 days and was, in aggregate, at least 225 kms. The ECT is not as well known as its Canadian cousin, the West Coast Trail on BC's Vancouver Island, but it is every bit as spectacular and approximately 3X as long. Rather than one continuous trail, the ECT represents a series of interconnected trails. Each trail has its own unique character. Some are very steep with high cliffs and dense forest, some allow you to walk along open grass meadows and some take you right to the beach. The Atlantic Ocean is never far away. Signage is great but the ECT still feels rugged and untouched and we were on our own some days without seeing anyone else other than the occasional moose (two crossed the trail in front of us). Weather varied between very sunny and hot, windy, foggy and rainy (seriously consider dry boots because when it rains in the trail, there can be pools of water blocking your way on some parts of the trail for at least another day).

While the ECT itself is amazing, organizing accommodation along the way was a little more challenging (for those of us who do not want to camp in the trail). Below was our itinerary in the hopes that you will save some time in your preparations and book early:

- 2 nights at the JAG hotel in St. John's (pre-hike). A cool new boutique right near the action on St John's waterfront. Was a short cab right to the start of the hike for us at Fort Amherst.
- 3 nights at the Wild Roses B&B in Goulds. Mary is fantastic and has a hiker's special which means that she will drop you off and pick you up each day (which is good as the ECT around her area does not have any nearby accommodation), give you breakfast, a pack lunch and then a dinner representing one of the local delicacies (ex. jiggs dinner, fish & brewis and cod tongues).
- 1 night at the Bread & Cheese Inn (Bay Bulls). We were able to come off the ECT and walk right up to the Inn. That night we called a cab and ate at the Sapphire Pub a few kilometres down the street. Next morning, we called the same cab who took us to the start of the next trailhead.
- 2 nights at Celtic Rendezvous (Seal Cove). We were able to walk right off the ECT and then down the local road a few kilometers to this place. Great location on the water but absolutely no place within walking distance to eat or buy groceries. We ended up calling a cab and going back to Foodland in Bay Bulls to pick up food and booze and cooked in the kitchen including breakfast each morning. The first morning we were able to walk further down the road to the next trailhead. We used a cab to get back at the end of that day and then again to take us to the trailhead the next day.
- 1 night at Dunne's in Ferryland. Great location again and very outgoing hosts. This time we were not able to walk off the ECT to the accommodation but rather arranged a ride with the hosts during which we picked up take-out (fish and chips of course) for dinner. Dunne's is right across from a cool historical attraction with great views. We started the next phase of the ECT as soon as we said goodbye.
- 2 nights at Hagan's Hospitality Home in Aquaforte. We were able to come off the ECT and walk right to Hagan's. We ate at the Squid Jigger down (north on) the street with a ride to/fro from our host. The next trailhead started right by Hagan's so easy logistics the following day. The second night we went for dinner to a local family's house whom we met during the trip (the Newfies are very friendly folks).
- 2 nights back at the JAG in St. John's to celebrate the completion. We arranged a ride back to St. John's well in advance of finishing the hike as there few cabs in this part of Newfoundland.

Very quaint towns along the way but not a lot of convenience stores that you can expect to run into.

Great adventure, great people and a great workout. Well done Newfoundland.
Written September 20, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

canada27 contributions
My husband and I hiked about 150 kms of the East Coast Trail in September of 2010. We hiked the section from Cappahayden to Petty Harbour. We planned to hike all the way to St. John's but hurricane Igor came along and dropped about 5000 trees onto the trail so we quit early. I have heard that most of those trees have been cleaned up by this writing, but you may want to confirm that at their web site at www.eastcoasttrail.ca.
This trail is abolutely remarkable. It is very rugged and difficult in may areas, but the scenery is positively stunning. The camp spots located along the trail are incredibly remote - we were alone at every one of them. The towns along the way boast the friendliest people we have ever met. Make sure you don't camp every night, but stay in a few Bed and Breakfasts as well.
We stayed in the following locations that I feel should not be missed: The Arc of the Avalon in Ferryland and The Whale Watcher in Burnt Cove.
If you want to hike this trail, I believe you must carry camp equipment or miss the best parts of the trail. There are many sections that can not be hiked in one day. Plan on less distance than you might be used to as well. On some sections of the trail, 10 - 12 kilometres is a full and tiring day.
For my own personal blog of our hike visit http://www.traillady.com.
Written November 8, 2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

robert o
Syracuse, NY7 contributions
Oct 2013 • Solo
I have climbed most of the high peaks in the Adirondack Mts in New York State, and some in Colorado and Montana, and found the ECT to be one of the most organized, well maintained trails ever. I hiked about 40 km of trail and all were very easy to follow with really nice signage, many stepping stones or chicken wire-covered planking in boggy areas, and wooden log steps notched for traction in steep locations. The scenery is absolutely spectacular! If hiking with small children, I would suggest caution as some places can be a bit precarious with loose rock and steep cliffs along the trail. The ECT website is an excellent source to guide you as to the level of difficulty and very descriptive of each section of trail. Trails have many attractions depending on the area...ie-lighthouses, bridges, waterfalls, small fishing villages etc. I would go back in a heart beat!
Written November 2, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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