Max elevation: 154 m
Min elevation: 8 m
Total climbing: 215 m
Total descent: -219 m
Total time: 01:36:15
This hike mostly follows the North Head Trail, if you do any hikes in St John's this should be the one. It takes in stunning views of the ocean from Cabot Tower, Incredible city panoramas and as you walk around you get to experience th character of Newfoundland in both the rugged coastline and colourful townhouses.
This walk really does have a little bit of everything, however it has many steps, steep inclines, and although its a developed trail because it hugs the coastline areas are very steep and dangerous. Take extreme caution and think twice about this trail if you are taking younger children, the weather is inclement or you are not physically prepared for lots of steps.
The hike here begins at the visitors centre, where you will find free parking washrooms and a cafe. You can also park at Cabot Tower parking lot, but the rather odd road system insists you drive into the visitor centres parking lot and you will find more facilities here so its a good place to begin.
You can pick up the trail at the far end of the parking lot, close to the road, and follow it all the way up to cabot tower. Once you have enjoyed the views from the tower you can follow the wall around the parking lot that faces the ocean, once you are at the ned of the wall you can pick up the North Head Trail, from this point you will be able to see most of the path around, you will begin the walk with one of the steepest flights of steps, however, the whole way around will be a similar difficulty.
The trail can be very busy, areas are single track. The time recorded for this walk is a fairly slow/average pace on a busy day taking time to stop for photos and water breaks. If you walked a fast pace and didn't stop much you could complete the walk in about 45mins.
Take special note of the pictures as the trail can be hard to find when it weaves through some of the houses back to the visitors centre. You need to walk up Hipditch Hill, until you find steps going upwards on the side of a blue house.
Things to look out for :
- During the summer you will hear the "noon day gun" signalling 12.00 from Cabot tower.
- Nesting birds can be quite a spectacle amongst the cliffs in the right season
- Early spring/summer season often sees icebergs drifting close to the harbour.
- Timing your visit around a departing cruise ships can be a fascinating sight, some of the bigger ones pay for shots to be fired across the narrows to signal the departure, coupled with thunderous blasts of the cruise liners horn. You can see the schedule for the cruise ships from the citys website.
- As you exit the cliffs you will walk past some of the old harbour buildings, and a pottery.
- Keep an eye out for the resident family of foxes, often seen around the trail early morning and evening.
Walk SummaryDifficulty : Hard
Elevation : Very Hilly
Trail Type : Developed Trail
Route Type : Circular