gallows cove

I’m backtracking to March – when Chris and I walked the Gallows Cove Trail in Torbay. The snow had barely gone, in fact at the time, there was still snow and ice in the shade of the woods.  Regardless, the sun had come out and it felt glorious to be outside.

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I only heard about this trail a couple of years ago when my friend was visiting from Ottawa and we were in search of an iceberg. In case you don’t know where it is, you’ll see the sign for Gallows Cove Road just after you drive by Foodland (if you are coming from town). Turn right and you’ll end up at the trail. 5-Torbay

Looking back on these photos, I can almost smell the fresh, clean, crisp, air. I LOVE the deep blue of the ocean and the gradient blues of the sky.

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We only walked for a hour or so – but I heard you can walk all the way around the harbour.  I’ll have to go back and find out more at a later date. Happy Trails.

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oh what a hike!

IMG_8821We’ve had a really cold start to summer. Some are blaming it on the capelin being late rolling, some are just chaulking it up to living in this unpredictable place. Regardless of the reason for the cold, when we finally do get a good day, you have to take full advantage and get outside.

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One day last week we arrived home from work and it was warm and sunny (well, it wasn’t completely freezing).  So we headed to Quidi Vidi Gut and started up the path for the Sugarloaf hike.  This hike takes you from Quidi Vidi all the way to Logy Bay, but we only did the first part of the hike, up to the lookout at the top of the stairs.IMG_8796
At the beginning of the hike, it is not easy to determine the exact path to take.  There are a few options it seems, but you can’t really get lost.  By the time you get higher up the hill, the path is more clearly marked.

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The view gets more and more stunning, the higher you climb (perhaps that goes without saying but it seems worth mentioning as we kept stopping to take photos and just soak it all in). The trail has a variety of lovely paths – some sections take you through the trees and other sections are on top of the rocks where you look down on Quidi Vidi, or out towards Cape Spear.

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When we arrived at the top of the staircase, we could even see an iceberg in the distance.  My iPhone camera did not capture that very well, but it was a little extra treat for us!

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We both absolutely loved this trail.  I had done it a couple of years ago, but it was Chris’ first time.  It is his favourite hike so far.

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We want to go all the way to Logy Bay next time, but that will take a little more time and planning to drop a car off at the other end.  Definitely do-able though.  Can’t wait!

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the grand ‘ole duke of york

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Staircase #2 on the North Head Trail is the toughest for me. When I hike the North Head trail, I try to do this staircase without stopping, because frankly, if I stop, I may never start moving again. So to keep my momentum going, I sing “The Grand ‘Ole Duke of York” in my head.  I’m pretty sure the song is from my Girl Guide days. Don’t worry – I don’t sing it out loud, but if you step on each beat of the song, you have to sing it 3 times to ascend the staircase, with a couple extra steps left over at the end.

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So next time you hike this trail, at Staircase #2, think of me and The Grand Ole Duke. You’re welcome.

 

d’iberville trail, trinity south

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Last weekend we did a hike we have been trying to do for ages.  We had a stellar day and it was the perfect opportunity to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather.

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The hike leaves from Custards Head in Hants Harbour (down by the lighthouse) and goes along the shoreline to New Chelsea, the next community down the shore (or up the shore, depending on your perspective).

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Most of the hike is through the woods with groomed trails and lovely staircases.

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Early on in the hike, there is an off shoot of the trail to a lookout with an incredible view. Warm gentle wind and the heat of the sun felt glorious, especially after all the cold weather we have been having!

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Around the half way point on the trail, you can look back and see Hants Harbour.

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We took our time and had a picnic lunch on the way so it took us over an hour to get to New Chelsea, but if you were straight hiking it would likely take around 45 minutes. The end of the path comes out in front of the church. So pretty!  We walked back along the highway which was not scenic at all, but we had fun anyway.  Apparently this is only part of the D’Iberville Trail – we definitely need to experience more sections of it soon.  This combines my favourite things about Newfoundland – the ocean, hiking & spending time with my family.

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yeah spring!

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Honey asked me what I wanted to do for Mother’s Day and the first thing that I thought of was the North Head Trail around Signal Hill.  I haven’t done that hike since the fall – it would be a treacherous place to be with all the snow and ice we had this winter.

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I was prepared with many layers and a hat and mitts, but it was surprisingly warm!  I had my jacket around my waist the entire hike. I know my Ottawa friends are lounging on their decks wearing shorts with drinks in hand – however it has still been pretty cold here.

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I am always in awe when I do this hike! I just can’t stop taking photos and breathing in the salt air.  Although there are a few places on the hike where I need to put away my phone and concentrate so I don’t go careening down the cliff!

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The rich shades of brown are so intense – it is stunning during each season in totally different ways!  You can check out a summer hike I did here and a fall hike I did here to compare.

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Even the neutral colours of the rocks stop me in my tracks to spend a few moments admiring them.

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The Rockstar came with us – I think he loves this trail too!

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We could even see a couple of icebergs but my iphone camera does not do them justice.

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I love looking over at Fort Amherst.

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I was huffing and puffing by the time I got up all the stairs at the top of Signal Hill!  I have some work to do obviously!  I can’t wait to head back there again! Yeah spring!

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north head trail

September 30th was a record breaking day for weather in St. John’s.  It was also a PD day for my daughter so I convinced her to join sister #2 and I for a hike on the North Head Trail at Signal Hill.   The last time I did this trail, I started at the top of Signal Hill, walked down the trail and then retraced my steps again back up the trail. This time Sister #2 parked halfway up the hill and we walked down the road through the Battery and onto the trail to do a full loop back to the car.  I’m not sure I would have found the beginning of the trail on my own.  You have to walk through the houses in the Battery and then walk over someone’s deck to get to the beginning.  20131014-182334.jpg

The houses are all built very close together and in many cases, built right into the rock and very close to the road. While it is quaint and interesting this time of year, I can’t help but imagine what it is like in the winter time. I’m guessing just a bit harsh!

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It feels like you are in a totally different country.  So interesting.

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There is definitely a view like none other.

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My ballerina striking a pose.

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When I did this trail in July, you could smell the wild roses everywhere.  This time of year, the trail was littered with dogberries and you know I love them!

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I don’t think it matters how often you do this trail, it is always breathtaking.  You can see Fort Amherst in this photo below. One of my favourite things in the world is to see the sun sparkling on the water.

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Rocky came with us – He was pretty pooped by the end of the walk but he’s always happier to come with us. 20131014-182506.jpg

The hike up to the top got my heart pumping. It is such an invigorating hike – you feel like a million bucks when you are done.  SO much better than heading to a gym.

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St. John’s is so fortunate to have this (and many other) wonderful hikes.  LOVE.

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whitehills trail

So hands down, my absolute favourite part of being here in St. John’s is the hiking trails. Well, actually, I guess my TRUE favourite part of being here is being near my family, but definitely the second best part is the hiking lol. My friend took me on a hike I had never done before and let me tell you, I will be going back!! Very soon!20130730-165718.jpg

You start the hike at the base of Quidi Vidi Lake (you have to drive around the lake near those big green storage containers) and from there you can park and hike up the hills. Apparently you can go all the way to Logy Bay – we heard it would take approx 2-4 hours, depending on how fast you hike. I would love to do that soon – but this time we only went to the top of the staircase. (I don’t know how to describe it other than that). We were probably hiking for an hour and a half.

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You get a bird’s eye view of Quidi Vidi Village (so quaint) and the ocean. There were lots of boats going in and out.

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It is not always clear where you are going on the path, and it would be easy to veer off the intended trail, if you weren’t totally paying attention. We tried to follow the East Coast Trail signs and any wooden walkways to keep us on track.

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This is us at the top of the stairs feeling great from that fabulous hike!

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The view seemed to change at every vantage point. I just kept clicking photos.

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This is a panoramic photo I took with my iphone. Gorg.

I’m on the top of the wo-orld lookin’, down on cre-a-tion…..

Ear worm?

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Looking forward to finding more trails. Stay tuned.