From Quidi Vidi to Sugarloaf Mountain: On the East Coast Trail

Sunday morning, despite our hangovers, some friends and I decided we needed to hike. The sun was out, how could we refuse? Unfortunately, you can only hike Signal Hill so often before the 700+ vertical stairs become frustrating.

We decided to try the East Coast Trail hike starting at Quidi Vidi Village.

Having a change of scenery was exactly what I needed. The first leg of the hike around the hill is a rough one with lots of stairs and climbing, and great views of the village. You can pretty much sit on the edge of a cliff and dangle your feet onto a fishing shed. I was absolutely tickled pink, despite the insane wind blowing us across the path.

Before we knew the task ahead of us.

Before we knew the task ahead of us.

Before I pushed him in.

Before I pushed him in.

Then, once we had reached the very top, we decided to veer right. We descended the hill and then discovered a little set of wooden stairs dropping vertically over the side, almost into the sky. As soon as we stepped onto the path, everything stopped. The wind ceased abruptly, the noise was replaced with total silence, and the city disappeared from site. It was the ultimate thrill, like finding a new place. I kinda felt like a viking. Only a sexy one.

The magical staircase.

The magical staircase.

We were eventually led into the forest, across a bridge covering a rust-coloured river tainted by iron. The rocks were orange and neon green. We kept hiking and hiking and hiking, until we met a few people who told us the trail ended at Logy Bay.

Ah yes, nature. So good.

Ah yes, nature. So good.

Apparently, we were on the route that my roommates and I had been planning forever. After looking at the route online, we had determined that the 8.9 km trek would best be turned into an all-day endeavour, starting from early in the morning and then making our way back in the afternoon.

For real, I live here.

For real, I live here.

We ended up unknowingly doing it in 3 hours. Nothing but birds chirping, trees squeaking, and waves crashing. When you emerge from the forest after Robin Hood Bay, you’re literally walking on top of Sugarloaf Mountain. The cliffs are lined with trees on such a vertical drop, looking down becomes terrifying.

Again, can I just say how effing amazing this place is? All this, just outside the city.

  • June 23 2010

    That trek looks awesome! It is amazing how you can discover incredible spots close to your own home :)

    • July 02 2010

      Seriously! Had no idea this place existed so close to home.

  • June 24 2010
    maggie

    :D I love all the hiking that is just outside the city…
    And I love all the hiking that is so easily nearby now that I have a car ;)

    I haven’t had a good hike yet this summer (just signal hill a few times… hardly seems to count anymore! ;) ), will have to do one soon….

    • July 02 2010

      Definitely! I’m not quite sick of Signal Hill yet, but it’s nice to have a change of scenery.

  • June 24 2010

    What is this thing called nature you speak of? I must have movie theaters and shopping malls blocking my view. I COULD go to the beach right now, but they’re probably filming some reality TV show there.

    • July 02 2010

      Hahaha, that is unfortunate, as I would kill for a beach.

  • June 24 2010

    I’d love to do the 220 kms of the East Coast Trail that’s been “hardened to international standards.” Great place names too.

    You live in one very special part of the world.

    • July 02 2010

      Thanks, Leigh! Man, I can’t even how long the whole thing would take. Would be interesting to find out.

  • June 25 2010

    Aarrgghhh…jealous! As if you call that place home!!! Love a Sunday hangover walk..blows away the cobwebs and the hungover guilts all in one refreshing breath of seaside air! beautiful! Have fun at Tbex!!!! K

    • July 02 2010

      Hahaha, totally! Or makes you more violently ill…

  • June 25 2010

    Amazing scenery, especially in the last pic! Great way to get over a hangover, I guess! :)

  • June 25 2010

    Looks awesome Candice! Can’t wait to check out NFLD! You’re a hiking machine btw. Hangovers + exercise normally = illness for me. lol

    • July 02 2010

      I’ve had years of practice, of course! I’ll take you out on the trail if ya ever visit.

  • June 26 2010

    What a lovely place! Matches anywhere else I’ve seen for a good scenic hike.

    • July 02 2010

      I had to steal the images from my friend who totally didn’t get some great views, next time I need to bring my camera!

  • June 26 2010

    Excellent way to deal with a hangover! Getting out and enjoying nature. Stunning pictures!

    • July 02 2010

      Thanks, Matt! I was pretty thrilled to find it.

  • July 01 2010

    Holy crap, that looks amazing. I really need to get to Newfoundland sometime soon so I can do all these amazing hikes. So pretty!

  • July 05 2010

    That sounds like an exquisite day. And I like that last photo of you. Very alive.

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