Length: 300 km
Distance hiked: 65 km
Just found some toilet paper in my rain jacket. It was a little reminder that I hiked a part of the East Coast Trail in Newfoundland a few weeks ago. And here is the deal: If you don’t expect the unusual hot picture perfect weather that we had, this will be the perfect destination for your next trip! What a coast line, hardly any hikers on the path (about 4 to 6 per day in peak season) and a handful of beautiful waterfalls waiting for you to be explored. The East Coast Trail is very easy accessible and moderate in terms of the degree of difficulty I would say. We hiked 60 km from St. Johns to Bay Bulls and had to stop only because I had some problems with my left foot. There are 26 wilderness paths and it adds up to 300 km altogether, if you hike the whole trail.
Plan ahead however and be prepared for rain or cold weather. There are not a lot or hardly any options to buy stuff once you are one the trail. Backcountry food, minute rice, nuts, waterfilter and camping equipment are essential on the trail. If you are running out of food you will end up hitch hiking to a super store (like we did) or find yourself knocking on a door of a local Newfie. There is a good Outfitters store on Water Street in St. Johns, if you need anything. They also sell great maps of the East Coast Trail (37 $, so quiet expensive, but it’s worth it).
Wilderness Camping is allowed on the trail (with a few exceptions, e.g. around the “Spout”) as long as you carry everything in and out again (no littering!!!). The drinking water sources are also fine (filter or treat the water), so no need to worry about that either. Make sure not to carry more then 8 to 10 kg (for women) or 12-14 kg (for men). We had too heavy backpacks in the first few days and stored stuff at the light house in Cape Spear. If you are flying to St. John’s ask the owners of your B&B, if you can store all the stuff that you don’t need on the trail at their place. They will help you for sure, because they want you to have an incredible experience and they aim to support the tourism industry.
How to get on and off the trail? There are affordable privat shuttle services availlable.
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