If your idea of a good vacation is setting off with hiking boots and a walking stick, you’ll love the hundreds of miles of trails found in Newfoundland and Labrador. From trail-covered national parks to walking festivals, in this province hiking is definitely a way of life. If you’re ready to join in, these are some of the best places to start.
Terra Nova National Park
A dream destination for hikers, Terra Nova National Park has 62 miles of trails varying in difficulty from gentle strolls to lengthy hikes, with camping sites all along the way. One of the longer hikes, the Outport Trail, is definitely worth the effort as you make your way along nearly 30 miles of picturesque coastline. Make sure to take the 1-mile detour to the top of Mount Stamford for one of the most spectacular views in the Province.
Gros Morne National Park
Believe it or not, geology is one of the main attractions for hikers in Gros Morne National Park. It was there that geologists first proved the theory of tectonic plates because the Tablelands -- impressive, flat mountains formed of rock usually found deep in the earth's crust -- stretch high above the landscape. When hiking in this national park you'll have your choice of marked and unmarked trails, each with a multitude of plants, animals and birds to take in. One of the most famous hikes takes you up Gros Morne Mountain, delivering stunning views along its 9-mile trail, during which it rises over 2,600 feet. Fog and temperature swings can add to the challenge, but the view makes it all worth it.
The East Coast Trail
Formed of 170 miles of awe-inspiring seaside trails, and passing through 30 coastal communities, the East Coast Trail is truly a one-of-a-kind hiking experience. Divided into 24 paths, each of which can be hiked as an individual experience, the East Coast Trail is accessible to hikers of all skill levels. Each trail is rated by difficulty, so you'll know what to expect on your hike.
Labrador Pioneer Footpath
A historic and traditional trail, the Labrador Pioneer Footpath is a coastal path that stretches between L'Anse-au-Clair and Pinware. This multi-day adventure with overnight accommodations runs along the rugged Labrador coast. In addition to guaranteed, unbelievable views, there's always the chance of seeing icebergs floating by and whales breaching in the distance.
Roots, Rants and Roars
If you love to connect with the local hiking community, check out the Roots, Rants and Roars festival in Elliston. This fun-filled event is a celebration of culture, food, land and sea. For a truly unique experience, participate in the 3-mile looped food hike, during which chefs prepare incredible dishes along the trail.
For more incredible hikes, visit the Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism website.