Whether it’s a day trip from St. John’s or a long haul journey from the West, a tour along the Baccalieu Trail should be included in your Newfoundland stay-cation plans! Get ready to dive into historical sites and wondrous hikes as you fill your soul and stomach with delicious food on your Food Hike.
How to get here:
Veer onto the Baccalieu Trail via Exit 31 from the TCH and follow the Veteran’s Memorial Highway. There are many beautiful towns along the route but your first stop will be the quaint Town of Victoria.
Stop by the Heritage Village and stretch your legs as you explore a re-creation of an old Newfoundland settlement including a general store, saltbox house, water wheel, forge, railway stations, carriage house, and a church. Here you’ll truly be transported back in time, the early 1900's to be more precise. Be sure to bring your walking shoes as you explore the 1,500 ft. boardwalk surrounding the site.
Continue north on Route 70 to what feels like the very end of the road. Truly off the beaten path is the beautiful community of Grates Cove, this is also the namesake of the delectable restaurant and Inn where you will stay and pick up your Food Hike from, Grates Cove Studios. Chef Courtney and her Artist husband Terrance Howell will amaze you with their Newfoundland and Cajun fusion foods; especially the dishes prepared for the inaugural RRR’s My Food Hike that includes Lobster Sushi!
Take your insulated backpack with you to the Grates Cove Historic Rock Wall Loop, a 2.7 km easy hike just minutes from Grates Cove Studios. This trail brings you back to a different time, when local families sustained themselves on root vegetables grown in gardens that were separated by rock walls as a makeshift barrier. Stunning coastal views, wildflowers, and berry picking are abundant throughout the hike, which is also child and dog friendly.
Hit the hay
After a day full of driving, hiking, and eating you are bound to want some rest. Now it’s time to tuck yourself into one of Grate Cove Studio’s vacation homes for some much needed R&R. Before crashing be sure to book your dinner in the studio, the culinary delights will amaze you again. With even more spoils from the sea, you will enjoy the eclectic mix of southern seasonings with Newfoundland foraged and gathered ingredients.
A second day of adventure
Upon waking up and taking in the beauty of Grates Cove, it’s time to head out and continue around the Baccalieu Trail to visit the communities on the Trinity Bay side of the region. Energized from your delicious stay, now it’s time to feed your heart in Heart’s Content. Walk the Mizzen Trail, a 2 km inland jaunt around Mizzen Pond and keep your eye out for our provincial flower, the pitcher plant, and other native flora and fauna. Heart’s Content also offers many other attractions including a lighthouse, a provincial museum, several historic sites, and an art gallery. Before heading out, call ahead and make a reservation for your next stop in Dildo.
Live Tunes & Good Brews
After a short hike you will be craving a few tunes, hearty eats, and more incredible views. Dildo Brewing Co. and Museum is the perfect place to sit and enjoy after a morning on the trails. Whether you are basking in the sun on the harbour front deck or in the upstairs dining room, you will have a full view of Dildo’s bay. Dolphins often swim by and you may even get to hear one of the artists that you have listened to from the Roots, Rants & Roars Spotify playlist! The simple yet delicious menu will get your ready for your second and more challenging hike today.
It’s a Shore Thing
Moving across the barrens you’ll take a short 40-minute drive to another historic hike, the Bay Roberts Shoreline Heritage Walk. This 8 km trail will take you through old settlements, a historic graveyard, and offer up epic views of Conception Bay. On a clear day, you can even see across to Bell Island!
The end of the Trail
After the meandering hike through the shoreline of Bay Roberts it’s time to make one final stop on your journey. Hop in the car and take the short and scenic drive to Clarke’s Beach for a few crafted cocktails and seasonal charcuterie.
The Newfoundland Distillery Company is the first distillery in the province and they let their recipes showcase it. Using locally harvested and foraged berries, seaweed, and seasonal delicacies the distillery is focused on all things Newfoundland & Labrador. Even their menu of shareables jigs to a NL tune. After sipping on some spirits and enjoying the sun on their seaside patio your day has come to a wonderful end, only to pick up again next weekend on your next Food Hike.
Looking to extend your time on the Baccalieu Trail? The 4 star SeaGlass B&B in New Perlican, offers a two-night "take a hike" weekend package that includes an old-fashioned brown bag lunch for a day of hiking and a charcuterie board paired with a bottle of wine for a relaxing evening on their harbour-front deck.
Heather Kennery, known as the NewFound Explorer, is a blogger and digital marketing expert based in St. John's, Newfoundland.
Originally from Ontario, Heather was so inspired by a five day holiday to Newfoundland in 2018 that she went home, packed up her life with her husband, dog and two cats and moved here two months later! Her blog newfoundexplorer.com showcases her passion for the province including hiking, renovations to their 100 year old Jellybean Row home and more personal conversations about living with a disability (FSH Muscular Dystrophy).
She hopes that her home DIY's, hiking and adventures in between can offer you an escape and inspiration so that you can become a New Found Explorer as well!
This article was done in partnership with Legendary Coast Eastern Newfoundland. LCEN is one of five Destination Management Organizations (DMOs) in Newfoundland and Labrador. Their region includes the Burin and Bonavista Peninsulas (east of Terra Nova National Park) and most of the Avalon (except the St. John’s Metro area). We also have a working partnership with our French neighbours in the south, Saint Pierre et Miquelon.