The Admiral's Coast (67 km)
The Admiral's Coast follows Route 60 along the western and southern shore of Conception Bay between Colliers and Paradise, and provides excellent views over the bay.
Colliers was settled only in the latter part of the 18th century, relatively late compared with towns such as Cupids and Carbonear. While the first settlers were fishermen, by the mid-19th century farming was the main economic activity, as the many meadows in the area attest to – although little agriculture is carried on today.
In Avondale, you'll find an old railway station that has been converted into a museum. A train and some tracks still remain from the old Newfoundland Railway.
Harbour Main is an historic town, possibly founded by the French in the 1640s. Chapel's Cove was settled in the 19th century and Lakeview in the 20th. By the late 17th century Harbour Main was an English fishing station, and was twice sacked by the French during the colonial wars. In the late 18th century it was settled by the Irish, and so became a Catholic community in an almost totally Protestant bay.
Holyrood is one of the original tourism destinations in Newfoundland and Labrador. Although the origins of its name and the date of settlement are in dispute, the natural beauty of the area has been noted for centuries. The arrival of the railway in the late 19th century made it a more accessible destination for people travelling overland from St. John's, who had been driving horse-drawn carriages along the dusty roads from the capital since the 1830s. The first hotel was built in the 1860s, and while the train is long gone, the area remains an attractive destination, mainly for day-trippers going "around the bay" for a drive. A popular spot is the riverside Holy Cross Park, which features an in-river pool.
Part of the T'Railway Provincial Park passes through the town and is popular with walkers, especially the section that follows the beach. Just outside the town is a nine-hole golf course with tight fairways.
A string of small bayside communities between Seal Cove and Topsail joined to form Conception Bay South in 1971. Today, it is the fourth-largest community in the province. Many people have moved here for the magnificent ocean views, especially in recent years as modern highways now connect the town to St. John's. Commuting distance to downtown St. John's is less than 20 minutes for many residents.
One of the neighbourhoods is Kelligrews, home of the famous folk song “The Kelligrews Soiree” by Johnny Burke, about the hi-jinks and unusual cuisine found at a traditional community party. The real joke in the song, however, is almost all the characters mentioned were known to be from St. John's. The Kelligrews Soiree is still held each year.
Conception Bay South, one of the few towns to have a geological attraction, boasts trilobite fossil beds along the Manuels River Linear Park. The fossils found here are similar to those discovered in southern Spain and Portugal and northern Africa, but different from those found in western Newfoundland. This was a key towards establishing the theory of plate tectonics, or continental drift. There are walking trails on both sides of the river and an interpretation centre that's open in summer.
The town also has a marina at Foxtrap, site of a famous 19th-century battle over the route of the railway, and is home to the Royal Newfoundland Yacht Club at Long Pond. A scuba diving operation here offers dives to ore carriers sunk near Bell Island by German U-Boats during World War II. A popular nearby seaside attraction is Rotary Topsail Beach in the east end of town.
Just over the border is Paradise, the fastest-growing town in the province with a population of about 10,000. The Angels Road in the highly residential community is named not for heavenly creatures, but the Angel family that once had a summer home here. The trails around Neil's Pond and Octagon Pond are good places to stretch your legs.