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Hiking near Ferryland
Old Bowl
Colony of Avalon Garden and Interpretation Center
Colony of Avalon, 17th Century Kitchen Reproduction

Ferryland is where George Calvert, better known as Lord Baltimore, founded the Colony of Avalon in 1621. Today, you can peer over the shoulders of working archaeologists as they uncover the foundations of houses and a cobblestone street built in the 17th century. And you can view some of the thousands of discovered artifacts at the interpretation centre.

Rich in history, even before Baltimore, the Ferryland area had been used as a summer fishing station by migratory European fishermen. It had also drawn the attention of the Beothuks, the now extinct aboriginal people of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Baltimore stayed only a few years before transferring his energies into another colony in Maryland. But Ferryland survived his departure and prospered (despite a raid by the Dutch in the 1670s) until the 1690s when French raids drove the English away. But the Colony of Avalon was close to rich fishing grounds too good to be abandoned, and it was soon reoccupied.

There's a distinct Irish feel here, and with good reason. The Irish came to dominate this shore - first as summer workers for English and Irish fish merchants, then as permanent settlers throughout the 18th century.

Today, this area is known as the Irish heart of Newfoundland and Labrador. Irish traditions, attitudes, and music continue to thrive here. The town regularly hosts summer musical events and dinner theatre productions with a strong local flavour - and no shortage of the famed Irish wit. The annual Shamrock Folk Festival produced by the Southern Shore Folk Arts Council in Ferryland is the ultimate Irish/Newfoundland music festival in the province.

The town's museum is housed in the old courthouse – complete with a couple of holding cells – where you can discover many of the legends and characters of Ferryland history. After a day of traditional dancing and entertainment, you can sit on the front porch of the museum and look toward the sea across a meadow called The Gaze.

At nearby Ferryland Head, accessible by an easy walking and hiking trail across the Downs, is the town's famous lighthouse. Here you can order an incredibly popular and delicious Lighthouse Picnic to eat as you nestle down in lush grass and watch for whales, birds, and icebergs off the breathtaking coastline.

Getting Here:

Ferryland is located on the island of Newfoundland, 74 km or just a 1-hour drive from St. John's along Route 10 - The Irish Loop.

Location data provided by the operator. Please confirm location
before departure.


Print Directions

Driving distances and calculations derived using Google Maps. Actual driving times may vary. GPS coordinates have been provided by tourism operators. Please confirm location with operator before departure.

Helpful Links

Official Town of Ferryland Website

Starting at $299 Per Couple
Two of Canada's Signature Experiences Collection have teamed up to provide an incredible day of Seascapes - from the water and from a lighthouse! Stan Cook Sea Kayak Adventures & Lighthouse Picnics are offering a coastal kayaking adventure followed by a leisurely picnic. Offer is filled with takeaways to remind you of an unforgettable day! A 2 hour Go & Tow morning adventure, with complimentary custom Tee Shirts from Stan Cook, followed by a lighthouse picnic at Ferryland with a gift blanket.
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Stan Cook Sea Kayak Adventures & Ferryland Lighthouse Picnics

Starting at $1769 Per Person
Explore 9000 years of human history!

The rich and diverse human history of Newfoundland and Labrador is unlike anywhere else in the world. This self-drive tour will guide you to a series of Historic Sites and UNESCO World Heritage Sites representing all the cultures who have lived here – from the oldest known burial mound in North America to some of the earliest European settlements and industries in North America.

Observe archaeologists uncovering the past before your very eyes!

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Maxxim Vacations

Starting at $1069 Per Person
Witness North America’s first sunrise as you explore the Legendary Coastline of Avalon in this 5-night getaway!

Avalon – legend has it that it is the mythical island where King Arthur’s sword Excalibur was forged and where King Arthur would go to rest. That was the Avalon of Old. The Avalon of New...Newfoundland and Labrador is an equally magical place and has been recognized as the Number One Coastal Destination in the world by National Geographic Traveler Magazine.

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Maxxim Vacations

Starting at $150 Per Person
If you love coastal hiking without crowds this is for you. Guided walk along the Irish Shore's rugged coastlines, quaint villages to a famous lighthouse. Picnic lunch served atop a seaside meadow with vistas of puffins and other seabirds swirling below. The icebergs and whales we see are as interesting as the locals we meet. Their accents and distinct brogues are a delight (the folks, not the whales)! This is a special offer filled with takeaways to remind you of your unforgettable day!

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Cook's Coastal Walks & Stan Cook Sea Kayaking

Starting at $125 Per Person
Dig in! Work alongside our professional team as they dig, sift, identify and record

the remains of Baltimore’s colony. We’ll provide the tools and training, all you need

is a hankering to get hands on with history. Full day experience includes orientation to techniques, hands on archaeology and conservation activities, lunch, and guided tour of site.

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Colony of Avalon Foundation

Starting at $96
Hankering to get hands on with history? Spend the morning as a member of our archaeological crew. Then scrub up and hike to Ferryland Head for an award-winning Lighthouse Picnic. No experience necessary. Tools and training provided. Join our on-going quest to uncover the Colony. It’s all happening right here, right now, right before your eyes.
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Colony of Avalon Foundation


* Offers are subject to availability. Taxes are extra. You may have to pre-book and/or mention
the promotion at the time of booking. Please check with the operator for more details.

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