Five Great Fall Hikes in Newfoundland & Labrador
Every hiker has a favourite time of year to hit the trails, and in Newfoundland and Labrador the fall hike is a favourite of many.
The season delivers a sensual basket of natural treats: an earthy tone in the soft air, dappled sunlight in the thinning canopy of a deciduous woods, and along the coast a salt lick from breaking waves and seaborne mists. Bright reds, oranges and yellows reach from the tree top to the path underfoot. Birds hidden by summer greenery now become visible. Some of them are migratory, stopping off for a rest and a bellyful of berries before heading further south. It’s also berry picking season for those of us on the ground, with October being a particularly fine time to find partridgeberries.
Whatever the motivation, the fall is a great time of year to strap on a pair of hikers and hit the trails. To help get you started, we’ve put together a list of some of Newfoundland & Labrador’s best fall hikes.
East Coast Trail
The East Coast Trail network links together 32 historic communities, with 300km of world class hiking. From Portugal Cove to Cape St. Francis to St. John’s to Cappahayden, there is no shortage of awe-inspiring natural beauty. In the fall, hikers can enjoy berry picking along the trails as they pass by lighthouses, abandoned settlements, sea stacks, and deep fjords. In particular, October and November line the trails with delicious cranberries and partridgeberries, following the first frost of the season. For a short trek filled with berries, try the Blackhead Path, which is a 3.7 km trail leading to Cape Spear National Historic Site, the most easterly point in North America.
The Discovery Trail network on the Bonavista Peninsula is one of the best in the province, with a new coastal trail information system letting hikers know important trail information such as starting points, GPS coordinates, length, difficulty, duration, and what there is to see and do along the way. For fall hikers, the Skerwink Trail offers scenic views of Port Rexton and Trinity’s autumn colours. With sea stacks, eagles, and foxes, this 5.3 km loop trail has also been named by Travel and Leisure Magazine as one of the top 35 walks in North America and Europe and is not to be missed.
Terra Nova National Park
Newman Sound in Terra Nova National Park is a designated bird sanctuary, and for good reason. Throughout the year many types of birds feed on the rich supply of food in the estuary, and in the fall of the year you can watch their migration. The Coastal Trail, a 9.5km easy-moderate return hike, showcases the brilliant colours of fall mixed with coniferous greens, and also provides great viewing access to the sanctuary.
International Appalachian Trail
The Humber Valley is a great area to see fall foliage in the Western part of the island. Stands of birch trees and colourful maples dot the area and can be seen from a number of vantage points in the region. One of the areas focal points, the Humber Valley Trail, is a 5km moderate hiking trail that ascends to the top of the 'Old Man in the Mountain', offering breathtaking views of the Humber River. Further west of Humber Valley is the Bay of Islands area, where the Blow-Me-Down Mountains are covered in birch trees that turn a brilliant yellow in the fall of the year. The Cape Blow Me Down Hiking Trail is a 6.9km moderate-difficult return hike, appropriate for more active hikers. For an easier stroll, there is also a short 500 meter hike from the parking lot.
Labrador Pioneer Footpath
The Labrador Pioneer Footpath follows traditional walking routes along the shores of the Labrador Strait and extends between the communities of L'Anse Au Clair and Pinware. The Footpath, which is located near the shore, allows fall hikers to take in crisp air and seaborne mists as well as possible migratory bird sightings. The Forteau to Point Amour Lighthouse section of the trail is a moderate 6km hike that leads to one of Labrador's top destinations, the Point Amour Lighthouse.
For more information on hiking in the province of Newfoundland & Labrador, visit our hiking and walking page here.
Do you have a tale to tell about a visit to Newfoundland and Labrador?Tell us your story
- Hiking in the Humber Valley & Bay of Islands
- Our Favourite Fall Photos
- Exploring Eastern Newfoundland, one hike at a time
- Five Great Fall Hikes in Newfoundland & Labrador
- Why Fall is Our Favourite Time of Year on the Bonavista…
- Six Amazing Things You Can Experience Only on a…
- 16 Beautiful Hiking Trails in St. John’s
- Thru Hiking the East Coast Trail
- Finding Francois, A First Person Essay
- Newfoundland's Long Range Traverse is a thrilling…
- Why can’t it be the destination and the journey?
- Fall Colours, Jellybean Row Edition
- Sea Stacks and Solitude: Hiking Over 300 kms of…
- How to Get Your Photo Taken at the Iconic Western…
- Five Ways to Experience Icebergs in Newfoundland…
- Experience Fall in Gros Morne
- Preparing For a Day Hike in Newfoundland and Labrador
- 10 Best Hiking Trails in Gros Morne National Park
- The Halloween Haunted Hike: A Ghost-hunters Guide…
- What to Do On a Fall Trip to St. John’s, Newfoundland
- The Best Time of the Year to Visit Gros Morne
- Hiking with Honey Bees
- Hiking the Alexander Murray Trail
- Hiking the Long Range Traverse
- The Answer to "Why Hike?" is in the Journey
- Grueling, but Gorgeous: Hiking Gros Morne Mountain…
- Hiking Through Newfoundland
- Exploring Terra Nova National Park by Land & Sea
- Four Great Hill Hikes in Eastern Newfoundland
- Leave your footprints on these five pristine beaches…
- 4 family-friendly hiking trails in Newfoundland…
- Hiking The Sugarloaf Path On The East Coast Trail…
- A Hike On The Spurwink Island Path, East Coast Trail…
- Hiking The Alexander Murray Trail Near King’s Point…
- Newfoundland: Five Good Reasons to Pack Your Hiking…
- The Best Hikes in Newfoundland and Labrador
- Great walks on the Rock: top 5 hikes in Newfoundland
- World's Best Hikes: 15 Classic Trails
- Backpacking the Long Range Traverse
- The best trail you’ve likely never heard of is on…
- Hiking the Skerwink Trail near Trinity, NL