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Cape St. Mary's Hike

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Aerial View of Cape St. Mary's Ecological Centre
Aerial View of the interpretation Centre with trails leading along the coast
Aerial View of Cape St. Mary's Ecological Reserve
The rugged shoreline leading south from the Cape St. Mary's Interpretation Centre with Golden Bay beach in the distance
Tourists getting a close look at Bird Rock. The sea stack, which is only 20 minutes walk from the centre nests gannets, murres, kittiwakes and razorbill.
Locals let their sheep graze along the coast. Bird Rock can be seen in the cliffs beyond
Hikers with cameras get a close look at the seabirds that coat the sea stack.
The majestic coastline alone is enough to encourage a visit to Cape St. Mary's Ecological Reserve.
A visitor to the Cape is blessed with sunny weather and a spectacular view of the birds
Hikers, with guide, walk along the trails that lead along the shore
With its varying weather conditions, spectacular lighting effects occur at the Cape. Here, fog rolls in front of the setting sun to shroud the Interpretation Centre in the distance
Gannets land nearby to gather grass for their nests
A large tour moves south along the shore from the Centre towards Golden Bay with plans to overnight in tents just outside the reserve boundaries.
Hikers, travelling from the Cape to distant Point Lance, build camp on the craggy cliff's just outside the reserve boundaries.
Bird Rock in the foreground and the Interpretation Centre and lighthouse in the distance.
A bird's eye view of Cape St. Mary's Ecological Reserve
Gannets resting on the cliffs of Cape St. Mary's Ecological Reserve
Murres (locally known as turres) nesting on precarious cliffs as a late afternoon fog moves in.
Murres nesting in the thick fog of Cape St. Mary's Ecological Reserve
Kittiwakes share cliff space with murres.
A gannet sleeps away the afternoon on a warm summer day.
Gannets preparing to take an early morning flight to the nearby fishing grounds.
Gannet greet each other with bill tapping. These birds mate for life.
Bird Rock from below with hikers on nearby cliffs.
A view of the rugged shoreline heading towards Cape St. Mary's Ecological Reserve

Guided Hiking-Walking Tour

While in Placentia or the Cape Shore, take a day trip to Cape St. Mary's Ecological Reserve. An incredibly scenic drive along the coast from Placentia to Cape St. Mary's with cliffs, bays, small communities, and views up and down the coast leads you to The Cape. The hike from the Interpretation Centre at Cape St. Mary's is breathtaking and once at "Bird Rock", expect to be overwhelmed by thousands of birds. Binoculars are not necessary to see the birds who soar in the thousands over your head, although desirable to see the birds lower on the cliffs. This site is for those who truly love birds and the beauty of unspoiled nature.

For the more adventurous hiker, tours are offered by Mr. Power. Two to four hour tours lead you along the beaches and ocean side wind-swept cliffs to places such as Golden Bay or Lear's Cove. A boil-up with lunch awaits you at the turning point. Expect to see spectacular vistas from all angles while on this hike. This hike will appeal to birders and botanists and those that love to wander the rugged beauty of a coastal destination. Depending on the season, whales and diving gannets can also be seen from the cliffs.

Tony is a local from the nearby community of Branch and has been working at the Cape for over 20 years. He is trained as a guide with a wealth of knowledge of the flora, fauna, culture and traditions of the area. You won't be disappointed.

Prices vary pending numbers. By appointment only please.

Trail Distance: Hike to Point Lance is 11 kilometres one way; Lear's Cove is 4 kilometres one way; Golden Bay is 4.5kilometres one way

Accessibility Notes

Certainly not an easy walk but presents some fantastic challenges and vistas if you go with Tony as your guide. A moderate trail. Travellers should wear appropriate footwear for rugged and possibly wet terrain. The sheep path follows a cliff edge with some precarious footing at times. Caution is needed during some of the hike.

For More Information, Contact:

Tony Power

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Boundaries and names shown do not necessarily reflect the map policy of National Geographic.

Latitude: 46.824261100
Longitude: -54.162597700
Elevation: 12 FT (4 M)
Christopher Newhook
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Christopher Newhook
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