The best developed satanic footprints are clearly visible in the layered rocks on the north (shoreline) side of the road in the parking area. They can be seen along the trail all the way to Blue Point and to the beach.
The Devil’s Footprints have a natural rather than supernatural origin. They are cavities left where limestone nodules, called concretions, have weathered out of the roadside outcrops. Concretions form when minerals, in this case calcite, in fluids passing through a rock segregate or precipitate within cracks and cavities, or as a sediment builds up in successive layers around a nucleus such as a shell or pebble. Concretions are commonly misunderstood geologic structures. Often mistaken for fossil eggs, turtle shells, or bones, they are actually not fossils at all but a very common geologic phenomenon in all types of sedimentary rock.
Closer examination of some of the nodules/concretions reveals the resistant original rock around which the limestone grew and thus giving a ‘cloven’ hoof appearance. The orientation of the footprints defines the bedding in the Cambrian age shales.
Hike or Walk
Quarry: Reactivated slate quarry at the entrance to Keels
Educational Opportunities: Sedimentary rocks and environments, fossils and evolution of life, superposition of beds, folding and cleavage, concretions/nodules, use of stone (slate)
Pitcher plants, the provincial flower, grow in abundance in places along this trail.
ACCESSIBILITY & DIRECTIONS TO SITE:
Take Route 235 to Kings Cove and proceed to Keels. Continue into the community of Keels. Stay left at the junction for Hubert and James Mesh’s shop and the wharf, and continue along the narrowest section of the road. Park where there is space.
There is a sign for the Devil’s Footprints that also marks the trailhead to the beach. The best-developed set of satanic footprints is clearly visible in the layered rocks on the north (shoreline) side of the road at this spot. They can also be seen along the trail to the beach and along the trail to Blue Point.
To get to Blue Point follow the trail westward from the parking area or the beach. Take the path to the ‘Blue Point’ picnic area and proceed to the west side of the cove.