The Grebe’s Nest is a small sandy beach nestled under the high cliffs on the north side of Bell Island. During the mining days, this beach was used by miners who lived nearby and supplemented their income by fishing. Small flat-bottom boats could easily be pulled up on the beach after each use, but the beach could not be easily accessed from the top of the island which was more than 100 feet up a steep cliff. To get their catch up over the cliff, the fishermen strung a heavy cable from the beach to the top, and used a large tub which could be pulled up by a horse.
A nearby beach could be accessed from the top by a walking trail along the side of the cliff, but this rough and rocky beach was not suitable for their small boats. After the mines closed in 1966, some of the fishermen who used the beach had time on their hands and lots of mining experience. In 1967 they borrowed drilling equipment and dynamite from the mining company and blasted a tunnel through the 150-foot point of land that separated the two beaches, thus gaining walking access to the hospitable sandy beach.
Today, the adventurous tourist can hike down the walking trail along the side of the cliff and enjoy the many fossils underfoot as he walks along the rocky beach before entering the tunnel leading to the secluded little beach that locals call the Grebe’s Nest. If you are lucky enough to be there during the ”caplin scull”, you can enjoy watching thousands of small silvery caplin roll on the beach as the lay their eggs in the fine black sand.
Trail Distance: With your car parked at the top, it is about a 15 min walk through to the beach on the other side