This scenic costal walk follows a trail out to the Cape Bonavista Lighthouse.
Today’s hike is an out-and-back from the Cape Shore trailhead to the Cape Bonavista Lighthouse. This trail is mostly flat and through open grassland so it can be exposed if the day is windy. The trail technically ends before the lighthouse but it’s definitely worth the extra time to check out the lighthouse, which is a provincial historic site.
Keep an eye out on the rock faces that are present throughout the hike. The rock around the cape is mostly sandstone and as you head north (towards the lighthouse) the colors change as the dominant materials in the sandstone differ. This is a unique way to see the geologic differences of sedimentary rock in a short period of time.
Along the trail, you can expect cliffs, steep climbs, uneven trail beds, and unreliable cell phone coverage. Practice caution when moving through terrain and beware near cliff edges, where the terrain could be unstable.
Bears are not common in the area, but they do live on the island of Newfoundland. While bear spottings in the area are extremely rare, always be alert when traveling through bear country. Be sure to never leave food or packs carrying food unattended when traveling in bear country.
Because of the rugged nature of the trail, walkways and bridges are not always in good repair and can sometimes be loose or unstable. Walk with caution.
Sturdy shoes or boots, sunscreen, and a wind-proof layer.
Points of Interest
Around 2 kilometers, you’ll see several large wooden platforms along the coast. These are fish flakes, where salted cod would traditionally be laid for preservation through drying. There were two main types of flakes—Hand Flakes, which were low to the ground, and broad flakes, which were raised platforms like the ones you see here.
John Cabot Park
John Cabot was an Italian explorer who is credited as the first European to discover Newfoundland and Labrador, though the specifics are still up for debate. For celebrations of the 500 year anniversary, the Canadian and English governments decided to designate Cape Shore and the Bonavista Peninsula as the official landing spot of John Cabot and this park celebrates his exploration and journey.
Food and Water
There is no access to food or water on this hike so be sure to be prepared and bring plenty of extra. There is a Foodland grocery store in Bonavista (found at 44 Confederation Drive) that has any essential supplies for a hike.
Follow the driving directions from Port Union to Cape Shore for details on how to get here.
There is ample parking at the trailhead for the Cape Shore trail.