Hiking the Man in the Mountain Trail

Published on May 27, 2014
Michael Newton walks along the scenic Man in the Mountain trail.
Submitted photo

The Man in the Mountain trail is very popular with hikers and offers a superb view of the Humber River Valley and Corner Brook, Humber Arm and Blow Me Down Mountains in the distance as well.

The trail takes its name from the local legend that a man’s face (which can be seen in the rock from a nearby viewpoint on the Trans-Canada Highway) is guarding buried treasure at Shellbird Island in the Humber River.

The trail leads to a spectacular vantage point directly above the island.

The lookout is very dramatic and is about 750 feet above the valley below and has a sheer drop, so use caution in this area. Many people do the hike to the Man’s Face Lookout and then return to the starting point at the Ballam Bridge parking lot (this hike is about 7.5 km return).

Beyond the Man’s Face Lookout, the trail is less commonly used and winds toward Wild Cove Pond.

This trail is part of the International Appalachian Trail in Newfoundland (IATNL) and from Wild Cove the IATNL trail continues on to Humber Village and then on to Humber Valley Resort.

The starting point for the Man in Mountain hike is near Ballam Bridge and is located at 48 57.203 N and 57 53.119 W.

When you cross Ballam Bridge turn right into the large gravel pit/parking area and look for the International Appalachian Trail sign at the trail head.

Alternately, you could start at Wild Cove Pond and hike the trail in reverse and the trailhead in this case is 48 58.262 N and 57 49.897 W. To reach the Wild Cove Pond starting point, drive over Ballam Bridge and continue on Highway 440. Drive roughly 2.5 km (drive past the Genesis Organic entrance) and take the next gravel road on your right. Drive 4.3 kilometers on this gravel road to the end of Wild Cove Pond. This gravel road is generally good but take your time if your car has low clearance.

You can park either at the edge of the road or there is a small parking lot on a short side road which leads to Wild Cove Pond.

This starting point is at 48 58.241 N and 57 49.895 W. The length of the total trail from Ballam Bridge to Wild Cove Pond is 8.7 km and you should allow between three to four hours to do the entire trek.

If you do the entire hike you will have to do a car shuttle.

Bring sufficient water on this trip — although there are lakes enroute, water quality is not tested. There are several good viewpoints so definitely bring a camera.

If you would like to hike this trail and learn about other hikes in the Corner Brook area, think about joining the Humber Valley Hikers.

They do weekly hikes and they range from short 2-3 km trails to longer day hikes like the 16 km trek up Gros Morne Mountain.

If you would like more information on the Humber Valley Hikers, contact Judie Gushue at: judiec@hotmail.com. For a video on the Man in the Mountain trail see: youtube.com/watch?v=v6y7khZJY-w.

Contributors Keith and Heather Nicol live in Corner Brook and are avid explorers of Newfoundland. Keith can be reached at knicol@swgc.mun.ca