It is always great to check out a new hiking trail. So when Judie Gushue sent out the weekly email for the Humber Valley Hikers that the next hike would be the new Burnt Hill Trail near McIvers, we had to go.
Many other people had the same idea, since more than 20 people ended up doing the trail on Sunday, Aug. 24. It likely didn’t hurt that the weather was perfect: Sunny with highs around 22 C and light winds. This is a trail that many people will enjoy since it is just 1.7 km long (one way) and has great views at the lookout.
To find the trailhead, head out on the North Shore highway (Route 440) and drive towards McIvers. You will pass by several small communities en route, but as you leave Gillams you need to pay close attention. Proceed up the hill and near the top you will see a turnout on your right that leads to the old Viking Express parking lot. For those handy with a GPS the coordinates of the parking lot are 21 0419706 E and 5432395 N. If you have lots of cars like we did it makes sense to park there. The actual trail head, however, is across the road and a couple of cars can park there (21 0419638 E and 5432455 N). There are also a couple of benches made of sticks at the trailhead and the trail is clearly marked.
It starts off relatively flat and then climbs a hill toward the end. For those interested in berry picking there is an area of raspberries just before the lookout. This had some people in our group wishing they had brought a small container along to be able to bring some raspberries home.
At the end, hikers are rewarded with fine views of the McIvers, Woods Island and the Blow Me Down Mountains from the elevated lookout. There are even two picnic tables there so you can sit back and enjoy your lunch at the same time. Since this trail is short and only has one small hill it can be done by a wide range of ages and abilities.
One more note on trails in the Bay of Islands comes from some visitors we had recently. Kellie Stocker used to live here as a child and came back in mid-August with her husband Pat to hike some of the trails in the Bay of Islands and in Gros Morne Park.
We told them about the fabulous hiking in the Lark Harbour area and mentioned several hikes for them to do. They camped at Blow Me Down Provincial Park and hiked Coppermine Cape, South Head Light, Cedar Cove and the Bottle Cove trails. They told us that these trails are hidden gems and they particularly liked the Coppermine Cape trail. In fact, they said this was their favourite hike of all of the trails they walked on their two-week trip in western Newfoundland.
If you would like to get to know some of the trails in this area and would like to join the Humber Valley Hikers, contact Judie Gushue at 634-4295 to be added to the email list.
Contributors Keith and Heather Nicol live in Corner Brook and are avid explorers of Newfoundland. Keith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org