Paradise B&B

Twillingate, Newfoundland, Canada
192 Main Street
Toll Free: 877-882-1999
Tel: 709-884-5683
Email: fred.bridger@nf.sympatico.ca

"A Great View With A B&B"

 

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Things To Do & See in Twillingate

 

 

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Outdoor Enthusiasts (map of 'Hiking Trails of Twillingate' small~600kb; big~44megs)

Twillingate offers a wide range of outdoor activities including sea kayaking, scuba diving, iceberg and whale viewing boat tours, and hiking. Several kayak outfitters operate in the area and dive tanks and gear can be rented in nearby Gander. Numerous hiking trails have been prepared in Twillingate and are waiting to be explored (see exerpts from four hikes on YouTube videos by Keith Nichol). Below we will describe six of our favourite hikes that are easily accessible by passenger vehicle.

1. The Lighthouse-Sleepy Cove Trail (total hike time of 2.5-3 hours)

Upon arrival in Twillingate a common first stop is the Long Point Lighthouse, especially if you are arriving near sunset! The Lighthouse provides excellent viewing opportunities where icebergs and whales are frequently spotted. Tours of the tower are possible throughout the day during the peak tourism season. Please be careful when walking along the cliffs as they are very steep!

The Long Point Lighthouse is easy to find. From Paradise B&B, continue along on Main Street toward the community of Crow Head until coming to the Lighthouse parking area (approximately 4 km). Of course, spend sufficient time exploring the Lighthouse grounds, looking for whales, and taking photographs. While looking at the headland below the viewing platform near the Lighthouse parking lot one might wonder what it would be like way down there. The Lighthouse-Sleepy Cove Trail affords you that opportunity!

The Lighthouse-Sleepy Cove Trail begins to the left of the Lighthouse parking lot. A groomed trail exists with several sets of stairs to help you along the more rugged portions of the descent. As you continue across the ridge, look down for the small pond. Some say this was made by a witch riding on her trusty broomstick just a little too fast! Eventually you will come to the steps to walk down. At the bottom, turn right towards Nanny's Hole continuing your hike to the headland that was visible from the viewing platform. To the outside of the headland you can see the remains of a trail down to the water. This cable was once used by sealers to help them up the rockface as they brought home their catch.

Once you are finished absorbing as much of the beauty as you need, continue your hike by walking along the outside of the headland towards Sleepy Cove (within Seabreeze Municipal Park). A copper mine operated in the cliffs of this cove from 1910-1920. Remnants of the mine operations can be found throughout the park and photographs of the cove during its peak production can be viewed at the Twillingate Museum and Craft Shop.

You can complete the Lighthouse-Sleepy Cove Trail by hiking back to the stairs and back up to the Lighthouse parking lot. Alternatively, you can walk to the road and head up that hill. The former option might be the most enjoyable...remember the steep drive up to the Long Point Lighthouse!

 

The Lighthouse Trail provides safe access to the headland below the cliffs that form the base of the parking lot viewing platform.

 
 
 

Sleepy Cove is the site of an abandoned copper mine (left). Many of the mine components (middle) are present for viewing and old mine shafts (right) can be explored.

 

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2. Barrick's Island (total hike time of 1.5-2 hours)

Barrick's Island might seem to be misnamed at the present time as it is not an island at all. However, not too long ago Barrick's Island was indeed an island. It is now presently attached to the Twillingate north island by an isthmus of sand creating a beautiful beach.

The Barrick's Island trail is the closest to Paradise B&B of all those listed. To access the trailhead, simply drive back the way you came on Main Street for 1 km and turn right on Back Harbour Road. Continue straight on Back Harbour Road until the road ends at a T-intersection and turn left onto Dock Road. Continue a little ways on Dock Road until you see a reasonably large fishing wharf on your right (pictured below). Park near the wharf but do not block it as it is frequently used by fishermen throughout the day.

The trail begins to the left of the wharf. A short distance from the wharf you gain unobstructed access to the isthmus beach. This beach provides an excellent opportunity to search for various shell collectibles, including gastropod shells, razor clams, and sand dollars, and other treasures that might have washed up on the shore. Remember you have to return along this same beach so that beachcombing on both sides of the isthmus is possible!

Families used to live at the grassy area at the base of the hill on Barrick's Island. In fact, the last remains of these homes collapsed during the 1990s. As a simple warning, you should remain on the obvious trail as much as possible and refrain from walking too much through the tall grass where old nails might still be present and potentially cause unintended harm to your feet.

The hike up the hill might seem a little daunting but absolutely worth the effort. From above, you can see for long distances across Notre Dame Bay. Whales and icebergs are also frequent visitors to these parts.

 

The Barrick's Island hike provides excellent beachcombing opportunities and outstanding views of Notre Dame Bay.

 

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3. Top of Twillingate Trail (total hike time of 1.5-2 hours)

Unless you are hiking to the Top of Twillingate strictly for exercise, we suggest that you do not focus on this hike on days with low visibility but wait for another day with superb viewing potential...you will not be disappointed!

The Top of Twillingate trail provides access to the highest point of the White Hills, the highest in Twillingate. The drive to the trailhead will bring you to the back side of the Twillingate south island - previously its own incorporated community called Bayview. From Paradise B&B, drive all the way back to the main intersection (** km), turn right as if you were leaving Twillingate, then drive ** km before turning right towards Bayview on Rink Road. Stay on this road for ** km until you eventually come to the Top of Twillingate trailhead on your left.

This trail begins with a beautiful walk around Low Mist Pond.

 

 

 

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4. Natural Arch Trail (total hike time of 2-2.5 hours)

This hike to Lower Little Harbour is by far the easiest hike but with immense returns with regards to vegetation, geologic beauty and cultural heritage. An easy stroll along old cow paths for most of the walk to Lower Little Harbour provides access to the Natural Arch, making this trail very popular with families, seniors, and other individuals that might not be in adequate hiking physique to manage some of the more challenging hikes described.

The Natural Arch Trail is the furthest from Paradise B&B. In fact, to access the trailhead you must drive back on the main highway to Twillingate and take a left turn to Little Harbour (approximately ** km). This very picturesque fishing village is worth the detour on its own with active fisheries conducted out of the harbour. Drive through this small community and watch for the Natural Arch trailhead to the left just as you crest a hill on your way out of Little Harbour. An old United Church (pictured below) is a good marker for the trailhead as this building is located nearly straight across the road from the trailhead.

The trail is marked along its route to indicate the direction to the Natural Arch. Along the way, you will pass numerous unobstructed views of Little Harbour, old root cellars indicating a thriving community at Lower Little Harbour in the past, and a beautiful beach to explore...you might be lucky enough to find a Moon shell (a substantially larger gastropod that lives in the waters of Little Harbour).

The jewel of this hike is the Natural Arch. To access the arch keep to the right on an intersecting cowpath, once you have arrived at Lower Little Harbour where several cabins are located. Continue across the field on this cowpath until you see a directional sign indicating the trail to the Natural Arch (just prior to another beach). This arch was once simply a sea cave that at some point collapsed leaving behind the present day 20-foot high Natural Arch. You can climb down into the arch but please be careful as the large rocks may be relatively unstable.

After completing the hike to the Natural Arch you may wish to take a short detour to Jones' Cove (this detour will add an additional 1 hour to your total hike time, depending on how long you spend in Jones' Cove exploring or absorbing the serenity provided). This is a one way trail and involving a more steep decline but certainly well worth the additional effort...please keep in mind that every decline will eventually become an incline on your return trip back!

 

The Natural Arch trailhead begins in Little Harbour near the old United church (left). The trail is mostly comprised of old cow paths (middle) making this a very popular hike for families and seniors. The community of Little Harbour can be seen numerous times along the trail (right).

 

 
 

Numerous old root cellars are present along the trail indicating that a thriving community once existed at Lower Little Harbour (left). The highlight of the hike is the Natural Arch (middle). If you have additional time then a side trip to Jones' Cove is well worth the additional effort (right).

 

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5. Pelley's Point (total hike time of 2.5 hours)

To be fair, the adventure around Pelley's Point is less of a hike on a conventional trail but more of a scramble over the rugged coastline of Twillingate. With this said, only those that are absolutely sure on their feet, comfortable with low climbing heights, and at least moderately fit should attempt this hike. This might be the most fulfilling hike for tourists that have a geology interest. A lower impact trail is accessible for those wishing to take in the beautiful scenery along the shoreline. However, the hike's wealth of geological interests will not be experienced from this trail alone.

Pelley's Point is the headland that sits nearly straight across the harbour from Paradise B&B, easily viewed from our backyard. To get there, drive back the same way you came towards the Twillingate south island but this time continue past the turn-off that leads out of Twillingate. You are now heading towards Durrell - a former incorporated community on Twillingate Island. Continue along on this road for a total of ** km from Paradise B&B and turn left onto ********. Drive along ******** to its deadend for approximately ** km, eventually driving along a beach and passing an active fishing wharf.

 

Pelley's Point offers a multitude of beautiful coves, numerous nooks and crannies to explore, and the geological display is exceptional such as a "Devil's Track" (a volcanic intrusion that crosses both islands and is laced with small but impressive quantities of mica).

 

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6. French Head (total hike time of 2.5 hours)

While it is a considerable drive from Paradise B&B, the French Head trailhead is perhaps the easiest to find!! Simply drive back along Main Street, passing the intersection that leads you out of town and continuing on this road for its entire length to a deadend for approximately 5 km from Paradise B&B. The pavement will end but the road continues as a rough cowpath to French Beach. If you are driving a passenger car we would advise you to park at the end of the pavement and begin your hike here.

The walk to French Beach will take approximately 12-15 minutes. Additional time will be required if you stop to take pictures of the numerous Blue Flag plants that frequent the bogs here in the spring-early summer. This beach is not like those that you would normally imagine owing to its large pebble rocks that can be rather noisy with the wave and tidal motions. Take time to explore this beach for driftwood and other items that have washed ashore since the last storm. Finding intact shells here is a rarity given the high energy experienced here but large Northern whelks have been found in the past. Once you are done walking across French Beach, the hiking trail can be picked up to your right up through a small valley. Along the coastal hike you might notice several natural rock formations that resemble various animals. Two easily recognizable animals are a cobra snake and a camel, but numerous others might also be observed depending on your imagination! Towards the end of the trail at French Head another rock formation is apparent that resembles a person wrapped in a blanket overlooking the ocean.

On your return hike there are numerous side trails that lead out over the barrens and numerous other headlands that provide access to outstanding views of the rugged coastline. Please be careful if you venture along these headlands as the cliffs are very high and dangerous.

 

The French Head hike begins with large-pebbled French Beach (left). Rock formations that resemble animals are common along the French Head hike. Hopefully, you packed your imagination!

 
 

The cliff and seascapes along this hike cannot be comprehended!

 

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** Please note that hiking in Twillingate is no different than hiking elsewhere. All hikes described must only be taken at the hiker's own risk. Hiking hazards in Twillingate include waves, tidal currents, high cliffs, gusty winds, and occasional low visibility from fog. Hikers should wear proper footwear and clothing, and carry a first aid kit, water, and food for the hike's duration. Water found along these trails is not recommended for drinking. Twillingate is covered for the most part by cellular telephone that could be used in case of emergency.**

VIDEOS

The Lighthouse-Sleepy Cove Trail and onto Lower Head by Keith Nichol http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1bgyXDro7Q&feature=relmfu

Top of Twillingate Trail YouTube video by Keith Nichol http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7yx2HU7mIw

French Head YouTube video by Keith Nichol http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKIzCZ2PCWs&feature=related

Spiller's Cove to Codjacks Cove YouTube video by Keith Nichol http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZquk6U6CUI&feature=relmfu