This week, Mandi (@drohmandi on Instagram) is taking us on an adventure through St. Johns, Newfoundland, Canada! Her 4 favorites hikes will take us through hills and valleys full of waterfalls, lighthouses, and coves. Thank you so much for guiding us through this unique countryside! Oh, and do not miss out on the top places to eat and top place to experience the local art.
Signal Hill via Northhead Trail
Excellent views of the St. John’s harbor, the city, Fort Amherst, and Atlantic Ocean. Start this 4k loop at The Battery Cafe and follow Battery Road and connect to Outer Battery Road until the trail begins (it runs through some back and front yards!). Follow along the narrows out towards the ocean and then make the steep incline up towards Signal Hill. You’ll be rewarded with sweeping views and a great workout! Once at the top you can continue the loop back down towards the Queens Battery, Deadman’s Pond, and back to Battery Road.
If you’d like to make it longer (which I definitely recommend), at the top of Signal Hill take the trail north to Ladies Lookout and continue down towards Cuckold’s Cove. From there you can loop back via Burma Road Trail or keep hiking into Quidi Vidi to loop around Quidi Vidi Lake. Lots of options to make this as long or as short as you want! Alternatively if you’re just looking for the view you can drive to the top! There are also small informative trails on the way up.
16k out and back
6-7 hours for a day hike but is one of the better east coast trails for trail running.
Located about 20 minutes north of St. John’s. Park at St. Michael’s Church and head north up Hickey’s Lane to the trailhead. This moderate-challenging hike starts off with open views and you come upon a waterfall quickly. From there it follows the coast with varying views of the ocean, strolls through the forest, and several more waterfalls seen from a distance.
Cape Spear Lighthouse
8.6k out and back
Located about 20 minutes south of St. John’s. Cape Spear is the eastern most point in North America. Start at the lighthouse and head south along the coast. You’ll find a relatively flat trail with a few rocky bits and wide open views of the coast and grassy barrens full of wild blueberries in late summer/early fall for picking.
Unmarked Trail in Quidi Vidi
This is a short 1k out and back trail but with very fast elevation gains. Park at the parking on Cuckold’s Cove Road at the start of the Burma Road Trail. Continue up the main road a bit until you see an unmarked trail on your right. This will take you to the top of the hill where you will get amazing views of Quidi Vidi Village, Sugarloaf coast, and Signal Hill.
Places to eat in St. John’s
The Battery Cafe for breakfast and coffee before hiking Signal Hill
Mallard Cottage for brunch or supper
The Nook and Cannery for lunch
Parlor for ice cream and coffee
Bannerman Brewery for coffee, beer, and NamJim kitchen for Thai inspired local food (and local music)
Quidi Vidi Brewery for live music and beers
Terre for fine dining and cocktails
The Peaceful Loft for Chinese (all vegan)
Toslow for coffee in the morning or drinks at night (food too!)
The Ship for local music and beers
Erin’s Pub for local music and beers
Portage for wine and cocktails at the bar
The Grounds at Murray’s Garden Center for lunch
Hours and days open change from season to season. Most restaurants and coffee shops offer vegan friendly options.
The Rooms Museum and Art Gallery
Newfoundland Craft Council
Eastern Edge Gallery
Quidi Vidi Village artists studios
Alexis Templeton Studio (pottery and artisan chocolate)
Quidi Vidi Pewter
The best time to visit St. John’s, Newfoundland is late June to early September. Everything is green and full of life during this time. The weather is generally warm and drier than the rest of the year which is typically cold, wet, and foggy. Everything is in full swing and bustling during the summer months whereas during the off season, a lot of places reduce hours or close for the season.
Pay by Phone parking app for most in town parking. Many residential roads are permit parking only.