East Coast Trail : Day 14 Maddox Cove to Blackhead (Last day)


9.5 miles

Bad Influence and I paid $30 each for the shuttle from the Cappahayden back to Wild Roses B & B just outside St. John’s yesterday. This is the last day before we catch our flights back to New England tomorrow.

We saved the Cape Spear path (one of the best) for last.  Not only that, we’re slack packing it !

Bad Infuence Slackpacking to Cape Spear

A slacked pack has no overnight gear or extraneous meals in it. Mine is tiny, filled with just a water bottle, a Steripen water purification device, wind shirt, and a snack.

Mary, our host at Wild Roses, advised us to do the hike northbound. She was right. The wind was at our backs and it was good to put the climb out of Petty Harbor/Maddox Cove behind us as we covered the first two and a half miles of oceanside meandering.

Day hikers headed to Cape Spear

The whales feeding off the coast are here no longer, or at least we haven’t seen even one surface in the past few days.

Guided by Map #2, Blackhead Path, the terrain broke out of woods and entered low lying heath by the water side with Cape Marsh to the interior. Long sections of board walk wound gradually uphill as we approached the lighthouse.

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High and dry

Eventually we spotted tour busses moving toward the large parking area downhill from the Cape.

BI approaching lighthouse

Day hikers and families were coming and going.

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Hiking to Cape Spear lighthouse

Of all the locations on the East Coast Trail I passed through,  Cape Spear Lighthouse National Historic Site is clearly the most popular with tourists, with Ferryland coming in a distant second.

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The guiding light

The lighthouse location is dramatic with an accidental slip into to Atlantic only blocked by a single white picket fence. The lighthouse tour is good, with rooms inside set up to reflect what life was like for the family (11 kids) that once lived there.

Master bedroom
Spare digs
Supply room

I am not much of a shopper, but hit the EC Trail gold mine in the Lighthouse gift shop.   There are only two official guidebooks to sections of the ECT: Vol. 1 and Vol 2. I now have both of them. screenshot Volume 1 is now out of print. I also bought an excellent book about the discovery of L’ ans Au Meadows, a World Heritage Site on the northwestern side of Newfoundland.

It was a relatively short descent from Cape Spear to the tiny settlement of Blackhead.

On to Blackhead
Careful !

There was a useless detour away from the path on the coast just as you came into Blackhead where a landowner refuses to allow access to the trail that hugs the coast.

When we concluded out hiking in Blackhead I called Wild Roses to be brought back to the B & B. I was surprised to see that a very old convenience store there was actually open. I consumed three Popsicles and a can of soda wile we chatted with the lady who lived in the title house by the rickety store. She was sweet, and another representative of the exuberant welcome party that extended whenever and wherever went on this magical and wondrous place.

 Newfoundland’s Avalon Peninsula is one of my favorite faces in the world.  I’ll be back soon to revisit.




7 thoughts on “East Coast Trail : Day 14 Maddox Cove to Blackhead (Last day)

  1. Mark Shaw / Bad Influence

    What an amazing hike. It was great spending time with you and experiencing the beautiful land of Newfoundland and the people. I do plan to make it back sometime soon.


    1. Bad Influence, I really would go right back there today if I was able to. I’d do the 2 brand new segments that are left, and rehike some of the best places above St. John’s . I’d use Mary’s Wild Roses B&B as well. You are a very easy guy to hike with. We have done some amazing adventures together, with more to come. Please carry a backpacking fire extinguisher though !


  2. Rockdawg69

    Thanks for the keeping the rest of us “home bodies” posted of adventures on the trail. Nice job on the reporting and pics. Enjoyed the scenery very much. Wish you could have gotten a picture of the whales.
    Battening down the hatches here. Irma on the way Monday midday. Hoping for a glancing blow, but will still get a lot of rain that we do not need.
    Keep dry and keep on trucking.


      1. Rockdawg69

        Looks like we will get “brushed” based on today’s projection. The last 3 years we have had no pecans due to a disease that is infecting the nuts. Can’t get anyone to come and spray the trees since it is such a small orchard. Next spring I will try and get a few of the neighbors to get together and get enough areas to make it profitable for an aerial spraying to work.
        Best of luck on your next adventure.


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