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7 hikes to do from the Alt St. John's Hotel

Discover the best that the province of Newfoundland has to offer: dramatic landscapes, a diverse flora and rich fauna, the salty ocean air and that incredible feeling of being one with the nature. All this, (almost!) without having to leave St. John’s. The city is the starting point for many hiking trails in Newfoundland. Some are even within walking distance from the hotel.

By foot from the Alt Hotel St. John's

Quidi Vidi Lake Loop 3,9km, loop, easy Looking for some peace and quiet time without having to leave town? Head to Quidi Vidi Lake, which is about a 25-minute walk from the Alt Hotel St. John's and treat yourself to an relaxing urban hike. The path that goes around the lake takes about 45 minutes to complete. The ground is flat and the trail perfectly laid out, making it an easy hike. The best spot to enjoy the view is the empty stands of the Royal St. John’s Regatta Boathouse.

Sugarloaf Path / East Coast Trail 8,8 km, one-way, hard Rather than going around the entire lake, cut short your hike to get to the village of Quidi Vidi and look for the start of the Sugarloaf path trail, which is part of the East Coast Trail. The outward path is almost 9km long and is of moderate to difficult difficulty. In the spring, follow this trail to observe the icebergs near the shore. In summer, you might catch a glimpse of whales swimming in the near distance. It is possible to do only part of the trail and then retrace your steps to Quidi Vidi village (and maybe stop by the Quidi Vidi Brewing before heading back to the hotel!). 

The Battery / North Head Trail 1,7 km, one-way, hard The Battery can be reached in about ten minutes from the Alt Hotel St. John's. Located on the hillside of Signal Hill and offering stunning views of St. John’s harbour, the neighbourhood is ideal for a short city hike. Walking its steep streets can be a great exercise! Looking for a hike with a high level of difficulty? The Battery is also the starting point (or ending, it depends!) of the North Head Trail. Walk along the hillsides to get to the top of Signal Hill and then back down on the other side of it. The effort is well worth it: the many viewpoints on this trail are breathtaking. 

Signal Hill / Deadman’s Pond Signal Hill is easy reachable by foot, but you will find it is a demanding ascension nonetheless. To catch your breath mid-hike, stop to walk around Deadmans Pond, located halfway between the start of the ascent and Cabot Tower, which sits atop Signal Hill. Pretty benches are installed all around the lake where ducks dabble quietly. At the end of the path is a superb viewpoint that overlooks the city. The view is among the most beautiful you can have of the city of St. John’s, the harbour and its surroundings. 

By car

Fort Amherst / East Coast Trail 10,5 km, one-way, hard About ten minutes drive from the Alt Hotel St. John's, reach Cahill’s Point where you can park your car then walk to the lighthouse and begin your hike. This trail, which is of a difficult level, is part of the East Coast Trail and take you to Blackhead, 10 km further. However, you don't have to do it all to be able to enjoy the incredible views of St. John's Bay, spot whales, seabirds, and even pick a few wild berries along the way. 

Cape Spear 15,4 km, one-way, moderate Leave town and drive about 20 minutes to get to Cape Spear. A short trip that is well worth it. This place is not only incredibly beautiful, it is also the most easterly point of the North American continent. If you want to be the first to see the sun rise in America, this is the place to be at dawn! The historic site of Cape Spear Lighthouse is very well laid out and easy to access. Take the Cape Spear path that leads to Maddox Cove, 15 km further. There are always a lot of icebergs to watch for in the spring. 

Chance Cove 3,7 km, loop, moderate On your way to Bonavista, stop about 1 hour and 20 minutes from St. John's at Chance Cove to stretch your legs on the Chance Cove Trail. It is a 3.7km loop of moderate difficulty that takes a little over an hour to complete. You will be able to observe splendid bays with turquoise waters and dramatic landscapes that looks like a Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings film set. 

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Virginie LandryAugust 26th, 2021
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