The weather has been gray and drizzly since leaving Bonavista, but the forecast shows a brief window of relief. So I b-line it for the Skerwink Trail. It will mean hiking in the late afternoon, but it’s the only rain-free window for the next 24 hours, so I’m going for it. The trail is reported to have some muddy, slippery stretches along the cliffsides, and I don’t want to walk it in the rain.
The Skerwink Trail is a 5.3km/3.5 mile loop that skirts the perimeter of Skerwink Head, between Trinity Bay and Port Rexton’s Robinhood Bay. For what it’s worth, to quote another “listicle,” Travel & Leisure lists the Skerwink in it’s “Top 35 Hikes in North America and Canada.”
The trail is named for the Skerwink, medium sized seabirds who make their summer residence on the coastal cliffs of the North Atlantic throughout the summer months. They make the long voyage to their breeding grounds in the Falkland Islands, making them among the furthest migrating birds. They are also one of the longest lived, with documented specimens living 55 years.
The trail is rated moderate to difficult because of several steep climbs up stairs to reach the top of the Head. However, I would call it more like easy to moderate. If you can climb a couple of flights of stairs, you can do the Skerwink Trail!
Sea stacks, bald eagles, whales, wildflowers, a pond, a beach, and a lighthouse, it’s easy to see how they say it has more scenery per linear foot than any other Newfoundland trail.
Hope you enjoy the hike!
Parking at the Skerwink Trailhead is limited, so get there early, or arrive for a late afternoon hike.
Recommended direction is clockwise for optimum views.
Right away, the trees open up and beautiful tall sea stacks come into view.
The side of the Skerwink Head trail facing the harbour of Port Rexton is very steep and rugged.
I keep saying it, but I’ll say it again, the water is so clear here!
I am standing there watching a couple of gulls on the top of this rock, when all of a sudden they take off, and this guy moves in to take their place as the gulls take off (upper left in photo.)
I decide I’ll sit for a while and watch him until he takes off.
I try to wait him out, thinking maybe he is hunting.
I finally give up and move on, or it’s going to get dark.
There are a lot of stairs along the trail as it climbs up and over the headlands.
The sun is frustrating as it rarely comes out from the cloud cover, yet I can see it just offshore.
Firs differ from other conifers in having erect, cylindrical cones that stand up like candles.
Lots of up and down on this trail.
Looks like flying monkeys could come out of this forest.
Down through the crack…
My bald friend is back, and he’s brought a friend…can you spot them?
A blurry zoom and cropping shows there are two hanging out on the dead tree branches.
As I near the crest of Skerwink Head, the sun makes a brief appearance.
Skerwink Head — Note man on top for scale.
Skerwink rocks offshore. There are whale spouts out there, but too far for my camera.
Much of the trail is flanked by what Newfies call “tuckamore,” short, thickly matted spruce or fir trees that grow in coastal areas. Though stunted in stature, they may be several decades old.
Finally, I have rounded the top of Skerwink Head, and am headed around the other side to Trinity Bay.
Fort Point Lighthouse in Trinity Bay
The sun drops beneath the cloud layer and lights up the buildings in Trinity Harbour.
Although I do encounter a few sprinkles, thankfully the squalls remain just offshore. Note two here on the horizon.
Nearing the spot where the loop rejoins the outbound.
Sam White’s Cove
Evening sky reflecting in Farm Pond.
Back at the Winnie, parked for the night at the Anglican Church. The sign says parking is allowed any day but Sunday. It’s a very restful boondock!