As always seems to happen to me in February, I’ve been dreaming of summer. This past summer was particularly idyllic, as we spent a fair chunk of it wandering around the Avalon Peninsula, looking for camouflaged feral containers. Yes, we’re geocachers and have been for several years. As the slogan goes, we use multi-million-dollar satellites to find tupperware in the woods.
Basically, it’s a just good excuse to get out for a hike and a reason to explore. Hunting down Lock n Locks or ammo cans filled with trinkets and log books has brought us to some of the neatest spots; places we’d never have found were we not led there by other cachers. You know those little nooks and crannies that only the locals know about? Those are where geocaching takes you and some of them are nothing short of spectacular.
This past summer, Katherine fell in love with Conception Bay North. In particular, she loves Bay Roberts, Clarkes Beach and Port de Grave. I have to confess that I agree with her, particularly with regards to the Mad Rocks Trail in Bay Roberts (here’s the .pdf brochure), or the Bay Roberts Shoreline Heritage Walk (here’s a map), as it’s formally called.
We meandered around the trail, locating five geocaches (GCQXPJ, GC1486P, GC2BVCH, GC2BVBK, and GC2BVDF, in case you’re a cacher and are interested) and losing track of time completely. I couldn’t tell you how long we were there, although I’m guessing it was about two hours. Maybe three. Possibly four. Time stands still in places like that.
The trail wanders through an early settlement area and has been immaculately fixed up. Flat rocks form walls, stepping stones and culverts. Signs are posted to let you know not only where you are, but to advise of relevant historical information.
There’s a traditional outhouse, an historic cemetery, beautiful beaches and truly spectacular scenery.
One of the trails heads right up onto Scoggins Head, the path to which which feels a little like traversing a bottleneck cliff. Actually, it’s exactly like that. Terrifyingly and breathtakingly beautiful, as long as you are fully aware of the powers of gravity and take care to overcome them.
Among the beaches on this trail is Great Lower Cove:
At Great Lower Cove, there’s a Rock Formation called The Three Sisters. This is an extremely popular spot, from what we could see. Getting a picture of the rocks without people near them took many, many tries! Here are a few shots:
From The Three Sisters, you could look clean across to Bishops Cove:
There’s a neat little café in the area, too, called the Mad Rock Café (open year round!). We stopped for ice cream on the way out and then headed on to Spaniard’s Bay.