Friday, 12 August 2011

Hiking at Fleur de Lys on the Baie Verte Peninsula, Newfoundland

by Keith and Heather Nicol
        Fleur de Lys is located at the very northern tip of the Baie Verte Peninsula in Central Newfoundland and we were impressed with the hiking that it had to offer as well as the unique Dorset Paleoeskimo Soapstone quarry that has been discovered there. The site is just a short walk from the museum which houses fascinating information about how the paleoeskimos quarried and used this soapstone in their daily life. At the quarry you can view unfinished vessels still in position in the rock face! Paleoeskimos used this soapstone to create pots and lamps and lived in the area between 1200 and 1800 year ago. There is also evidence that Maritime Archaic Indians used the site even earlier about 4000 years ago. The museum is open May to September and for more information phone: 709-253-2126.
The quarry has dozens of "removal" scars like this where soapstone was removed

         Also from the quarry are 2 hiking trails that are well worth exploring. For those interested in a shorter hike the Fleur de Lys lookout trail is just 250 meters (1 way) from the quarry (50 07.197 N and 56 07.505 W) and leads to a platform with a view overlooking the community. For those interested in a longer hike the Spotted Point Trail is 2 km (1 way) and traverses out to a rocky headland where you can get views of dramatic cliffs and icebergs in season. There are many benches and picnic tables along the way so you can rest or have a snack and you should allow about 1 hour to do complete this hike. We saw an iceberg in an adjacent bay and a smaller one well out to sea when we did the hike in early August, 2011. The Ocean View Trail is also close by and is just 500 meters long (1 way).  The trail head is at a parking lot at 50 07.047 N and 56 07.422 W.  There is a lookout platform at the end giving views out to the open ocean. Also we noted an abundance of wildflowers at the start of this trail (we counted a dozen different species and we aren’t botanists.)  For anyone interested in hiking and history, Fleur de Lys is well worth a visit. 
The view from the Spotted Point Trail
Video of the Fleur de Lys area

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