Sunday, 28 August 2011

Hiking on Fogo Island

by Keith and Heather Nicol
     We were blessed with sunny skies as we left the Paradise Bed and Breakfast in Twillingate on Wednesday August 24 and headed for the 11:15 am ferry at Farewell enroute for Fogo Island. On Fogo we had wanted to do some hiking and also find out more about the new artists’ studios that are being built on the island. We had our friends Bob and Pat Ballantyne in tow and they were keen to check out some of Fogo's hiking trails. We started with a Fogo classic- the hike to the top of Brimstone Head. This hike is about 500 meters (1 way) but climbs many stairs so allow about 40 minutes to do the return trek. It is a very popular hike and we saw many groups on this day. The coordinates of the trail head are: 49 N 42.899 N and 54 17.807 W and there is a large parking area. 
Pat on the Brimstone Head Trail

      We then headed across town to the Lion’s Den Trail which starts near the Marconi Wireless Interpretation Centre. This centre is worth a visit in its own right and the view of the Fogo is fabulous. The trailhead for the Lion’s Den trail is 49. 43.167 N and 54 15.715 W and this trail travels in a broad loop.  We really liked this trail for its ocean views and interpretative plaques describing the communities that were once located along this shore. 

The Lion's Den Hike was a favourite with Bob and Pat

      The next day we decided to walk the Fogo Head Trail. This trail has a few options but we decided to do a traverse from the starting point along the entrance to the harbour (49 43.496 N and 54 16.890 W) which ascends many stairs to a couple of lookout platforms.  The trail then descends along a ridge to a road in the community where we parked a second car (49 42.999 N and 54 17.496 W). This route is about 2.5 km long and you should allow about 1 hour. The hike gives great views not only of the ocean but also back to Fogo and Brimstone Head. 
Hiking to the top of Fogo Head provides good views of the islands just offshore

Our final hike was at Tilting where we hiked the scenic Turpin’s Trail. We decided to do this trail from the community of Tilting (49 42.477 N and 54 03.844 W) to the Sandy Cove day use area just outside of Tilting (49 42.463 N and 54 04.889 W). The trail passes by one of the new artist’s studio and along a low rugged shoreline. This part of the trail is about 2 km and you should allow 30 minutes to hike it. 

 Bob on Turpin's trail which provides a good overview of Tilting

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