Tuesday, 18 October 2011

The fall colours are still amazing in the Humber Valley

By Keith and Heather Nicol 
The autumn colours are usually at their peak over the Thanksgiving weekend in Western Newfoundland but this year they seem to be lasting longer. Over the past few days we have been out kayaking down the Humber River and hiking through the fall splendor in the Humber Valley. One of our favourite paddles at this time of year is the "put in" at the Humber Valley Resort bridge (don't cross the bridge but turn right into a large parking area and launch point). Our usual "takeout" is at the Humber Village bridge along the right hand bank. This is a great morning or afternoon paddle and the river is easy paddling in this section. If you want a longer paddle then you can takeout at Steady Brook (at the community wharf/boat launch) or continue past Shellbird Island all the way to Ballam Bridge where the take out is on the left hand side just below the bridge. 
Paddling down the Humber River is spectacular in the Fall

We also hiked the International Appalachian Trail from Wild Cove Pond to Humber Village.  We wrote about one section of this hike in an earlier post but this full trail was in its full glory this past weekend and will likely still be colourful for another week or two. We did this trip with 15 avid hikers from Corner Brook area on Sunday, October 15 and were hiking in our shirt sleeves with temperatures approaching 20 C. We started at Wild Cove Pond at 10:00 am and finished the 5.5 km hike at Humber Village by 1:15 pm. The trailhead at Wild Cove Pond is 48 58.262 N and 57 49.897 W and the hike finishes at 48 59.262 N and 57 47.001 W. Bring your camera since the views are some of the finest in the province at this time of year. Keep your eye out for trail markers and flagging tape since the trail can be hard to find in places.If there are readers that are interested in learning how to use a GPS for hiking or other applications let me know since we are planning another GPS-topographic map course for November, 2011 in the Corner Brook area. Contact Keith Nicol at knicol@swgc.mun.ca if interested.
 

 
The view along the Wild Cove Pond trail



Thursday, 6 October 2011

Fall Hiking in the Humber Valley, Newfoundland

by Keith and Heather Nicol
      The Corner Brook-Humber Valley area of Western Newfoundland has some of the best autumn foliage in the province due the extensive stands of birch as well as colourful maples in many places. One of our favourite trails to hike is on the International Appalachian Trail from Humber Village to Barry's Lookout.
The trailhead coordinates are: 48 59.262 N and 57 47.001 W. If you don’t have a GPS you should drive to Humber Village and turn left on Maple and then left again on Pine. Drive down Pine and you will see a gate which is often unlocked but you can park near the gate or proceed to a nearby Aliant building with a small parking lot that is often available. Walk down the road a short distance and the trail begins on your right.The open birch forest is magical to walk through and be sure to bring a camera for the views from Barry's Lookout. The will take about 45 minutes to reach the top and it is abit over 1.5 km one way.
The view looking east from Barry's Lookout


      Another favourite spot to hike is on the ski slopes at Marble Mountain. Many of the ski slopes have trails on them that you can walk and as you climb the views get better and better. We usually park in the main ski area parking lot and simply walk up one of the runs under the high speed quad chairlift. Your destination depends on how energetic you feel. The views are great from the top but are also fine part way up. 
The view overlooking the Humber River from the slopes of Marble Mtn.