Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Day 15: St. John's - Signal Hill Hike and Petty Harbour

Today Patrick took us (Ruby, Atty and me) to St. John's to do the North Head trail hike which travels around Signal Hill (from Battery Road at the base up to the Cabot Tower).  The trail according to Parks Canada is usually done by going from top to bottom.  However, Patrick had us doing the reverse (bottom to top) which is a bit more challenging as you ascend about 500 ft.  It is a wonderfully scenic trail which provides views of St. John's harbour, the narrows and Fort Amherst.

A bit of history about Signal Hill.  This was the location where Marconi received the first trans Atlantic wireless signal in December of 1901.  Signal Hill derived it's name before Marconi as flags were used at the summit to signal ships coming and going from the harbour from the 1700's onward.  The Cabot tower was the last flag signalling station built (completed in 1900) at the summit of Signal Hill.

Our hike took about two hours to complete and we visited Patrick's hometown of Petty Harbour afterwards. We had lunch at Chafe's Landing which is a charming restaurant located in a converted old house.  We then did a tour of Petty Habour whose history dates back to the 1600's (first as a fishing station and later with permanent residents).  It's look is similar to what you'd expect to see on a post card from Newfoundland as the pictures below show.

Patrick at the beginning of our hike

A view of the Narrows

Me, Ruby, Patrick and Atty

Atty, Ruby and Patrick

Traversing along a narrow cliffside portion of the trail

Atty and I with St. John's in the background

Another view of the Narrows facing towards St. John's

A view of Fort Amherst from the trail

A view from near the top looking out towards the Atlantic

A view of some of the stairways along the trail

Patrick, Atty and Ruby

Thistles and sky as seen along the trail

The Cabot Tower

The post office in Petty Harbour

Patrick's hometown of Petty Harbour

Another view of Petty Harbour

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