Signal Hill National Historic Site of Canada

 Couple hiking North Head Trail at Signal Hill
North Head Trail 
© Destination St. John's

 

Hiking

There are several hiking trails at Signal Hill National Historic Site of Canada, all of which boast panoramic views and captivating scenery. Bring appropriate footwear, a bottle of water, binoculars, a camera, and explore the trails. Signal Hill's trail system also connects to the Grand Concourse which leads to most parts of the City of St. John's.

Burma Road Trail

This trail leads to Cuckold's Cove Lookout where hikers can continue on to Quidi Vidi village or retrace their steps to the Ladies Lookout trail and loop to the top of the hill. The trail begins by George's Pond across the road from the Visitor Interpretation Centre.

Gibbet Hill Lookout

This trail begins by the Tattoo Performance Field adjacent the Visitor Interpretation Centre and leads to the top of Gibbet Hill. The hill gets its name from a hangman's platform (a gibbet) used in the St. John's colonial period to deter criminal activity. The hiker is rewarded with a spectacular view of St. John's harbour and the Waterford Valley.

Visitor Interpretation Centre to Queen's Battery Barracks to Cabot Tower

This trail will take the visitor from the Visitor Interpretation Centre up to the Queen's Battery Barracks and on to Cabot Tower at the top of Signal Hill. The Queen's Battery Barracks offers an amazing view of the Narrows, Fort Amherst and the Southside of the harbour.

Ladies Lookout

This trail has significant value as Signal Hill was originally known as Ladies Lookout. Beginning at the top parking lot, it will take the visitor to Cuckold's Cove Lookout or they can loop around the summit and return to the parking area.

North Head Trail

The North Head Trail is the most popular hiking trail at Signal Hill National Historic Site of Canada. Hikers can connect with it from the parking lot at the top of the hill. From there they will descend boardwalk stairs and follow a footpath to North Head at the entrance to St. John's Harbour, along the narrows where they eventually connect to the Lower Battery Road. This 1.7 km hike will take approximately 90 minutes and descends almost 500 feet. The trail is maintained for safety and enjoyment but the following safety rules are recommended:

  • Young children and persons who have difficulty walking long distances on steep terrain should not attempt this trail. This trail is classified as difficult.
  • Be prepared - wear sturdy footwear with ankle support and be sure to let someone know where you are going.
  • Stay on the trail and do not attempt short cuts. Parts of the coastline can be dangerous.
  • In the event of wet weather, fog, or strong winds you should postpone your hike.
  • If in doubt or if you have questions, please check with a Park official before starting.