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Terra Nova National Park of Canada

The Discovery Trail

Ryan Premises National Historic Site, Bonavista
Ryan Premises National Historic Site, Bonavista
© Parks Canada

"The Discovery Trail begins at the east end of the park in the community of Port Blandford. From there, continue your journey to historic Bonavista, where Giovanni Caboto landed more than 500 years ago. Take time to drive through this picturesque fishing community, and visit the Ryan Premises National Historic Site of Canada, Cape Bonavista and the lighthouse. Continue your travels to Trinity, where several boat tours provide you with the opportunity to see icebergs and whales. Trinity is also home to Rising Tide Theatre, a company that offers comedic walking tours of the community. The area of Trinity Bight features the film set of Bernice Morgan's novel "Random Passage" as well as Lockston Path Provincial Park. Conclude your adventure in the modern town of Clarenville. Once a major shipbuilding centre, Clarenville has become a service centre for the Bonavista Peninsula. The Discovery Trail is a trip that takes you through time, myth and legend into a reality that will leave you wondering if seeing really is believing."

Atlantic Puffins nest on a wall of protected sea stack that can be viewed up close from Spillar's Cove Trail
Atlantic Puffins nest on a wall of protected sea stack that can be viewed up close from Spillar's Cove Trail
© Greg Stroud

Only a short drive from Bonavista is Elliston, known as the Root Cellar Capital of the world with 134 documented cellars - some dating back to the 1830's. While in Elliston, visitors can take advantage of the opportunity to view the Atlantic Puffin from the Maberly Puffin Site.

Continue your travels to Trinity, where several boat tours provide you with the opportunity to see icebergs and whales. Trinity is also home to Rising Tide Theatre, a professional theatre company that offers an inspiring collection of the stories that make this province unique. Bernice Morgan's novel "Random Passage" was filmed in New Bonaventure and visitor's to the region can view a representation of a Newfoundland fishing settlement, circa 1800, by visiting the original film site. Many outdoor adventure opportunities await visitors, including hiking. The world-renown "Skerwink Trail", located in port Rexton, and the King's Cove Light house Trail, located in historic King's Cove, are only a sampling of delights awaiting the outdoor enthusiasts.

Continue your adventure in the town of Clarenville. If you visit in July, take in The Arts Under the Stars Festival at the Elizabeth Swan Park Once a major shipbuilding centre, Clarenville has become a service centre for the Discovery Region.

In the spring and fall of the year, two kinds of whales are common in the waters around Norman's Cove-Long Cove. The Humpback and Pothead whales come here to feed on the large schools of caplin that are plentiful in the waters from June to September. Norman's Cove-Long Cove has several perches from which the beauty of icebergs can be seen. It is not unusual for 'bergs' to be clearly seen on a leisurely drive in mid-summer. However, the best viewing locales are from our scenic walking trail - The Ocean View Trail.

Spillar's Cove Trail, near Bonavista, is a spectacular hike with stunning views of shear cliffs, sea stacks, the ocean, birds and whales
Spillar's Cove Trail, near Bonavista, is a spectacular hike with stunning views of shear cliffs, sea stacks, the ocean, birds and whales
© Greg Stroud

Center Hill Trail, located in Sunnyside, is a major tourist attraction for those with an adventurous spirit and a love for the outdoors. With an elevation of 1153 feet, Center Hill Trail provides a panoramic view of the surrounding countryside and bays. Bird watchers will enjoy their visit to the Come By Chance Estuary.

Arnold's Cove has two main hiking trails, The Bordeaux Trail and the Cabot Trail. The wildlife enthusiast can catch a glimpse of the abundant seabirds and wildlife that frequent the rugged shoreline. Natural flowers such as the Pitcher Plant & Wild Roses are spectacular. A must for the bird-watching enthusiast, the Town of Arnold's Cove Bird Sanctuary is an important migratory stop for birds all year with a large, growing population just 50 metres from shore.

Visitors can also tour the "Drake House" which was originally constructed in the 1890s in the island community of Haystack. In 1969, the house was towed across the bay to Arnold's Cove and has been kept in its original condition. It is now owned by the town and has been designated The Heritage House and is now available for public viewing during the summer.

The Discovery Trail is a trip that takes you through time, myth and legend into a reality that will leave you wondering if seeing really is believing."

For more information, visit our website at www.thediscoverytrail.org