Press Release: East Coast Trail “Official Opening – Northern Section

Spurwink Island Path

Gord Follett

May 18, 2022

Press Release: East Coast Trail “Official Opening – Northern Section”

Posted on Wednesday May 18, 2022

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Press Release

For immediate Release

East Coast Trail “Official Opening – Northern Section”

52 kilometres: 3 Paths between Topsail Beach and Cape St. Francis

St. John’s, NL – May 19, 2022 – The East Coast Trail Association (ECTA) is pleased to announce, in collaboration with our federal, provincial, and municipal partners, the official opening of the 52 km section of the East Coast Trail (ECT) between Topsail Beach and Cape St. Francis. The official opening will take place at Topsail Beach on Thursday, May 19, at noon. A short hike on Long Shore Path will follow the ribbon-cutting ceremony. This section of the trail includes the following three paths:

Long Shore Path stretches 18.1 km from Topsail Beach to Portugal Cove, including the popular Topsail Bluff side-trail, Goat Cove, Horse Cove, and Prince’s Ridge.

Piccos Ridge Path connects the ECT from Portugal Cove, 15.1 km north to Bauline, and features massive Freshwater Falls and Brocks Head Lookout.

White Horse Path has been dubbed by many as the “hardest path” in the ECT, with 18.8 km of rugged hiking from Bauline to Cape St. Francis, including a wilderness campsite with five tent platforms.

These three paths hug the Conception Bay coastline and complete the 336-kilometre length of the East Coast Trail, marking a major milestone for ECTA. The ECT began as a dream, first conceived in 1994 as volunteers cut the first section of the Trail. Today, the ECT is comprised of 25 fully constructed, connected pathways providing a 336 kilometres continuous hike along the East Coast Trail from the northern terminus at Topsail Beach, CBS, to the southern terminus at Cappahayden on the Southern Shore.

“On behalf of the Government of Canada, it is my pleasure to congratulate the East Coast Trail Association on their 21st Annual East Coast Trail Fundraising Hike. For many years this organization continues to be trailblazers in every sense of the word, providing a first-class outdoor opportunity for residents in my riding of Avalon, as well as for our tourists and visitors who come to hike and enjoy these beautifully maintained trails for themselves. Much of the access to the incredible vistas and scenery afforded to these outdoor enthusiasts would not be possible without the persistence and dedication from the loyal volunteers who work hard on these trails each year. As the Member of Parliament for Avalon, I would like to thank everyone involved with the ECTA for their unwavering commitment and the contribution they offer to the tourism industry in this province.” – Avalon MP – Ken McDonald.

There’s nothing like a peaceful moment on the East Coast Trail, a world-class hiking experience with breathtaking views and natural wonders at every turn. Congratulations to all on the official opening of these trail sections – I can’t wait to get out there!” – St. John’s East MP, Joanne Thompson

“Congratulations to the East Coast Trail Association on achieving such a major milestone with the completion of these three paths. With over 336 kilometres of world-class coastal wilderness hiking trails, the vistas and views, as well as the rugged terrain, the East Coast Trail draws residents and visitors from near and far. A significant tourism attraction for the province, the trail provides people an opportunity to participate in physical activity in a natural outdoor setting. It’s a privilege to join with our federal and municipal partners today to applaud the work of the association and celebrate this milestone.” – Honourable Steve Crocker, Minister of Tourism, Culture, Arts and Recreation.

“Conception Bay South is the starting point of Newfoundland and Labrador’s famous East Coast Trail, with the trail network beginning at beautiful Topsail Beach. This is an incredible attraction for our local tourism sector, and we are very thankful to our partners for fully developing the stretch of trail that we are officially opening today. Through our partnership, the Town was also able to develop the Topsail Bluff Trail, a complement to the Long Shore Path and one of its most rewarding vantage points that features stunning views of our community.” – Mayor Darrin Bent, Conception Bay South.

“Congratulations to the East Coast Trail Association on achieving the wonderful milestone of completing 336 kilometres of connected trail. The Town of Paradise is proud to partner with the ECTA. This hiking trail is world-class, used by locals and tourists alike. Supporting the development of this renowned hiking network brings social and economic benefits to our Town and throughout our region, and we look forward to continuing to partner with ECTA.” – Mayor Dan Bobbett, Paradise.

“On behalf of the Town of Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s, it is my great pleasure to congratulate the East Coast Trail Association on this momentous milestone and of course, their 21st East Coast Trail Fundraiser Hike. The ECTA is a prime example of how to engage residents in the enjoyment and preservation of our region’s natural beauty and cultural heritage while encouraging an active lifestyle. The dedication of their members is very evident in the well-maintained 336 km of first-class hiking trails, and their commitment to bolstering our regional economic development and tourism is commendable. The residents of Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s are proud to have such a great connection to the rugged beauty of our coastline, and our partnership with the ECTA has helped to open up our incredible natural assets to the world.” – Mayor Carol McDonald, Portugal Cove-St. Philips.

“On behalf of the Town of Bauline, let me extend our congratulations and gratitude as the East Coast Trail Association celebrates this major milestone of completing the 52 section of trail between Topsail Beach and Cape St. Francis. The dedication and motivation of all personnel associated with the completion of this 336 km continuous coastal trail is truly inspiring and commendable. Since its inception in 1994, this trail system has grown to be a world-renowned hiking destination, as can be attested to when meeting and talking to hikers as they enter Bauline. It seems fitting that the last piece of the puzzle; the Long Shore Path between Topsail Beach and Portugal Cove, includes Piccos Ridge and White Horse Paths with the Town of Bauline in the middle. The first meeting of the Community Connections committee was held on May 17, 1994 at the old Bauline Recreation Center. The first hike was held on June 11, 1994, as Bob Fisher, Mayor of Bauline (at the time), led the hikers to the top of “Big Hill” above Bauline. Congratulations again on this incredible milestone.” – Mayor Craig Legrow, Bauline.

“I would like to congratulate the East Coast Trail Association on the official opening of the Long Shore Path, Piccos Ridge Path, and White Horse Path. This will connect people to the Biscan Cove Path and Stiles Cove Path, both located in the beautiful Town of Pouch Cove. Active and healthy living is vital to the future of our residents, and having a part of the trail in our backyard, and now in other backyards, is something we should all be thankful for. Thank you to the partners and volunteers for their dedication to the trail system, helping to showcase our towns to hikers from surrounding communities and visitors to our province.” – Mayor Mark Vardy, Pouch Cove.

Since our beginning in May 1994, we have encouraged people to explore the East Coast Trail’s natural beauty and inspire them to love, respect, and care for our coastline to ensure its protection and preservation for generations to come. We have accomplished this by building and marketing the East Coast Trail to the world.

“The ECTA wishes to thank our municipal, provincial and federal government partners, as well as all our volunteers, members, landowners, residents, community groups, staff, and our individual and corporate donors, for helping us to achieve this major milestone,” said Randy Murphy, ECTA President. “The Trail has become a provincial treasure of which we can all be proud. What seemed to be an impossible dream in 1994, the creation of a world-class hiking trail along the eastern edge of the Avalon has been realized. Thank you all for helping to make this dream a reality.”

We look forward to seeing you at Topsail Beach on May 19th. The celebration will continue on June 4th with our annual fundraiser the “Trail Raiser Community Hike.” This event will bring together upward 400 hikers at the Town of Portugal Cove St. Philips to hike the trail and raise funds needed to maintain the East Coast Trail. Register today and come hike with us.




About East Coast Trail

The East Coast Trail (ECT) is a 336 km market-ready, pedestrian, coastal trail that runs along the eastern edge of the Avalon Peninsula between Topsail Beach and Cappahayden. The East Coast Trail Association is a member-based, volunteer-driven and managed registered charity. The Association’s mission is to develop, maintain, enhance and protect the ECT for future generations while respecting the integrity of our natural environment, the needs of our communities and delivering a high-quality wilderness hiking experience.

To arrange an interview, please contact:
Julia Penney

Business Manager, ECTA

(t) 709-738-4453 (c) 709-325-7284




Released: May 18, 2022

Updated: May 20, 2022