Camping and Accommodations

Wilderness Campsite on Spout Path

James Drover

The East Coast Trail winds through over 30 historic communities, each with their own unique charm and amenities. When on the trail, you’ll experience the serenity of genuine wilderness and you may not want to leave. You don’t have to: you can camp on the trail. There are five established wilderness campsites along the trail system. Or you may choose to hike from community to community and stay in off trail accommodations such bed and breakfasts, coastline cottages or hotels. 

Off Trail Accommodations

After a long day of hiking, there is nothing better than putting your feet up in a cozy room or soaking in a warm bath. Many communities along the East Coast Trail offer a selection of accommodations from bed and breakfasts, hotels or inns to seaside cottages and cabins. Visit our directory or Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism for more information.

Camp on the Trail

East Coast Trail hikers may camp either in established sites found on the trail, or alongside the trail in or near trailhead communities.

How to camp

With thousands using the trail each year, more and more wear and tear takes place, particularly near established campsites. To reduce the impact of camping:

  • Camp only at designated campsites, or in/near trailhead communities if possible.
  • Seek permission from landowners before camping trailside on private property. Respect the privacy of landowners.
  • In established sites, tent only on platforms or levelled sites provided. Do not clear new sites.
  • No fires. Instead, use a liquid or gas fueled camping stove with care. Do not cut wood to burn or build fire pits.
  • Use filtration or purification if consuming water from fresh water sources.
  • Protect streams, bogs, rivers and ponds from contamination. Scatter used water on vegetated soil at least 50 metres from campsites or water sources.
  • “Stoop and scoop” human and animal waste. The waste (but not the plastic bag) can be disposed of in pit toilets in established campsites.
  • Pack litter, containers, plastic and food waste out for disposal. Do not dump garbage in pit toilets.

Designated campsites on the trail

Non-serviced, primitive campsites with wooden tent platforms (or levelled, ground sites with space to set up a tent) and pit toilets are found near the mid-point of six of the longest East Coast Trail paths:

  • White Horse Path (located 10.4 km from the Bauline trailhead; 5 tent platforms available)
  • Motion Path (located 12.7 km from the Petty Harbour trailhead; No tent platforms, but there are levelled sites available)
  • Spout Path (located 5.3 km from the Shoal Bay Road trailhead; 5 tent platforms available as well as a number of other levelled sites)
  • Flamber Head Path (located 8.5 km from the La Manche Village trailhead; 4 tent platforms available)
  • Cape Broyle Head Path (located 7.2 km from the Cape Broyle trailhead; 6 tent platforms available)
  • Spurwink Island Path (located 11.2 km from the Aquaforte trailhead; 4 tent platforms available)

These sites are identified on corresponding East Coast Trail path maps and can be accessed only by hiking. They cannot be reserved in advance.

Camping off the Trail

Fully-serviced campsites are available in La Manche Provincial park, accessible from La Manche Village Path. Visit the Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Parks Reservation Service or Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism – Camping for more information.

Equipment and Supplies

Several stores in St. John’s and nearby Mt. Pearl sell outdoor equipment and supplies:

A limited selection camping supplies or stove fuel may be found at local hardware, convenience or grocery stores in trailhead communities north and south of St. John’s. Carrying back up stove fuel is recommended.