Iceberg Hunting on the Baccalieu Trail

After a truly miserable week weather-wise, we were all looking forward to the forcasted warmth and sunshine on June 14. By 8:30 am, the temperature was at 12 Celsius (54 F.), already higher than we had experienced in a week. We decided to head out of town early, and hit the highway to the Baccalieu Trail; a wonderfully twisty road that winds its way around the north west Avalon.

The first stop was Salmon Cove Sands, a beautiful sandy beach about 10km from Carbonear. It’s been rated one of the top 15 beaches in the country, and I can understand why. It’s a gorgeous place, well-sheltered and has a small natural arch rock formation. The sand is very fine, almost made me want to take my boots off and run through it. The beach was empty except for a couple of boys on dirt bikes and a few girls suntanning in bikinis…in about 15 degrees C. (59 F.). These must be the same breed of girls I see downtown in February prancing around jacket-less in miniskirts while I’m shivering in my long johns and parka.


Our riding companions taking in the sights at Salmon Cove Sands


Natural rock arch!

We left Salmon Cove and continued north, and it seemed like around every turn there was scenery too beautiful not to stop and take photographs. So we stopped…and stopped again…and stopped again. By sheer luck we happened to be in the right place at the right time and saw an iceberg roll, what an awesome experience!


This is what the berg looked like when we arrived…


And here it is after it rolled!


The joy of motorcycling in Newfoundland!


Another natural rock arch, this is in Burnt Point.


Mandy was the only one able to follow us for the entire day. Most people don’t have the luxury of time that myself and Mark have.

Eventually we made it to Grates Cove, at the very tip of the north west Avalon, a place neither of us had ever been. Its claim to fame is the historic rock walls, and you can’t miss them, they’re everywhere! It’s a beautiful little community, barren and quaint, with a windswept ruggedness.


Beautiful Grates Cove

Grates Cove is also home to a art studio/cafe (big thanks to fellow biker blogger Gord for the heads-up!). Grates Cove Studios is owned and operated by Old Perlican native Terrence Howell and his Louisianan wife Courtney whom he met while working in South Korea. The menu is a blend of traditional Newfoundland and Cajun cuisine, with some Asian fare threw in for good measure. Not what you’d expect to find in a tiny outport, but it was absolutely delicious. The cafe is filled with Terrence’s original paintings and fine crafts made from wood, it was quite interesting to browse around while we were waiting for our meal.


The view from the Studio


Mark’s Snow Crab pizza…the food here was amazing, and perhaps the best coffee I have ever had anywhere outside the city.

The great thing about this time of year is the fact that it doesn’t get dark until 9pm or so. We left Grates Cove around 5pm, with lots of daylight left. We headed south down the coast of Trinity Bay, and the sight of the sun shimmering off the water was breathtaking. We stopped in Brownsdale for one last picture-taking session, as we spotted an iceberg with waves actually crashing inside of it.


The waves had worn down the u-shaped part of the berg

We had every intention of completing the entire loop and hitting the TCH at Whitbourne, but decided to leave that for another day and came across Heart’s Content Barrens back to Victoria. There’s simply so much to see here, all it takes is a little research and planning, and a lot of time!


Posted on June 16, 2014, in Roads of Newfoundland and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. This is a wonderful post! I happen to have roots in Grates Cove – my mother and my dad’s mother were born there – and managed to get back for a visit last summer (I blogged about it). Haven’t eaten at the Studio yet though. It sounds delicious!

    Thanks, Jennifer

    • Wonderful folks at the studio in Grates Coves; a true craftsman and artisan. My visit there last summer was one of many very enjoyable and memorable interactions with the Newfoundland people.

      • Thanks so much for telling me about this place…amazing food and wonderful people. I’ve always loved Newfoundland (who doesn’t love their home?) but since I began exploring by bike I’ve become completely enthralled by it. 🙂

    • Thanks Jennifer! I’ll be sure to look up your post on Grates Cove as well, I hope to get back there again later this summer. If you go there again you MUST stop at the Studio, it’s fantastic!

  2. As usual, a superb write-up and awesome photos Krista … glad you guys had an enjoyable day out on Bike!

    • Thanks Perry! It was a large day for sure. We were out for about 10 hours, but a lot of that was sight-seeing and picture-taking. So nice to be able to take advantage of the scattered bit of sun and warmth we get!

  3. Another great post, Krista. It was such a great day on Saturday and lots of folks on the road. I’m sure we came across you on our travels Saturday. We came up the other way – up #80 and down #70. If you’re ever on that path again, try Brown’s in Whiteway for snack/lunch/dinner – great food and a great view of the Shag Rocks. Enjoy the ride……

  4. Great post Krista. I really enjoy reading of motorcyclists travels in other countries. The photos of the iceberg roll are fantastic! We don’t get those down here in South Carolina, USA! Great blog. Looking forward to reading more.

    • Thanks Bob! I agree, it’s so interesting to see other parts of the world through the eyes of a motorcyclist. The winters here are very cold and long, but the summer definitely makes up for it with the spectacular scenery, icebergs and whales. Put Newfoundland on your touring “bucket list”. It’s not THAT far from South Carolina 🙂

  5. Reblogged this on Chris & Donna's Motorcyle Journeys and commented:
    Would you ever have thought of iceberg hunting on a motorcycle?

  6. Hi Krista – just a follow up to this. My bike was laid up in the shop this weekend, so we drove the truck up to Grates Cove to check out the studio and the food. I have to say – some of the BEST food I have ever had!!! Thanks for the heads-up. So not only is this an amazingly scenic ride (truck or bike) to catch the ‘bergs (also caught some humpbacks breaching) but the food…. Other riders should definitely put the Baccalieu Trail on the list for the summer.

  7. Krista:

    we were in Grates Cove about 10 years ago and we didn’t notice anywhere to eat. All I remember was the strong blowing wind. Would loved to have seen some icebergs but it was early September

    Riding the Wet Coast

    • The cafe has been open only a couple of years at the most. If you visited the area now you would probably notice that it’s a bit more “touristy” than it was 10 years ago, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

      If you want to see icebergs, May is a good time. Though this year we will probably have them until August, they’re in the hundreds.

  1. Pingback: My Top 10 Newfoundland Travel Tips | Ride Newfoundland

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