Little Catalina to Maberly Trail

Little Catalina was first settled in the late 1700s or the early 1800s to cut wood for boat building, and by 1845 it was a well established inshore fishing community of 195 people. Being so close to Catalina, Little Catalina depended a lot on the economic and social sphere of the larger community. Like many other small communities, Little Catalina suffered severe loss of life to marine disasters. The Great Labrador Disaster and a series of shipwrecks claimed the lives of many causing widows to run 26 percent of the households in the community by 1891. The interesting yet tragic story of the Ella M. Rudolph has been related in a song, book and poem. Just offshore from the beginning of the trail the “Shag Rocks” can be seen. This name originated in England and was applied by the settlers in Little Catalina.

Also known as Muddy Brook, the town of Maberly is one of the distinct fishing settlements that makes up Elliston which was formally called Bird Island Cove. The communities surrounding Elliston depended on the fishery, with a peak population of 950 people in the late 1800's. The population has steadily decreased due to the declining fishery. Elliston is now widely known for its festivals and properly maintained root cellars that show the traditional art and handywork of the people. Because of this, Elliston has become a popular tourist destination and has been dubbed the “root cellar capital of the world.”

Elliston has a unique geological site containing felsenmeer. This is formed by frost wedging in the bedrock that eventually creates large angular blocks of immovable rock material. Small grain erosion and the washout of finer materials creates this type of exposed rock outcrop that is rare in Newfoundland. It is a fascinating process and is an excellent example of mechanical erosion.

Heathland (barrens) makes up most of the trail route and includes plant species such as crowberry, blueberry, partridgeberry, bakeapple and clover. The coastline features trees whose growth is stunted due to the harsh elements; these trees are known in Newfoundland by the term “Tuckamore”.

Hunting seabirds along the trail was very widespread, as indicated by the number of gazes (a rock or wooden blind) visible along the trail. Due to the ruggedness and sense of isolation that this trail creates, hikers may perceive the trail to be longer than stated. Users are advised to follow black and white markers, in the event one should become disoriented, please follow the coastline. Each year locals celebrate our rich heritage at the Bird Island Puffin Festival which includes a walk on this popular trail.

Season: Jan 1 - Dec 31

Length: 17 km, Linear (4 - 5 Hours)

Difficulty: Moderate - Difficult

Description: For the more enthusiastic hiker this is the trail of choice. It offers 17 km of coastline dotted with icebergs, seabirds, and whales, in addition to barrens containing a variety of Plant life.

Location: Can be accessed from the communities of Little Catalina (Route 230) or Maberly (Route 238). The trailhead is located at the end of both communities.

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 59
Little Point, NL, A0C 1W0

Telephone/Fax: 709-469-2795

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