Green Bay and The Beothuk Trail

Distance - 136km

When you leave the Baie Verte Peninsula and take Route 1 eastward, you'll soon come to a low stone wall on either side of the highway that indicates you're in Green Bay. The Green Bay Visitor Information Centre, which houses a craft shop, is located at the intersection of Routes 1 and 390. The staff can also tell you the best sites to spot icebergs, and where to look for shipwrecks. The Green bay area is also noted for its hiking trails.

A side trip along Route 391 takes you to King's Point. There is some farming in this area, and you'll see more of that as you proceed east into Notre Dame Bay. Hikers will be interested in the Alexander Murray Trail, a four-hour jaunt through some pretty rough country over a trail that has been upgraded to international standards. There's a check-in at the start of the trail, which is named for a famed nineteenth-century Newfoundland geologist. At the end of this section of Route 391 is Rattling Brook which has a picnic park that offers a good view of Green Bay from the hiking trail to the top of an 800-foot waterfall. Another section of Route 391 takes you to Nickey's Nose Cove and Harry's Harbour, with its rugged coastal rock formations. Route 392 leads to St. Patrick's from where you can take a ferry ride to Little Bay Islands where a network of trails overlooks the community and the coastline.

The main service community in Green Bay is Springdale on Route 390. In George Huxter Municipal Park you'll find a salmon ladder at Indian Falls.

Take Route 390 back to Route 1 and continue on to South Brook and Route 380, The Beothuk Trail, so named because this was an area of Newfoundland once occupied by the now extinct Beothuk aboriginal tribe. Archaeological discoveries at Beachside in 1966 and in the Beothuk Trail area offer evidence of the presence of these aboriginal people.

Each year, when autumn came, the Beothuks would return to the interior of the island and settle on the shores of the Exploits River and Red Indian Lake to spend the winter. In late summer and fall, they would build deer fences on the banks of the Exploits to capture caribou from the herd as it made its migration. These fences were very similar to those erected by an earlier people, the Maritime Archaic Indians, which has prompted speculation that the Beothuks were the descendants of the earlier tribe. The hide and bones were used for clothing and tools, while the meat was smoked.

Just past South Brook you'll see what residents of the area have named the upside down tree because of its inverted shape. Then it's along a high wooded plateau and down the northern slopes of the ridge of Crescent Lake, home of a legendary lake monster nicknamed Cressie. Robert's Arm is one of the larger communities in the area. In the town library is a mini-museum with Maritime Archaic Indian artifacts. This is a good base for exploring the settlements of Pilley's Island, Triton-Jimís Cove-Cardís Harbour - which has a hiking trail thatís a good place to see whales and icebergs - and Brighton where two more trails provide scenic lookouts. From Pilley's Island you can also visit Long Island and the communities of Lushes Bight and Beaumont by taking the car ferry that operates year round.

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