Amélie hikes the East Coast Trail – 100km

AMÉLIE’S HIKE: The First 100 Kilometres

While on a day hike in Witless Bay five months ago, we asked ourselves a question which has led to a whole new project:

“Can a toddler hike the East Coast Trail… BY HERSELF?” 

Obviously, the answer to this question depends on what we mean when we say “by herself.” A fully unsupported thru-hike of the East Coast Trail is a punishingly difficult accomplishment, even for the fittest and best-prepared of adult hikers. According to the statistics collected by Randy Best, less than half of the individuals who attempted a thru-hike of the ECT this summer successfully completed it.

No toddler could ever do it alone.

But what if a toddler was supported in her efforts every step of the way?

At the Tolt in Witless Bay“The Rule of the Hike” we’ve adopted is simple: Amélie has to take every single step of the 316 kilometres of coastline separating Cappahayden from Portugal Cove. When we’re done walking for a given day, we carry her back. To resume an interrupted hike, we carry her to the point where she stopped the day before.

We first tested the possibilities by getting Amélie to climb the Tolt in Witless Bay, which is basically right behind our house: When she made it without too much fuss, we decided to make a formal attempt at it. It’s definitely possible. But it requires a lot of patience.

And time.

And focus.

And effort.

And flexibility

And preparation.

And perseverance.

…but especially patience. 

Toddlers walk at their own pace. They don’t “set goals.” They don’t feel pressured by time. They don’t gauge “success” in grand terms. They live in the moment. In other words, they have a lot to teach us.

Walking the trails with Amélie, we’re constantly reminded of how “rushed” our everyday lives are, and how much more productive we would be if we took the time to stop and smell the roses (both literally and figuratively.

Pasted below are the blog posts that we wrote following a day’s hike with Amélie. At the very end is a map of the progress made so far.






It took an hour to get ready. Which shoes should Amélie be wearing? How are we going to tell if she’s too warm in her many layers? Are her hands going to be cold in those wool mittens? Is Évangéline going to be warm enough? Too warm?

When we finally make it out the door, it’s 5:30pm and the sun has already gone down quite a bit. It’s already starting to be too cold for the clothes we’d put on Amélie. We aren’t even at the top of the hill next to our house when Amélie looks up at her dad and said, “Papa, can you carry me?”

Séb manages to convince her to walk up the rest of the hill, where we call it a day. With only 150 metres between our house and Alder Hill Road, this is a very discouraging performance for the first day. But it’s a first attempt at establishing the necessary routine and getting Amélie to understand The Rule of the Hike.


We leave the house at 11am, with Séb carrying Amélie up to Alder Hill Road, where we’d called it quits the day before. We manage to get to the house nicknamed “The Tolt” before Amélie asks Séb to pick her up again. This time, though, Séb explains that he’ll pick her up if she makes it to Lower Pond Beach. She happily walks the rest of the way, looking forward to playing with the rocks.

Lower Pond Beach, Witless BayAfter a few minutes on the beach, we manage to coax Amélie to walk a little way further by asking her if she wants to “see the picture of the baby Polar Bear” on the sign at Bears Cove Inn. That’s as far as we got.

The 30.7-kilometre uninterrupted Spout Path / Motion Path combination is definitely intimidating at this rate.  Two days in, we’ve managed to walk about a kilometre – on flat pavement! But right now, it’s not about putting distance behind us – it’s a matter of establishing a routine that Amélie enjoys & looks forward to. Well. That’s what we tell ourselves anyways… 🙂


Walking from the Bears Cove Inn to the trailhead is relatively painless. Once at the trailhead, we get Amélie to hug the signpost bearing the distances to be overcome. She’s puzzled, but she complies. We get her to hug the next few markers too, trying to establish a ritual she can look forward to.

Five minutes in, Amélie asks to be picked up, but we explain that when we pick her up we have to turn back. She doesn’t really understand, but she happily walks some more, insisting on holding both her dad’s and my hand.

Progress is slow, but Amélie’s happy to be outside. Évangéline is sleeping soundly, bundled up in her carrier.

Tobin Memorial Cross, East Coast Trail

We manage to hike up to young Tobin’s memorial marker, which is about one kilometre into the trail. Amélie sniffs the plastic flowers and points to the letters on the epitaph. Séb tells her about the little boy who died here a long time ago, and explains that the metal cross was placed here by someone who loved him so that people would think about him a little bit each time they see it. Visibly puzzled by the explanation, she gives the cold cross a hug, then curls up at its base to admire the flowers from up close.

The hike back to the trailhead is lightning fast, with Amélie in Séb’s arms.


Leaving the house, we explain the Rule of the Hike to Amélie again. She’s puzzled about why Séb picks her up at the trailhead, but she happily grabs on to his neck and enjoys being carried up to the Tobin memorial.

Rotting tree stump

This part of the trail is soggy at many points – there’s still bits of snow on the ground in many parts of the trail, after all – and Séb and Amélie both get one of their feet wet walking in a spot that didn’t look as bad as it really was. Amélie doesn’t seem to mind, but the little faux-pas means that we won’t be able to stay on the trail very long today.

We get to Otter Cove, where we unpack the little snack we’d brought along – crackers, dates, nuts, and Fruit-to-go. We’re both impressed by how well our little hiker is doing, and realize the importance of having a “special” snacks during these hikes as a reward for her efforts.


The stepping stones that are placed by the East Coast Trail Association to make walking through bogs easier (and drier!) are placed one “standard” pace apart. Toddlers’ strides are much, much shorter than “normal” (about 30cm on flat ground). On flat ground, Amélie probably takes three steps for every step we make. On the trail, it’s probably closer to four or five. The tripping hazards that line the trail (tree roots, loose stones, dead branches, muddy spots, etc.) are more like tripping guarantees for Amélie, who takes at least one spill every minute. But she’s a trooper and carries on!

The terrain between Otter Cove (where we started today) & Upper Red Cove (where we finished) is VERY difficult for short little legs. While there wasn’t much distance put behind us in terms of mileage (about 1 kilometre), Séb and I are delighted about the progress!


Today is one of the days we’ve been dreading for the past week: the half-way point between the Witless Bay and the Bay Bulls trailheads. We have to carry Amélie more than three kilometres to the start of her hike, knowing that we’ll have to carry her all the way back from wherever she finishes.

We were definitely hoping for a great performance from our little trekker.

That didn’t happen.

When we got close to Upper Red Cove, the fog came in and it got cold. As soon as Séb put Amélie down, she asked to be picked up. Séb and I looked at each other to try and figure out what to do. Go back right away? Give her a snack? Distract her? Option #3 seemed best.

“Amélie, do you see the Xs on the logs? They’re so that we don’t slip!”

“Amélie, do you see the red rocks on those cliffs? Aren’t they beautiful?”

“Amélie, look – another hill! Do you think you can climb it?”

“Amélie, do you see that black-and-white marker ahead? Do you see the white triangle? Where’s the next one going to be?”

East Coast Trail Marker - White Triangle

Nothing worked.

She was miserable. Utterly miserable.

And vocal about it too. She was wailing. And wailing. And wailing.  It didn’t get better until Séb spotted a tiny caterpillar, whose appearance drastically de-escalated the situation. The five-minute distraction helped her forget her discomfort.

When we started off again, she wasn’t wailing anymore, but she was still not happy. So ten minutes later, we called it a day at the dreaded spot: the half-way point at South Head.

We placed her in the backpack, where she was very happy to stay. We decided to walk towards Bay Bulls instead of going back the way we came, which ended up being a much longer route, since we walked all the way to the Robin’s Donuts on Maggoty Pond. Thanks, Riley, for the ride back to our car!

Six hundred metres of progress is still nothing to scoff at on this terrain 🙂



Cougar Helicopter on an approach in Bay BullsCougar Helicopter hovering over O'Brien's Tour Boat in Bay BullsWooden Staircase, Mickeleens Path, East Coast TrailStone path, East Coast TrailBaboul Rocks, Bay Bulls, NL

South Head, Mickeleens Path, East Coast Trail

After six days of slow progress, we thought we’d figured out Amélie’s speed and stamina, but today, she shifted gears and DEMOLISHED the second half of Mickeleen’s Path in one go!

When we set out from the Bay Bulls trailhead, we were so sure that Amélie would quit early on that Séb didn’t bother bringing the kid carrier. Séb started regretting not having brought it when she hiked all the way to Island Cove without a single break.

Big Cove on Mickeleens Path, Bay Bulls

There were many distractions helping us keep Amélie interested in the hike – a humpback breaching in the harbour, dozens of squirrels’ territorial rattle calls, and a training exercise between a Cougar Helicopter and the O’Brien’s tour boat. The helicopter hovered just above the boat for nearly ten minutes!
Despite the rough terrain, Amélie kept on truckin’ all the way to South Head, where we had a snack.

Séb carried Amélie in his arms back to the trailhead.


Thank you, Peter & Mary for the drive back to Bay Bulls!


  1. 0.150km (Our house to Alder Hill)
  2. 1km (Alder Hill to Bears Cove Inn)
  3. 1.65km (Bears Cove Inn to Tobin Memorial)
  4. 1.5km (Tobin Memorial to Otter Cove)
  5. 1km (Otter Cove to Upper Red Cove)
  6. 0.6km (Upper Red Cove to South Head)
  7. TODAY: 4km (South Head to Bay Bulls Trailhead parking lot)
  • Amélie’s total progress: 10.1km/316km
  • Distance walked by the
    adults today: 7.6km
  • Total distance walked by adults: 31.1km


It was calling for rain today, so we decided not to venture into the trail. Instead, we’re walking from the Bay Bulls trailhead of the Mickeleen’s Trail up to wherever Amélie can get to.

It’s a lucky break, since we spot a young humpback whale feeding at the head of the bay. It comes up a few dozen times during our walk around the harbour, and Amélie is very excited about trying to spot it before we can!

We take a few snapshots of Amélie at the O’Brien’s Boat Tours and Mullowney’s Boat Tours wharves. We then make our way towards the church. Amélie keeps saying that we are going to go see Rachel and Nora – the two girls she normally sits with during mass.
Looking at the "Canonized Saints" in Bay Bulls

Looking at the “Canonized Saints” in Bay Bulls

With so many distractions, it’s easy for Amélie to keep going. The boats, the water running in the ditches, the buoys in the water – all of these are fantastic motivators. When Amélie finds a little ball in a ditch, she’s distracted by it for another good long while.
We stop on a park bench for a little snack, and despite the cold wind and the drizzle, Amélie happily walks all the way to Captain Wayne’s wharf, a little over 3 kilometres away.
A few days on the trail followed by this breezy stroll in Bay Bulls makes it very obvious that walking on the roadside is much easier than hiking the rugged East Coast Trail!


Dressed for the pending rain, we set out to start the Spout Path from Captain Wayne’s. We’re unsure about how far we’ll get before the rain begins. Évangéline is fast asleep by the time we get to the trailhead, and Amélie is excited about splashing in the puddles. We meet a few people who are coming back from the lighthouse, they stop to say “hi” to Amélie, impressed that she’s hiking it herself.

We were impressed too, since Amélie just kept on walking and walking and walking. Amazingly, she made it all the way to The Pulpit before showing any signs of wanting to take a break. Five minutes later, she was fresh as a daisy again, eager to make it to the lighthouse.

She was excited when we first saw the Bull Head Light in the distance. Lighthouses are magical places in so many of her books!

Séb and I were excited to see that the lighthouse’s door was open so that we could have shelter – it was starting to rain.

Amélie eagerly climbed the staircase (with her dad right behind her!), right up to the top. She looked at the light, wondering out loud why it wasn’t on, and kept insisting on trying to find the light switch. I doubt she believed us when we told her that it was the sun that turned it on and off.

Bull Head Light - Bay Bulls' famous lighthouse

The drizzle stopped twenty minutes after it started, and the hike back to the car was painless, with Amélie stuffed in the carrier, happily chomping on crackers.

Amélie looks at the sign for The PulpitGunridge, in Bay Bulls, on the East Coast Trail
Green algaeUseless Bay, in Bay Bulls.

Spout Path Trailhead - East Coast Trail


Since we had appointments in town today , we decided to try doing the Deadman’s Bay Path, which starts with a sharp climb up the South Side Hills from Fort Amherst. When we got to the trailhead, we realized that this hike would be very unpleasant given the conditions – this morning’s rain had turned the trail into a fast-flowing stream.

Fort Amherst Trailhead, St. John's, Newfoundland

From the trailhead, we decided to instead do the community link between the two trail sections: the Grand Concourse.

Is the dragon home right now?

Is the dragon home right now?

Splish Splash

Embarrassing fact: We lived less than one minutes' drive from the train museum for years and we never visited it until a few months ago!

St. John's Fishing Vessels

Lukey's Boat. It's painted green. Obviously.

Lukey’s Boat. It’s painted green. Obviously.

This was an easy walk – before she began to peter out, Amélie managed to walk all the way from Fort Amherst to The Battery – 7.2km!

After a lunch made up of nuts, watermelon, and lobster (for Mother’s Day!), Amélie announced that she didn’t want to go home yet – she wanted to hike some more.

We decided it would be best if we called it a day, but were happy to see that our little trekker could put that many miles behind her in one day, since some of the trails will require it!


A whale of a load of garbage!

A whale tail of garbage – some of the stuff collected during this year’s community cleanup!

Today’s hike took on a very different form. After a morning of assisting the Kinsmen in coordinating the annual Witless Bay Community Cleanup and transforming a huge pile of garbage into a humpback’s tail, we left the house heading south and cleaned up the roadway as we walked towards the trail. Progress was very slow since we were stopping every fifth step to pick up cans, coffee cups, and candy wrappers. We picked up three full bags of garbage and still managed to walk over 1km, up to Harrigan’s Convenience, off Gallows Cove Road.

Thank you, Shaun, for the ride back!


This was another community cleanup day.

Amélie started hiking from the trailhead at Ragged Beach and made it to Camel Head Point before the rain started. We plunked Amélie in the carrier, put up the hood, and ran back to the car fearing a downpour.

When we got back to Gallows Cove Road, the sun was out and the wind had pushed the clouds away, so we walked the entirety of Gallows Cove Road, back to Harrigan’s Convenience, and closed the gap on what we hadn’t yet done in Witless Bay. We managed to pick up two more bags of garbage on the way.

Hiking the East Coast Trail from Witless Bay to LaManche should be relatively easy for Amélie, since the terrain is kinder than the terrain on much of the remainder of the trail. The paths are all short, often with multiple access points, and they’re well-travelled and well-maintained.

One of the biggest challenges we’ve faced so far is the weather. Although the rain doesn’t seem to phase her, we’ve noticed that Amélie loses much of her drive as soon as it gets cold – even when she’s dressed for it. So we’re hoping for a warm summer!!!

At the Beaches Path trailhead.

Heather and Évangéline at the Beaches Path trailhead. Évangéline is toasty warm in her new North Face hooded fleece onesie!


Ambrose Carey's Road TrailheadCovered Ditches on Beaches Path

This must be one of the most gentle hikes on the East Coast trail. After walking over the landwash at Mobile Beach, the first 500 metres of the Beaches Path is an old community cart path leading to Nolan’s Meadow, where the remnants of an abandoned settlement are still visible. The most impressive part of this settlement still visible today is the extensive work done to make the community accessible. Alongside the path is an old ditch and series of covered ditches serving to ensure that the path remains dry. The rockwork lining the ditches dates back a few hundred years, and is still in great shape in many spots.

Amélie’s now quite used to the rhythm, and she looks forward to the hikes. The next time we’re on this trail, we’re hoping we’ll be able to finish it!

Amélie at Nolan’s Meadow, in Mobile

Heather, Évangéline and Amélie at Nolan's Meadow, in Mobile

Heather hikes through Nolan’s Meadow with Évangéline and Amélie.

Climbing the steps on Beaches Path


One a rainy, drizzly and foggy day about a month ago, we’d decked out the entire family in rain gear and had made our way to the Deadman’s Bay Path trailhead, only to discover that the heavy rains from the previous days had turned the trail into a river.

Adventure Canada Tour Boat leaving the St. John's Narrows

Sébastien and Amélie walking back from Fort AmherstAttempt #2 went fantastically. After enjoying a fantastic dinner in Town, we decided to make a go of it again. The climb was just as intense as we’d feared, but Amélie breezed through it unphased. Although we only made 500 metres of progress today, it was a grueling 500 metres that Amélie doesn’t have to do again!


  • Graffiti: "Are you living in the real world?"

    Graffiti: “Are you living in the real world?”


Amélie and "Menoncle Jocelyn" orienteering

Amélie and “Menoncle Jocelyn” orienteering

Today was a busy day on the Beaches Path – we met a handful of through-hikers and dozens of day hikers in addition to the 6th grade class from St. Bernard’s Elementary and hundreds of high schoolers from Bay Roberts Amalgamated.

Trying to spot squirrelsIt was a busy day for us too, since this was the first time we had a special guest hiking along with us: Father Jocelyn, visiting us from Québec for the week. Jocelyn is Amélie’s godfather, and he wanted to see “what this hiking thing is all about.”

We set out a little late on the trail, and the sun was already beating down hard when we got to Herring Cove, the spot where Amélie had quit on our last hike here. Amélie was very happy to see all of the kids hiking, and a very nice lady from St. John’s helped out the fairies by hiding treats to encourage her.

The last kilometre (between Breaking Point and Camel Beach) was slow, since Amélie had started to peter out. But after a long break and tons of water, her godfather promised her ice cream once we were out of the woods. The discussion about the choice of ice cream occupied her for a full half-hour. Jocelyn kept asking what kind she wanted, suggesting all different colours and varieties. Strawberry? Raspberry? Orange? No – “CHOCOLAT!!!” was her only answer. “CRÈME GLACÉE AU CHO-CO-LAT!!!” Amélie literally ran to where we’d left our “flag” the last time we were on the trail.

We finished the trail, and made our way to The Rental Hutch.

Amélie got strawberry ice cream.

She was beaming.

Filling up the tankÉvangéline playing with a twig while we take a break from the hikeAmélie climbing a horsey tree on Beaches Path

The view from Little Bald Head, on Beaches Path


Tinker’s Point Path is a fun hike with (mostly) gentle slopes and tons of stepping stones and walkways over marshy ground. Since it’s so flat, and since there’s a significant proportion of the trail that takes the form of old well-worn cart paths, it’s a breeze for even our short-legged hiker.

There was no question about the identity of today’s “Song of the Day,” since Amélie belted it out over and over and over again:

Stepping over stepping stones, 1, 2, 3. 

Stepping over stepping stones, come with me. 

The river’s very fast and the river’s very wide, 

And we’re stepping over stepping stones, 

To reach the other side! 

Once we got to Cape Canine, much of the trail was exposed to the Western wind and it got very cold (the wind from the water was much cooler than the inland temperature). Despite the fact that Amélie still had tons of energy left in the tank, we decided to play it safe and head back.

Tinkers Point Path Trailhead, East Coast Trail


Amélie running on the trail

Amélie is hoisted up by Father Jocelyn at Nicks Cove

Since Father Jocelyn was hiking with us today, we decided to drop off Séb and Amélie at the Mobile trailhead and drive up to Tors Cove to hike back towards Mobile and meet them half-way. Séb plunked Amélie in the backpack and must’ve jogged to Cape Canine, since they managed to get to Nicks Cove before Jocelyn, Évangéline and I met up with them.

Father Jocelyn encouraged her to keep moving forward despite the heat by running ahead, hiding, and taunting her, “I’m hiding, you can’t find me!” She loved it. They literally played escape-hide-and-find all the way from Nick’s Cove to the Cribbies.

Despite the fact that there were only a few hundred metres left to complete Amélie’s third trail, we decided that the harsh sun and the wind hitting us on the open barrens were reason enough to call it a day, and we carried her back to the Tors Cove Church.


One of the many walkways on the Tinkers Point Path


Amélie woke up this morning talking about going hiking, so it wasn’t hard to convince her to leave the house. We drove up to the Cribbies, where I dropped off Séb and Amélie so I could go feed Évangéline at the decommissioned Tors Cove church 600 metres farther. Twenty minutes later, we were doing the community link together.

The fairies left some candy to encourage Amélie to hike

The fairies left some candy to encourage Amélie to hike.

Celebrating the generosity of the fairies!

Celebrating the generosity of the fairies!

The short path from Tors Cove to Burnt Cove has no East Coast Trail signage, so the fairies had to adapt their method of delivery. Instead of leaving treats on the signposts, the fairies placed the treats on the large rocks that dot the rough ATV trail.


Amélie hadn’t slept very well the night before, so she started to peter out sooner than usual. The hot sun probably had the same effect on her. To encourage her to walk a bit more, we promised her cookies from the Ocean View Bakery. She got peanut butter balls, Séb got shortbreads, and I went for the chocolate chip cookies. The cookies powered her to just a little past Burnt Cove Beach, where we celebrated having an air conditioned car for the first time this year.

Ocean View Bakery, in Burnt Cove


Friends of ours are camping in LaManche for the next few days, so we organized a hike in the area with them. Séb was very eager to see the Flamber Head Path, since this is one of the hikes he has never done and he wondered about Amélie’s ability to deal with harsher terrain.

IMG_1363The short hike to the suspension bridge is a breeze. And it’s no wonder that the trail is so well established – we saw well over 100 people on this access trail in just a few hours.

Amélie LOVED hiking with her friends. They laughed, sauntered, and held hands. She even shared the treats left by the fairies for her. When we got to the suspension bridge, she ran up and down and up and down and up and down it over and over again. The sides are completely fenced in, so there’s no danger. It’s a pretty impressive structure – definitely worth seeing!

The start of the Flamber Head path is just as taxing as promised – tons of elevation gain, a few gruelling climbs, and rough terrain. Séb said it isn’t as bad as he’d feared, but we’ll definitely be in good shape after we carry the girls into this trail over and over until Amélie manages to finish it!

We made it to Herring Cove Point before Amélie showed signs of tiring. She had a lot less distance in her since she’d already hiked the access trail (which doesn’t count towards her ECT mileage, unfortunately!). She really didn’t want to quit, but it was obvious from her demeanour that she was crashing.

We were really happy with the 800 metres of progress, since this trail is a tough one for tiny folk.


Flowering ruins in LaManche

The ruins of this old house are entirely filled with forget-me-nots.

IMG_1386Taking a breather at Herring Cove Point, on Flamber Head Path


On a bright sunny day, we decided to take a Sunday cruise to Cape Broyle’s nice Riverside Restaurant. A hot turkey, a steak, and a cheeseburger platter later, we went for a short stroll on the seaside. Not much of a hike, but it’s still a kilometre’s worth of progress to check off the list!


Another BEAUTIFUL afternoon on the trails.

…but it sure didn’t start out like that!

We had a REALLY rough start to the hike. Driving to the trailhead, Amélie dozed off a little in the car. When we got her out of the car, she broke down crying. Hysterically. After a few minutes of coaxing, we slowly started the hike. Fifty feet later, she had broke down again. We waited it out. It was a very long five minutes, but she eventually decided that she wanted to hike… We walked a few more metres, and she asked for a drink of water… then she spilled a few drops on her shorts. Her reaction was apocalyptic. Battery acid wouldn’t have bothered her as much as those four drops of water. Thankfully, we were well-prepared, with two extra pairs of pants at the ready… which… she didn’t like. So she decided to keep her “wet” shorts.

Then Séb offered her a juice box…

…and the world once again began to spin on its axis.


That was all she needed in order to hike nonstop all the way to the LaManche bridge, almost three kilometres further. Well. Not quite nonstop – we stopped at every brook, every stream, and every puddle to throw in a twig or a pebble, we stopped at every walkway to stomp on it, and at every line of stepping stones to jump from one to the next with both feet together.

When she saw the LaManche bridge, she was very excited to once again throw twigs off of it and watch them get swept by the current.

Amélie was having so much fun hiking that she didn’t want to go into the backpack for the way back. We had to tell Amélie we were going to put Évangéline in the backpack for her to (immediately) accept climbing in.

We stopped for ice cream on the way back home.




Amélie on top of the Lady's Lookout

The hike from the Battery to Quidi Vidi Village is part of the community link (the Grand Concourse) which ties the northern and the southern ends of the East Coast Trail together. This is a very well-travelled path – many hundreds of hikers, joggers, and runners can be spotted here on most nice weather days.

And this was definitely a nice weather day!

Amélie was full of energy when she started the hike, despite the very hot weather. She was excited to see so many people on the trails. And the boats in the narrows. And the ducks. And the pigeons!

Amélie is mesmerized by the ducks and the pigeons

Heather and Amélie take the hill!

When we got to the top of the Lady’s Lookout, there was A LOT of wind. So much wind that Amélie and Séb played at being “blown around” for a good long while before starting back down towards Quidi Vidi.

Amélie spots a boat in the distance

Amélie going down the long staircase at Lady's Lookout

Since the terrain is so well-travelled, Amélie managed to scramble down to Quidi Vidi village in record time. While we ambled along the harbour, we saw throngs of party-goers dressed up to the nines coming out of the Quidi Vidi Brewery.

We called it a day when we got to the Plantation, where ten artists create, demonstrate, and sell their various crafts and artworks on textiles, woodcuts, woven products, ceramics, etc.

Quidi Vidi Harbour

IMG_1599Posing in front of the Quidi Vidi Village harbour, with the Quidi Vidi Brewery in the background


Amélie and Sébastien on top of Bawden's Highlands

This is the most strenuous bit of trail we’ve seen yet.

By far.

The climb is especially difficult for Amélie, since there are hundreds of spots where her two-year-old legs are much too short to step over the large boulders that make up much of the path. But the incredible views are well worth the effort.

Quidi Vidi Village Plantation


Not to be discouraged by a challenge, Amélie trekked onwards, encouraged by the fairies who left candy for her along the path.

Helping out the fairies was a wonderful young couple on vacation in Newfoundland from New York City. They were very good at telling the fairies where the “best” spots to hide the little pieces of encouragement would be!

In a little less than two hours, Amélie has climbed all the way up to Bawdens Highland, overlooking Cuckold’s Head and the Quidi Vidi Lake, where the St. John’s Royal Regatta is held every August (“the oldest sporting event in North America”).


Amélie celebrating her climb at the peak of Bawdens Highland.



On this very windy day, we decided that it would be best to avoid going into the trails (in case we needed to turn back quickly), and opted to continue our progress in Cape Broyle.

Sea cucumbers about to be processed at the Cape Broyle plant.

Sea cucumbers about to be processed at the Cape Broyle plant.

When we got to Cape Broyle, however, we realized that this might not have been the best idea. Despite the wind coming in from the West (from land), the gale was so strong that it made walking difficult. Thankfully, once we got to Shores Cove Road (turning towards Admiralds Cove), the wind was at our back and a lot less unpleasant.

We walked all the way from the Cape Broyle wharf to the old church which now houses Nikki and Andy’s “Pagoda Projects,” where we stopped for a quick but really nice visit.


Another very hot day.

The car’s thermometer reads 27 degrees.

We only had a couple hours to spare, so we decided to do the rest of the community link between Tinkers Point Path and LaManche Village Path. The two kilometres we had left we spent picking wildflowers along the roadside. In no time, Amélie had made herself a bouquet of buttercups, lupins, daisies, dandelions, fox-and-cubs, and hawkweed. The then stuffed the stems of the bouquet in her jeans pockets and walked around with her hands up until the flowers were nothing but a wilted mess.

With this little bit of community link done, Amélie has now officially completed FOUR of the East Coast Trail’s 24 paths (Mickeleens, Beaches, Tinkers Point, and LaManche Village) in addition to the Grand Concourse and Cape Broyle community links! In terms of straight mileage, she has now completed 19% of the trail.

The most challenging bits are yet to come.



This is by far the quietest hike we’ve seen on the East Coast Trail.

If this is one of the paths less travelled, the reason isn’t that it’s not beautiful (it is). Or challenging (it is). Or scenic (it is). Or worthwhile (it most definitely is). The reason probably has more to do with the fact that Cappahayden is over 100 kilometres from downtown  St. John’s; it’s literally and figuratively farthest from the beaten path.

Amélie at the southernmost East Coast Trail trailhead

The southernmost point in the East Coast Trail – the Island Meadow Path trailhead at Cappahayden.

IMG_1815 IMG_1817

Regardless of the reason why it’s not as popular as it deserves to be, the fact that the path sees so few feet has a drastic effect on how mucky the ground gets. And the muckiness of the ground had a drastic effect on our hike.

The first few kilometres of the hike take place in a gorgeous (and dry) meadow with tons of wild strawberries, wildflowers, rough boulders, and tall grasses, so it was easy to keep Amélie progressing. The two large pods of humpback whales continuously spouting a few hundred metres from the shore were definitely a great topic of conversation.

We were disgusted with ourselves when we realized we’d only brought the macro lens (it has no zoom and it actually makes things farther than they are in reality)! So we don’t have any pictures of the hundreds of breaches we saw! IMG_1825

IMG_1835 IMG_1858

Entering the wooded section, however, the path got decidedly wetter. And Amélie’s first stumble resulted in a wet knee. And dad had not brought a spare pair of pants.

Oh the humanity!

After about half an hour of wailing like a banshee, Amélie suddenly realized that the bit of water on her pant leg had dried off. And all was well… until, two kilometres later, the ground got so mucky that her socks got wet over the rims of her waterproof hiking shoes. She was clearly distraught. This time, however, she kept on trucking with a smile, looking forward to Séb’s promise of putting her into the backpack carrier as soon as we got to Renews Island.


Amélie was radiant when the island came in sight. After a few high-fives and a short break watching the humpbacks breach and spout, Séb plunked her into the backpack carrier and we raced back to the car. She fell asleep within five minutes on the hike back.


A very tired little hiker!

We celebrated our fantastic progress with a lunch at Fermeuse’s In Da Loop Restaurant.



This is by far the quietest hike we’ve seen on the East Coast Trail.

If this is one of the paths less travelled, the reason isn’t that it’s not beautiful (it is). Or challenging (it is). Or scenic (it is). Or worthwhile (it most definitely is). The reason probably has more to do with the fact that Cappahayden is over 100 kilometres from downtown  St. John’s; it’s literally and figuratively farthest from the beaten path.

Amélie at the southernmost East Coast Trail trailhead

The southernmost point in the East Coast Trail – the Island Meadow Path trailhead at Cappahayden.

IMG_1815 IMG_1817

Regardless of the reason why it’s not as popular as it deserves to be, the fact that the path sees so few feet has a drastic effect on how mucky the ground gets. And the muckiness of the ground had a drastic effect on our hike.

The first few kilometres of the hike take place in a gorgeous (and dry) meadow with tons of wild strawberries, wildflowers, rough boulders, and tall grasses, so it was easy to keep Amélie progressing. The two large pods of humpback whales continuously spouting a few hundred metres from the shore were definitely a great topic of conversation.

We were disgusted with ourselves when we realized we’d only brought the macro lens (it has no zoom and it actually makes things farther than they are in reality)! So we don’t have any pictures of the hundreds of breaches we saw! IMG_1825

IMG_1835 IMG_1858

Entering the wooded section, however, the path got decidedly wetter. And Amélie’s first stumble resulted in a wet knee. And dad had not brought a spare pair of pants.

Oh the humanity!

After about half an hour of wailing like a banshee, Amélie suddenly realized that the bit of water on her pant leg had dried off. And all was well… until, two kilometres later, the ground got so mucky that her socks got wet over the rims of her waterproof hiking shoes. She was clearly distraught. This time, however, she kept on trucking with a smile, looking forward to Séb’s promise of putting her into the backpack carrier as soon as we got to Renews Island.


Amélie was radiant when the island came in sight. After a few high-fives and a short break watching the humpbacks breach and spout, Séb plunked her into the backpack carrier and we raced back to the car. She fell asleep within five minutes on the hike back.


A very tired little hiker!

We celebrated our fantastic progress with a lunch at Fermeuse’s In Da Loop Restaurant.




Amélie’s hiking project was put on pause for over a month because Séb hurt his heel and wasn’t able to walk. He didn’t hurt his heel hiking – he fell off the roof of the house.

Our first day back on the trail was a great one, since it’s berry-picking time! And there are tons of edible goodies on the trail this time of year, and it was fun playing “Can I eat this one?” with Amélie. In just a few hours, we’d spotted (and Amélie had eaten!) blackberries, raspberries, bunchberries, crowberries, blueberries, cranberries, partridgeberries, and rosehips. While we only found a few dozen raspberries that were still edible this late in the season, and while the partridgeberries were not quite ripe (super tangy instead of nicely tangy), it was fun to have a full gamut!


img_2723Ten minutes before we spotted him, we began hearing a woodpecker hard at work. We eventually spotted him – a male hairy woodpecker,  busy pecking at dead trees for its meal. Since it was Amélie’s first encounter with such a creature, it was a great time to talk about why it was drumming on the trees. After watching him for a few minutes, Amélie informed us that this woodpecker was “Like a rhinoceros.” Séb was in complete agreement: “Yup, exactly like a rhinoceros.”

Deep Cove was a great place to stop for a short breather. With its high sheer cliffs and closed right-angle shape, the cove is an incredible echo chamber. The three “closed” sides are far enough away from each other to allow a delay of more than a second – enough time to say long words like “Évangéline” or even very short sentences: “Amélie je t’aime!!!” and to hear them repeated back in their entirety. And since the cove is rectangular, the two opposing walls give two distinct “timings.”

After Amélie had screamed out her own name a few times, she tested the waters by screaming out, “Pipi!” (French for pee). Seeing Séb laugh, she got bolder: “Caca!” (French for poo). Hearing those words so clearly being repeated by the mountains was very exciting for her.

“Pipi! Caca! Pipi! Caca!”
The hike from Deep Cove river (at the very bottom of the cove) to the top of the cliffs at Hare’s Ears was devastatingly tiring, and the sun was beginning to set, so this is where we called it a day. Plunked into the backpack carried, Amélie kept asking for us to pick berries for her, spotting them from her perch.






Another great berry-picking day! Just as promised in the East Coast Trail Guide, the trail going up Big Hill is dotted with great berry patches. Amélie was not the only one to be excited about the berries – from the pouch carrier, Évangéline took to pointing them out and screaming, “Bleuets! Bleuets!” She was so excited about eating the berries that she stayed awake for the whole hike – a rare occasion, if not a first.

Big Hill is true to its name – it’s a BIG HILL. It’s quite a climb for Amélie’s little legs, but she’s getting to be a great hiker. Once we got to the barrens on the top of the hill, however, we quickly realized that we’d have to turn back – the brisk wind was colder than anticipated, and I worried that the girls’ coats wouldn’t keep them warm enough.

The way down was much faster than the way up!

After the hike, we stopped at Keith’s Diner for a hot turkey and fries. After our meal, we strapped the girls in their car seats and headed back home. Both girls had passed out within five minutes.



14568025_1381897208487876_417007181572035648_nAmélie’s godfather is visiting us again, so we decided to bring him along on another one of her hikes. This time, we did half of the community link between the Bear Cove Point Path and the Island Meadow Path.

Renews is a beautiful spot, full of fun things to look at – boats, seabirds, folk art, rivers, and berries. Évangéline was so excited about the blueberries in the ditches that she didn’t sleep a wink during the entire hike. And she kept asking for more!


We stopped at In Da Loop again for their fantastic home-style burgers, and we had a great chat with one of the owners.



img_2786Amélie’s godfather is visiting us again, so we decided to bring him along on another one of her hikes. This time, we did half of the community link between the Bear Cove Point Path and the Island Meadow Path.

It takes us an hour to walk a little less than two kilometres, since we do a few pitstops to pick blueberries and raspberries. Before heading back to Witless Bay, we stop at Chafe’s Landing for some seafood chowder & poached cod.




img_2879A beautiful late afternoon hike despite the very windy day. It was past 3pm by the time we made it to Brigus South, but Amélie was so excited about the hike that we managed to put more trail behind us than we’d imagined would be possible today.

We met four hikers on the trail we’d already bumped into twice this week, which made everyone laugh. It looks like the foursome are attempting a thru-hike going north. And they’re making great time!


img_2836At around the 800-metre mark, Amélie tripped over a small rock and fell on her hands and knees. Not a scratch on her, but one of her knees landed in wet moss. Apocalyptic screams followed as she realized her knee was wet. Although we had a change of clothes for her in the backpack, it was decided that changing her pants right away would just confirm her disgust with getting wet and/or dirty. Séb explained this to her, and promised her that her knee would get dry all on its own in a few minutes. Those were long minutes for everyone. But the wailing eventually subsided, replaced with the excitement of finding blackberries to eat.

img_2864As we climbed the hill towards Herring Cove, we could hear the northwesterly wind howling through the trees. We also hear a few tops breaking off and falling. Amélie was fascinated by the idea that the wind can push trees down, and kept asking question after question about it. She was very excited when we came across a large tree that had been felled by the wind and that lay across the trail. Just past Herring Cove, we came across a dead tree whose root system was in the process of being torn apart by the wind. We watched the tree dancing in the wind and lifting up its root system for a good long time. This led to a long exchange with Amélie about ephemerality. Amélie was absolutely mesmerized by this. We talked about impermanence, how the nature of things is for things to change, and how everything has a beginning and an end. It’s at this point that Amélie connected the dots: “Papa, tu étais un bébé comme Évangéline avant” (“Dad, you were once a little baby like Évangéline”). Séb was astounded by the connection she was able to draw – proof that she’d grasped the ideas being discussed at a much deeper level that we could even hope. 

We managed to make it to Hares Ears Point, which seemed like a great place to call it a day.

img_2846 img_2847img_2849 img_2850

  • img_2843



Brigus Head Path is one of a handful of East Coast trail hikes that can easily be hiked as a loop, adding two kilometres of hardened ATV trail to the hike. Since Amélie had already done the first 2.2 kilometres of the trail last week (starting from Brigus South), we felt it was reasonable for her to try hiking the remaining 4.3 kilometres. Amélie is now an able hiker. A lot of the progress she’s made is simply from being five months older than when we started this thru-hike project. But there is no doubt that the days we’ve spent on the East Coast Trail with her have greatly helped improve her balance, her stamina, and her judgement about how to overcome the constant obstacles she’s presented with on the trail.


Amélie was full of energy for most of the hike, running down some of the hills excitedly, hopping up some of the climbs. She started to run out of gas at Hares Ears Lookout – five hundred metres from where we’d stopped the day before. Thankfully, playing hide-and-seek was enough of a distraction for her to want to keep going. I would run up the trail as Séb and Amélie counted to 20 out loud. By the end of their slow count, I’d crouch behind a tree and wait for them to find me. After a few games where they’d find me immediately (my bright red coat made it very difficult for me to not be found!), we switched roles. Amélie and Séb ran up the hill to hide from me and Évangéline, and I’d pretend to have difficulty finding them.


When we got to Hares Ears, Amélie was immensely happy to get plunked into the backpack carrier, where she at a half sleeve of soda crackers. and the many handfuls of blueberries, blackberries and raspberries we picked on the way back to the car. Évangéline certainly appreciated these as well, pointing out blueberry bushes as we came across them.

There are now only two “breaks” in her progress between the Bay Bulls lighthouse and Cape Broyle’s Riverside Restaurant: The middle section of the Flamber Head Path, and the one-kilometre community link between the Admiralds Cove trailhead and Pagoda Projects. Driving back from Cape Broyle, it’s difficult not to be amazed by the fact that Amélie’s little legs have walked all this way.









Since we had a few hours to kill this afternoon, we decided to do a bit of the community link between the Cape Broyle Head Path and the Caplin Bay Path. Lucky for us, two fellow gammybirds (people from Witless Bay) were also sightseeing in Calvert, so we got a ride all the way to the wharf – this meant that we wouldn’t have to walk back to the car (thanks, guys!!!).

Amélie was in top form, which meant we were able to walk all the way from the Calvert wharf to Castle Hill.


FROM SÉB: When Amélie started to get a little bored, we played at inventing words. She laughed at the weirdest-sounding ones, and I quickly came to realize that certain real words sounded much funnier to her than the ones I was able to make up. Even funnier to her were ridiculous sentences:

“Des sales salopettes de saperlipopette dans la maisonette!”

Amélie was utterly delighted by the insults, expletives and picturesque vocables I could remember from Tintin’s Capitain Haddock. A few of the classics:

“Bande de Bachi-bouzouks!”
“Mille millions de mille sabords!”
“Jus de poubelle!”
“Espèce de mérinos mal peignés!”
“Tonnerre de Brest!”
“Espèce de porc-épic mal embouché!”
“Amiral de bateau-lavoir!”
“Astronaute d’eau douce!”

Essentially, Haddock’s technique involves selecting a target and identifying a trait that’s common (but only very tangentially so) to both this target and to some other thing. Some of these are worth looking up. Interestingly enough, there’s an entire Wikipedia page dedicated to Captain Haddock’s “picturesque vocables”! I can’t wait until our girls are old enough to read and appreciate Hergé’s Tintin!

Blueberries, raspberries and blackberries were welcome finds – especially for Évangéline, who kept asking for more.

The views from Calvert and Castle Hill are definitely amongst the best on the trail – beautiful rolling hills, cliffs, rocky islands, and coves.








In the wake of Hurricane Matthew, a number of Newfoundland municipalities declared a State of Emergency, with road washouts completely cutting them off from other parts of the island. The only link through the island, the Trans-Canada Highway, was cut in half at Terra Nova Park, and restoring the link took days.

The Avalon was spared from the damage wreaked on other parts of the island, but it’s not to say the storm didn’t have an effect here. We quickly discovered that the northern half of Island Meadow Path had been turned into a soupy mucky muddy mess. Given the nice firm trails we’d been faced with over the past few days, Séb and I were completely unprepared for the mud – we were both wearing our super-breathable cross-trainers (thankfully, there was a pair of boots in the car for Amélie!). We managed to keep our feet dry for almost a full kilometre by very carefully fording marshes and streams and wet spots. But that didn’t last. An hour in, were were both completely soaked. Trying to ensure Amélie’s feet wouldn’t get wet (since that would probably mean the end of the day’s progress), Séb’s pants got wet all the way to his knees.

At the four-kilometre mark, tragedy struck: We didn’t see how soft the ground was in one spot and Amélie’s foot went all the way in. The black muck swallowed her boot whole. Thankfully Séb caught her before she put her foot back down into the mud, but the damage was done. There we were, with less than a kilometre left for her to go and with a boot full of mud (inside and out). We scraped the inside of the boot as dry as we could, and explained that we were almost to the island (where we’d called it quits when we’d done the southern half of the trail earlier this summer). Thankfully, we were able to encourage her by giving her a hiking pole – something we’ve only allowed on a few occasions before. While it didn’t entirely take her mind off her discomfort and disgust, this distraction was enough for her to finish the hike.


In his fantastic guidebook to the ECT, Sander Meurs says,

“The north end (of Island Meadow Path), from Renews to Bear Cove, is defined by a hillside forest that is frequently so rough and wet you’ll need waterproof boots, gaiters, and a set of trekking poles.”

He wasn’t kidding

The East Coast Trail Association is very good at ensuring that the paths remain in fantastic shape. There are staircases wherever they’re needed for safety, brush clearing operations are carried out regularly so that the trails don’t grow over, stepping stones and wooden footbridges are installed wherever the ground tends to get mucky and wherever a stream is to be crossed (which, given the Southern Shore’s climate and vegetation, happens to be in a lot of places).

Island Meadow Path is definitely not as well-maintained as most other paths in the ECT system. And this is probably for good reason: unlike most of the other paths, Island Meadow offers relatively few great vistas since most of the trail is necessarily hidden away in the woodlands. As the last “hardened” trail to the south, it’s by far the farthest from our major population basins and tourists, and is therefore probably the least-travelled trail in the entire system. Even if this WAS a popular trail, the boggy ground makes it very difficult to enhance to a good dry-foot standard, since this would essentially require the Association to build a 3-kilometre boardwalk. I much rather that the Association invest its limited funds in ensuring our safety than in ensuring our comfort!

Maybe it’s like this so that we learn to better appreciate  the other parts of the trail.

Despite the horrible muck, this was Amélie’s longest-ever uninterrupted hike on the trail. When we finally got to Island Meadow, we decided to risk it and keep heading south, to Bear Cove instead of going back on our very wet footsteps. This turned out to be a fantastic idea, since this part of the trail was in much, much better shape. Séb quickly managed to find a ride back to the car at the other trailhead, and came back to get us.

Eating a quesadilla and a burger at the ever-inviting In Da Loop restaurant , Amélie knew she’d surpassed our expectations.

She knew we were proud that she’d overcome her discomfort.

She knew we were proud that she’s managed to hike almost 5 kilometres on a difficult trail.

And she was beaming.








Starting out from “downtown Torbay,” Father Troy’s Trail is one of the most “civilized” sections of the East Coast Trail. It’s more of a “nature trail” than a “wilderness trail.” Most of this section of the trail is shared with ATVs and snowmobiles, which, on this terrain, makes for very easy walking.


Easy walking depends on good footwear.

And Amélie definitely wasn’t wearing the best boots today. Though we had two of her best pairs of boots with us in the car, Amélie insisted that she wanted to wear the pair pink rain boots she’d recently inherited from her cousin. She wears these quite a bit around the house and to run errands, so we figured that they’d be just as good as her other hiking footwear. Well… these didn’t work out so well. A few hundred metres in, one of the boots came off her foot and she fell. Then it happened again. And again. Half a size too big and not as rigid as her other rain boots, these slowed her down very significantly. She dragged her feet the whole way.

We certainly were glad to have discovered the problem in such an easy trail instead of having to face it in a trail like the hellishly mucky Island Meadow Path linking Renews to Cappahayden we hiked yesterday!


Amélie at the Cape Broyle Head Path trailheadWe had not expected to be able to go on a hike today since news of Hurricane Nicole’s impending arrival in our region was all over the Web. When we checked the weather this morning, the now-downgraded tropical storm was still over 500 nautical miles from the coast of the island. Despite the rain, we decided to give it a go.

We assembled our heavy weather gear and left the girls in their fleece pyjamas (which are really good as base layers), plunked them in their car seats and made our way south. Although we were planning on doing a section in Renews, we decided to stop at Cape Broyle given the strength and direction of the wind.

Stuffed into their rain suits, the girls were both happy to be out hiking. Séb put Évangéline in the carrier and carried Amélie up to the stream at Beachy Cove, where we figured would be a great spot to start the hike.

We didn’t want to venture too far in, since we’d never put Évangéline in her rain suit before (haw many layers should she be wearing? Will she be too cold with three? Or will she be too warm since the rain suit isn’t breathable?  Will she tell us if she’s too hot? Or too cold?

Amélie raced back to the trailhead and made record time. As Amélie hiked, Évangéline happily munched away on blackberries and blueberries. We got to the Riverside Restaurant in much shorter order than expected. As we shared a burger and a big Irish breakfast (which was exactly that), we met the family at the table next to us. Visitors from LaScie currently in the area for their son’s softball tournament, they very kindly drove to Southside Road to pick up our car for us so we wouldn’t have to walk against the wind & rain (thank you!!!).


As we’re putting our backpacks on in the Renews bridge parking lot, we see a lone hiker coming towards our direction. A long-distance hiker from France who’d just started her journey in Cappahayden the day before, Justine immediately accepts to help the fairies encourage Amélie by leaving little “presents” on the trail.

Amélie is very happy to share her walk with a new person, so we hike together until Amélie begins to show signs of wanting to slow down. As we part ways, we invite Justine to stop by when she gets to Witless Bay – we’d love to hear about her hike (and the cold wind she’s having to face!).

Over the next kilometres, we discover that the fairies have found all sorts of very imaginative ways to “hide” their little treats – on boulders, signs, boats, branches, fallen bark, etc.

As we pass the area called “Ships Bottom,” we spot a seal on the rocks. Amélie is completely fascinated. Maybe a little too fascinated. Suddenly, she looks up and says, “Papa, met culottes son mouillées.” (“Papa, my pants are wet”).

And it’s not just her pants.

It’s gone down her legs and in both her boots. Her socks are drenched. Accidents like this are very rare now – so rare that we don’t even remember the last time it happened outside of the house.

The extra pants, the extra boots, the extra socks… they’re all in the car, kilometres away. What to do, what to do!?!

Well, necessity is the mother of invention, isn’t?

Pants, socks, stockings, and boots all come off. Évangéline’s coat comes off, and is transformed into a pair of pants for Amélie. Mittens become boots, and Évangéline gets wrapped up in Séb’s coat. Amélie’s amused by the strange switcharoo. Meltdown averted. The next piece of the puzzle is to get the girls back to the car before they get uncomfortable.

We cut through the fields on the ATV trails to reach the trailhead faster, but this ends up being an awful idea – the boggy ground makes walking while carrying the girls very difficult. And wet. However, the first vehicle we meet once we’re back on the roadway stops to offer help – which we happily accept (THANK YOU!!!).

Ten seconds after Amélie is all squared away with fresh pants, socks, and boots, she asks, “Are we going back on the same trail, or are we going on a different one now?”





We only had a couple hours to devote to the hike today, so since we were already in Town (Séb was teaching at MUN this morning), we headed for Fort Amherst.

We’d attempted the steep climb starting from the Blackhead Path trailhead twice before, and had met with failure both times. Amélie has grown a lot since her last attempt and she’s now done a number of very steep ascents without any issues. However, it’s not just the fact that there’s almost 200 metres of altitude gain in less than one kilometre that makes this a difficult climb for Amélie – it’s that the path is strewn with slippery rocks, loose stones, and huge boulders, making it outrightly hostile to her short little legs.

The good news, though, is that after 3 attempts, Amélie has finally managed to beat the kilometre-long problem section!

At the summit, we met Ed Delaney & a team of East Coast Trail Association staff & volunteers working on the trail. Séb struck up a conversation about the Association’s current projects – the hardening of the new municipally-funded trail to Portugal Cove-St.Phillips, the new trail sections that are currently being done by the Town of Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove, the staircase currently being upgraded on Father Troy’s Trail… Ed was excited to announce that Harold Mullowney (Bay Bulls’ current Deputy Mayor) had just joined the Board – great news!




Philippe Grenier congratulating Amélie at the 100-kilometre mark with a high-five 🙂

A while back, CBC/Radio-Canada’s Philippe Grenier got in touch with us to ask a few questions about Amélie’s ECT thru-hike project. He asked to do a segment on it for the news, and we happily accepted. After a few email conversations, we decided to meet him at Petty Harbour on the occasion of Amélie’s 100th kilometre.

So today’s the day – the BIG 100!

Triple digits!

Given the fact that the point of the day’s hike was simply to get to the 100-kilometre mark, we knew it would be an easy day in terms of the hike – Amélie only needed to hike 1100 metres, on mostly easy terrain. The bigger challenge was actually in getting Amélie to slow down at the right spots so that the journalist could capture her hike. Another challenge was for her to be less excitable during her interview, since she got so excited that she was just giving half-word answers instead of the full sentences she normally speaks in.

Thankfully, Philippe was very patient (he was very understanding, since his two daughters are pretty close in age with ours).

Back at the trailhead, Amélie gave Philippe a high five and a hug, and we made our way to Bidgoods to buy a celebratory cake. The text on the cake turned quite a few heads. Seeing the cake, one lady enquired,

“Who’s turning a hundred?”

The lady was visibly perplexed with the response she got.

“Your three-year old walked a hundred kilometres? On the East Coast Trail???”


“A hundred kilometres.”

“Yes. But she didn’t do it in one day. It took 40 days.”

“Wow. Well, I know what we’ll be talking about this evening at dinner!”




Our family at the 100-kilometre mark!


Radio-Canada’s Philippe Grenier poses with Amélie, who is busy counting to 100 with her hands.




It’s not often that a three-year old gets to blow out 100 candles!







  • Amélie’s total progress: 100km!!!/316km
  • Distance walked by the adults today: 2.2km
  • Total distance walked by the adults: 191.4km

Related posts:



Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: