Distance: 5.0 km (3.1 miles). Cumulative: 312.02 km
Path: Piccos Ridge
Communities: Portugal Cove
I was awake by 8 am and ready to complete the final 5 km to Portugal Cove. I had looked at the map and decided that I could road walk to the Comfort Inn where I had a reservation for the night.
I climbed up to a great view from Brock's Head.
I could see the ferry returning from Bell Island.
Looking back at a steep ridge.
The ferry started returning to Bell Island.
I reached a section that had structures constructed on it.
Portugal Cove was visible down below.
I could see the final trailhead sign below.
There was a steep descent to the trailhead.
I enjoyed the final few steps of coastal hiking.
The end of the Piccos Ridge Path and the East Coast Trail.
Terminus of the East Coast Trail at Portugal Cove
I ate my last Twizzler to celebrate and began my road walk to the hotel near the airport.
Waterfall in Portugal Cove
I followed Portugal Cove Road all the way to the airport. I passed a scenic pond on the way. The road was quite busy, but there was a wide shoulder.
I stopped to take a break at Round Pond and then it started to rain.
The road continued next to Gladneys Arm and Windsor Lake. A sign indicated that I was entering St. Johns.
I reached the Comfort Inn and checked in. I quickly ordered and devoured an entire large pizza and pasta order from Dominos.
Overall, the East Coast Trail was an excellent trail. Much of the time it all felt like a blur of supreme coastal scenery. I did my best to remember which paths I had even been on the day before. It was even harder to remember which communities I had walked through. The entire trail was well maintained and many times I wondered how the trail designers had managed to allow the trail to reach so many dramatic and towering cliffs. The trail isn't an easy trail as there is a surprising amount of elevation change, but it's not hard either. Completing the ECT in 10+ days was a fairly relaxing hike and would have been even more so with longer days earlier in the year. It is hard to predict the weather though.
Before hiking the ECT, I was somewhat concerned with the amount of road walks, but they were actually quite scenic and a good change of pace. Newfoundlanders were so friendly and I felt bad turning them down when they'd offer me a ride. I was even invited into someone's house for tea and to use their washroom. Someone else offered a stay in their cabin. The on-trail hiking was great as it was remote with very few, if any road, crossings.
Hiking the trail in September was probably later in the season. The trail wasn't particularly busy, but I did see quite a few day-hikers around St. Johns. I didn't see more than a handful of backpackers on the entire trail. Earlier in the season, there would have been the opportunity to see icebergs and whales, but there were many berries on the trail. I had anticipated spending a night in one of the many communities along the trail but ended up camping on the trail every night.
I would like to thank the East Coast Trail Association for all the hard work building and maintaining this excellent trail. I'd also like to thank thru-hiker Randy Best for all his work providing resources for thru-hikers.