Bike from St. John's to Cape Spear

Rate this Adventure 21.6 miles 682.4 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Jonathon Reed

Fight some of the steepest hills on the Avalon Peninsula for iconic views of the east coast. Soak your bicycle tires in the Atlantic at the easternmost point of North America.

Whether you're an east-coast local, a cycle tourist starting out on a journey westward or a veteran cyclist finishing a trans-Canada ride, Cape Spear is a must. Who wouldn't want to say they've bicycled the eastern edge of the continent? It's a great physical push, a simple day trip and easily one of the most rewarding rides you can take on.

If you're cycle touring, you have the option of stripping off your panniers and heading to Cape Spear unloaded. If you're a masochist, or looking to overcome a physical challenge before taking on the rest of Canada (like I was), leave the bags on. You'll make it either way.

If you're starting downtown, take Water Street until the intersection with Blackhead Road, which you'll follow under an overpass and up the first steep hill. Right after the overpass and up into Shea Heights is perhaps the steepest section—you're leaving the harbour and climbing into the highlands. Before long you'll see the city stretched out beneath you, then you'll leave it behind, headed for the coast. Between you and Cape Spear are three major points of land. One is just a few kilometres after leaving the city. The next is a few kilometres before the small town of Blackhead. The last is a steep headland between Blackhead and the coast. Gear down for each of them and push to the top, and soak in all the glory of the descents.

When you reach Cape Spear, stop to stretch, take in the coastline, visit the national historic site or watch the sunrise (which I highly recommend). Eat some protein. I recommend heading back before it gets too hot or an offshore wind gets too strong.

Be warned that the hills in downtown St. John's actually have some of the most difficult grades on the entire route, so your last few hundred metres might be your most challenging. Then you can revel in having made it back home. Perhaps with a nap or lunch at YellowBelly Brewery

Read More

Tags

Cycling
Photography
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Scenic

Reviews

Have you done this adventure? Be the first to leave a review!

Nearby Adventures

  • Hike the Blackhead Bay Trail

    Being a part of the historic East Coast Trail, Deadman's Bay is a main pit stop for thousands of backpackers every year. The trail includes many treasures such as swimming holes in summer, views of WWII Battery, breathtaking coastal views, a barac...

    9.1 miles

  • Hiking on the Sugar Loaf Path

    The Path is a small part of the 265 km East Coast Trail and is readily accessible from either Quidi Vidi Village or the Marine Science Lab in Logy Bay. Enjoy the amazing view of the coast from atop Sugarloaf Head and gorgeous vistas of the city al...

    11 miles 500 ft gain

  • Hiking the Cape Spear Path

    To get to Cape Spear from St. John’s, head west on Water Street to the intersection at Leslie Street where you'll make a left. Continue over the bridge to the stop sign. Drive straight through the intersection and continue for 15 km where the road...

    12.8 miles

  • Photograph the Isthmus of Avalon

    Newfoundland is perhaps best known for its outport villages on the coast, but in between the communities lies a beautiful and rugged island geography. One of the most visually stunning places to witness this is at the Isthmus of Avalon—where the A...

    0.6 miles 131.2 ft gain