Green Bay and the Beothuk Trail (73 km)

The Beothuk Trail is so named because this was an area of Newfoundland once occupied by the now extinct aboriginal people. The area has several trails, including the eight-kilometre Alexander Murray Hiking Trail in King's Point, named for a 19th-century geologist. It climbs more than 300 metres and provides an unsurpassed view of Green Bay.

Green Bay

You'll notice a low stone wall on either side of the highway that indicates you're in Green Bay on the Beothuk Trail.

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.

A side trip along Route 391 takes you to King's Point where the skeleton of a 50-foot humpback whale is displayed in a pavilion. 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. There's a check-in at the start of the trail.

At the end of this section of Route 391 find Rattling Brook

Rattling Brook 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. Patricks from where you can take a ferry ride to Little Bay Islands. Here, a network of trails overlooks the community and the coastline. When travelling by coastal boat or ferry it's always a good idea to plan everything in advance. Schedules can vary.

The main service community on the Dorset Trail 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

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.

Along the way, you'll pass by a high wooded plateau, and on 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-Jim's Cove-Card's Harbour – where the hiking trail is a good place to see whales and icebergs – and Brighton where two more trails provide scenic lookouts. In Triton drop by the whale pavilion where the skeleton of a huge sperm whale is on display.

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. When travelling by coastal boat or ferry it's always a good idea to plan everything in advance. Schedules can vary.